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Nov 21, 2012

Site C Clean Energy Project Would Add Jobs, Economic Benefits


Date ArticleType
11/21/2012 Media Releases
Site C Clean Energy Project Would Add Jobs, Economic Benefits

Site C project would add jobs, economic benefits

Vancouver Sun - November 19, 2012
By Greg D'avignon And John Winter

The proposed Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C) may be in the early stages of an environmental assessment process, but the procurement planning for this $7.9 billion hydroelectric project is underway.

Planning for the potential of these types of large projects is vital given that there are almost $80 billion of projects underway today in B.C. and up to another $133 billion in the planning stages that could be built in the near future. Site C presents both economic and employment opportunity within the context of our energy future.

That's why the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of B.C. - along with Initiatives Prince George, Northern Development, B.C. Construction Association (North), and local chambers of commerce - have been hosting business information sessions around B.C. about the proposed project.

Sessions on Site C have been held in communities in the vicinity of the project, including Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. A session will also be held in Prince George later this week. And today a Vancouver business audience will hear about the proposed project's seven-year construction period, and potential procurement packages and timelines.

Subject to the project receiving environmental approval, construction of Site C could start as soon as late2014, which would provide an important economic boost for our province, including more than 7,000 person-years of direct construction employment, and over 30,000 person-years of total employment.

Construction of a hydroelectric dam and generating station is no small undertaking. It takes a significant amount of people and equipment, businesses of all types and sizes, and workers at all skill levels.

The business information sessions describe initial Site C procurements, which may start next year in order to qualify businesses for early construction activities on the project, such as roadwork and clearing.

Site C would maximize B.C.'s strategic hydroelectric advantage. As the third project on the Peace River, Site C would gain efficiencies by relying on the existing Williston Reservoir for water storage. This means it would be able to produce 35 per cent of the energy of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam with only five per cent of the reservoir area.

If the project receives environmental approval, it would be a new hydroelectric asset that would generate electricity in B.C. for more than 100 years. According to BC Hydro, it would generate enough energy to power the equivalent of about 450,000 homes per year in B.C., and it would be another key component of our energy supply to meet the growing energy demands we will face as our economy and population grows. Site C forms an important part of the basket of energy options including oil, natural gas, renewable energy, and hydro assets we rely on everyday and that will power our economy and jobs for years to come.

The business information sessions are a great opportunity for businesses and communities to learn about the significant economic opportunities offered by this project for companies of all sizes, as well as the long-term benefits that cost-effective electricity provides for all British Columbians. 

To read the full article, click here.

John Winter is the president and CEO of the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Greg D'Avignon is the president and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia.