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Hydro CEO outlines $630 million cost to delay Site C

VICTORIA, B.C. — BC Hydro’s CEO says a one-year delay in the Site C hydroelectric project would cost $630 million, echoing a letter by Premier Christy Clark to the leaders of the BC NDP and Green parties.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, BC Hydro’s president and CEO Jessica McDonald gave a presentation outlining Hydro’s Site C construction plans over the next two years. NDP leader John Horgan wrote to McDonald last week asking Hydro to suspend the evictions of two homeowners in Bear Flats, and urging the corporation not to sign any new contracts for the project until a new government has gained the confidence of the legislature.

McDonald said that contract tenders for the realignment of Highway 29 are set to go out June 15th, with a bridge construction tender scheduled to be issued at the beginning of July. McDonald said that the homes owned by the Boons and the Meeks are in the direct path of the new highway realignment, which must be complete before the Peace River is diverted through tunnels at the dam site in September 2019. In her presentation, McDonald explained that BC Hydro offered to physically move the Boons’ home, and have reached an agreement to do the same for the Meeks. She added that if the work to realign Highway 29 is not started this year, the Peace would not be able to be diverted until September 2020.

If that were to occur, McDonald broke down the costs for the project, which are as follows:

  • Ongoing project costs, incurred during delay period: $95 million
  • Site and environmental maintenance for one-year period: $10 million
  • Main civil works – overhead, demobilization, mobilization: $120 million
  • Turbines and generators – storage: $25 million
  • Worker accommodation, fixed costs: $15 million
  • Other impacts (e.g. claims, procurement impacts, etc.): $60 million

The estimated costs for the one-year delay total $325 million, with an additional $105 million to account for inflation, and $200 million in Interest. The full presentation can be found below:

 

As of May 31st, $1.75 billion has been spent, with average monthly expenditures of $60 million. Roughly $4 billion has been committed in signed contracts and agreements. In addition to the Highway realignment contracts, BC Hydro will also be signing the generating station and spillways contract later this year or early next year.

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