BC Hydro seeking EAC amendment to allow changes to Site C’s generating station and spillways

A rendering of the revised design of the Site C dam's generating station and spillways. Photo by BC Hydro

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — BC Hydro is looking to get its Environmental Assessment Certificate for Site C amended to allow for proposed changes and improvements to the dam’s generating station and spillways, but says the changes won’t have an impact on the project’s budget.

BC Hydro spokesperson Dave Conway said that BC Hydro is looking to refine the design of the GSS portion of the project by having each of the dam’s six turbine generators connected to a transformer located upstream of the units on the transformer deck. The transformers were originally planned to be located on the draft tube deck. The design of the dam’s spillway is also getting proposed tweaks. Conway said that the originally-planned seven gates will be replaced by a design with three radial gates and six low-level outlets that meet the spillway’s discharge requirements.

A rendering of the initial design of Site C’s generating station and spillways. Photo by BC Hydro

Conway explained that the proposed design changes will optimize capacity, minimize environmental risks, improve safety and facilitate the ease of long-term maintenance during operations. He added that Hydro does not anticipate any impacts to the generating station and spillways’ cost.

When it comes to any changes in the finding’s of Site C’s Environmental Impact Statement, Conway said that the proposed tweaks to the GSS design would not increase the project’s effect on vegetation and ecological communities, navigation, heritage resources, fish and fish habitat, harvest of fish and wildlife resources, and current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes.