BC Hydro

Deception and duplicity

While John Horgan’s government was almost doubling the Site C budget to C$16 billion, the Biden administration was moving to approve a C$3.4 billion wind project off the coast of Massachusetts.

The per megawatt cost of the wind project is less than 30% of Site C’s capital cost per megawatt and it destroys no farmland, violates no Indigenous rights agreements, and presents no threats to nearby communities.

Additionally, the American facility will be operational in 2023. Compare to the ten-year construction of Site C, a timeline that may be extended because of site instability and further erosion problems.

SiteC-DiversionOutlet
Erosion along the upstream river diversion tunnel outlet at Site C 

Site C proponents argued that wind and solar power were unsuitable for BC Hydro. Of course, they didn’t want people to know the utility, with hydropower accounting for 98.5% of its generating capacity, is perfectly positioned to use less destructive renewables. Spin doctors for BC Hydro and dam contractors never explained how other nations accommodate large proportions of wind and solar power.

London-based think-tank Ember recently reported:

Wind and solar are powering Europe’s renewables rise. Wind generation rose 9% in 2020 and solar generation rose 15%. Together they generated a fifth of Europe’s electricity in 2020. Since 2015, wind and solar have supplied all of Europe’s growth in renewables, as bioenergy growth has stalled, and hydro generation remains unchanged.

The New York Times described wind initiatives in the USA:

Offshore wind, which is booming in Europe, is a nascent industry in the United States. Only two wind farms currently operate, off the coasts of Virginia and Rhode Island. Together, they produce 42 megawatts of electricity.

But several Atlantic Coast states, including Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Virginia, have committed to buying more than 25,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035, according to the American Clean Power Association.

Rather than saying Site C is a project constructed on unstable ground, it is more accurate to say it is built on deception and duplicity.

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