Terminating Site C Project would cost taxpayers $7.3 billion: BC Hydro submission to BCUC

A graphic of the BC Hydro Site C Project.

A graphic of the BC Hydro Site C Project. — Photo courtesy BC Hydro

BC Hydro recently submitted their report to the BC Utilities Commission Inquiry into the Site C Clean Energy project.

Here is an excerpt from the submission report's Executive Summary:

BC Hydro has performed the analysis to respond to the Terms of Reference. We conclude that:

  • The best option for ratepayers is to complete Site C by 2024 as currently planned;
  • Terminating the Site C Project, remediating the site and acquiring alternative resources would cost ratepayers $7.3 billion on a present value basis;
  • Suspending the Site C Project, acquiring alternative resources for the period of suspension, and then resuming and completing construction would cost ratepayers $1.1 billion on a present value basis. The project cost in this scenario would be $12.9 billion when the assets enter service;
  • There are substantial risks that the Project would not be able to resume following a period of suspension and would be terminated. Suspension would forego the benefits of a fully-staffed project team, awarded contracts and benefit agreements, advanced design, and the permits and authorizations for current work. Re-establishing these benefits is time-consuming, costly, and may not be possible. A scenario where the Project is suspended and then terminated would cost ratepayers $7.3 billion on a present value basis.

On the specific questions in section 3 of the Terms of Reference, this filing shows that: 

  • BC Hydro expects to complete Site C on time and on budget, and we have the appropriate level of schedule and cost contingency;
  • Site C provides a long-term supply of low cost, clean energy. No other portfolio of commercially feasible generating projects and demand-side management initiatives could provide similar benefits (including firming; shaping; storage; grid reliability; and maintenance or reduction of 2016/17 greenhouse gas emission levels) to ratepayers at similar or lower cost as the Site C project;
  • When considered together, developments since BC Hydro prepared our Current Load Forecast suggest a net increase in our energy and capacity requirements; and
  • Site C is a flexible resource that enables the integration of new renewable intermittent resources like wind, solar and run-of-river hydro, which require the support of dependable and flexible resources like storage hydro.

To read the entire submission visit:

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