Yesterday, during an announcement at BCIT, BC’s NDP leader John Horgan announced their plans to launch PowerBC — a complete revamp of energy in British Columbia.
The New Democrats propose it will create jobs in every community in BC, while ‘protecting families and businesses from runaway Hydro bills.’
Not just that, but the plan favours issuing upgrades to the Revelstoke Dam over continuing with Site-C, and would effectively end the project.
The NDP argues that instead they should be building Unit 6 at Revelstoke Dam would add 500 MW of energy capacity for $420 million — compared to the reported $8.3 billion cost of Site-C — continuing on to call many hydroelectric dams across BC are operating ’50’s-era machinery.’
“Our kids and grandkids deserve real leadership,” Horgan said. “With our plan we are looking forward and creating clean energy jobs throughout BC.”
He also says the plan would free BC Hydro to pursue clean energy potential in wind, solar and emerging technologies. There is also a push for local procurement and local hiring in this plan.
Energy Minister Bill Bennett criticized the plan, saying the NDP has offered nothing new after two years of constructing the plan.
“Horgan’s only contribution has been to repackage what BC Hydro is already doing and claim it is an original idea,” he said. “He also says no to the Site-C project and the thousands of jobs that Site C will create.”
He carried on to say that the NDP is ‘late to the game,’ and that the upgrades have already been taken care of.
“I said in the legislature that Revelstoke 6 will be built. But Revelstoke 6 is about capacity, not energy. By insisting that Revelstoke 6 will remove the need for the energy from Site-C shows how the NDP doesn’t understand the difference between capacity and energy which is fundamental to understanding how electricity systems function. A key to the success of BC’s electricity network is the understanding that intermittent energy like wind, solar and run of river hydro must be backed up by the capacity from large hydro-electric. The NDP ignores this reality.”
The NDP had always remained ambiguous on their stance with regard to Site-C, until motion 19 to continue Site-C construction was debated by the provincial legislature in early October.
MLAs belonging to the NDP almost unanimously voted ‘no’ on it, and Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix made the case for restoring work on the Revelstoke Dam.