Media Statement: July 9th, 2014
Weaver calls on BC Government to broaden BC Hydro’s scope to allow for production of geothermal power
For Immediate Release
Vancouver, B.C. – Today, Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party, joined Gwen Johansson, the Mayor of Hudson’s Hope, as she released an independent report on the impacts of and the alternatives to the Site C project. Building on the findings of this report, Weaver is calling on the Provincial government to broaden BC Hydro’s scope to allow for the development of a geothermal power capacity in the province of British Columbia.
The Joint Review Panel (JRP) for the Site C dam released their report in early May. They found that the proposed project would result in significant and irreversible community and environmental impacts, and that there has not been sufficient assessment of the effects of rising electricity rates, advancing technology and energy conservation. They further noted that the accuracy of project cost estimates could not be confirmed because they did not have the information, time or resources. The Panel concluded that more work needed to be done and recommended a thorough review by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).
The independent report released today by Mayor Johansson builds upon the findings of the JRP and proposes a number of cost effective alternatives to the Site C dam.
“It’s easy to believe that developing alternatives is always something that’s on the horizon,” said Weaver. “But with renewable resources like geothermal, British Columbia is actually falling further and further behind the rest of the world. If you look along the West coast of North America, and indeed throughout the entire Pacific Rim, the only jurisdiction that isn’t using its geothermal resources is British Columbia.”
Geothermal is only one of a number of different options identified in this report that are likely to produce power cheaper than Site C, while meeting the clean energy demands of this Province.
The Site C dam, if built, would be situated on the Peace River. It would produce 1,100 MW of power capacity and up to 5,100 GWh of electricity each year at an estimated cost of $7.9 billion dollars.
The construction of the Site C dam will flood 6,427 acres of Class 1 & 2 agricultural land, which includes the only Class 1 agricultural land north of Quesnel. The affected Treaty 8 Tribal Association has already expressed a number of serious concerns regarding the Site C dam proposal.
The Minister of Energy and Mines has stated that the decision as to whether or not Site C receives environmental certification will come sometime around September.
“The Province should take this opportunity to pause and explore whether geothermal energy could provide the same quantity of stable, reliable power, but in a more fiscally and environmentally prudent fashion and in a way that fosters partnerships with First Nations, while providing greater and more diverse job opportunities across the Province.” said Weaver.
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
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