Premier Christy Clark and BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald at announcement to proceed with Site C dam on the Peace River, 2015. (BC GOVERNMENT)

$1.75 billion spent on Site C so far

BC Hydro details risks of delay with $60 million a month being spent

The Site C dam project in northeastern B.C. has spent $1.75 billion as of the end of May and is currently spending $60 million a month, BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald says.

McDonald and other BC Hydro executives briefed reporters Wednesday on the project, after an exchange of letters Tuesday between Premier Christy Clark, NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.

McDonald provided details on Clark’s estimate that a delay in relocating two houses on the site on the Peace River near Fort St. John would create a “domino effect,” delaying construction of a realigned road and bridge that would lead to a one-year delay in diverting the Peace River to begin work on the dam foundation in the riverbed.

BC Hydro estimates show that delay would add $630 million to the cost of the project, including storage of turbines and generators, an additional year of site and environmental maintenance, and shutting down and restarting the main civil works contract.

McDonald said there is $4 billion spent or committed in existing contracts for the third dam on the Peace River, a system that already supplies a third of B.C.’s hydroelectric power. She would not comment on eventual costs of cancelling the project.

Horgan wants the Site C dam put to a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission. He said during the election campaign that does not mean stopping the project while the review goes ahead. After the minority government result and Weaver’s decision to support an NDP government, Horgan wrote to BC Hydro asking it to stop issuing new contracts and extend the lease on two houses set to be moved.

Weaver campaigned to have the project stopped. He attended the briefing at a Victoria hotel Wednesday, and said afterward the $4 billion cost estimate is a “gross exaggeration” based on the assumption all contracts would be paid out in full.

McDonald wouldn’t comment on the scenario of cancelling the $8 billion project, which she said is a political decision. Her presentation detailed the fallout from delaying the relocation of two houses for realignment of Highway 29 along the Peace River, a project about to be tendered by the B.C. transportation ministry.

The house properties have been expropriated and if they are not moved to make room for the two-year road and bridge construction, that would trigger a one-year delay in the river diversion needed to build the dam foundation in the main channel of the river.

Just Posted

Mediators appointed to help address issues in IHealth review

Review too little, too late for Qualicum Bay patient

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

UPDATE: Whiskey Creek floodwaters subside

Area roads reopened following Sunday morning closure

Parksville water project seeks new manager

City operations manager moves to new job with RDN

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Team Canada veteran ‘drops in’ on girls lacrosse

Naomi Walser to joine Oceanside Minor Lacrosse session Jan. 23

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read