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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Default Site C, who cares?

Is this a good a thing-or not? What do the people of CT think?

If it is a bad thing, then why?

For anyone who thinks it is a bad idea because there are more sensible alternatives for the same cost (geothermal or other) -then please explain why?

The only reason I see against this project is the cost. Why so many billions?

From what I know, this is probably the most environmentally sensible energy generation project on the planet at this time.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 01:03 AM
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The dam and man-made lake will leave a very visible scar on the land and will have a very obvious impact on a number of people that are alive today and so it's easy to get angry.

Meanwhile the fact as stated by BC Hydro is that: "Since the late 1990s, BC Hydro has depended on electricity imports to meet the demand for power." (this is a bit of a simplification but that's a longer discussion.) That power often comes from coal. Coal mines also leave a visible scar on the land and coal power plants contribute to invisible but harmful emissions into the atmosphere. That harm may not be as visible but it's just as real.

Eliminating our dependence on coal is not the only benefit. Properly executed, the dam will ensure that BC continues to have very affordable and reliable power. As electric vehicles become mainstream, plentiful and affordable electricity will enable residents to wean themselves off of fossil fuels for transportation. We have the potential to be one of the few jurisdictions in the world where almost all of our energy (buildings, transportation and industry,) comes from clean hydropower.

Site C will not be without consequences but it's better than the alternatives. The government must move ahead carefully to mitigate those consequences and to propose fair options to the people who will be directly negatively impacted.

Now if only we can undo the decision to allow the LNG plants to burn natural gas instead of using some of that clean hydropower.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 01:41 AM
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Site C is bad not only because of the cost, but the fact that it will flood a significant amount of Class 1 and 2 Farmland, the most productive types of soil types in BC. The Peace River Valley is also the only place where there is class 1 farmland north of Quesnel. If we flood the Peace with site C, all this valuable soil will be washed away, in a time where we need to farm more of our own food. I think there used to be ALRs up there but the liberals removed them. Building site C would devastate an entire ecosystem that has already been damaged by two other dams. The remaining part of the river is a major wildlife corridor in animal migration routes as well. We don't need the energy either. It is part of a plan to subsidize the energy for LNG development, most of which now isn't happening. Geothermal is a cheaper source of energy, and all of BC can have Geothermal. Geothermal doesn't have as bad as an effect to the environment as dams. The project will cost 8.8 billion to build and will result in BC Hydro rate hikes.

Need I say more?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by HikerSkierRunner27 View Post
Site C is bad not only because of the cost, but the fact that it will flood a significant amount of Class 1 and 2 Farmland, the most productive types of soil types in BC. The Peace River Valley is also the only place where there is class 1 farmland north of Quesnel. If we flood the Peace with site C, all this valuable soil will be washed away, in a time where we need to farm more of our own food. I think there used to be ALRs up there but the liberals removed them. Building site C would devastate an entire ecosystem that has already been damaged by two other dams. The remaining part of the river is a major wildlife corridor in animal migration routes as well. We don't need the energy either. It is part of a plan to subsidize the energy for LNG development, most of which now isn't happening. Geothermal is a cheaper source of energy, and all of BC can have Geothermal. Geothermal doesn't have as bad as an effect to the environment as dams. The project will cost 8.8 billion to build and will result in BC Hydro rate hikes.

Need I say more?
If geothermal is the answer - why isn't it being done?
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 09:03 AM
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cost keeps rising
loss of farmland
loss of superior wildlife habitat, migration corridor
loss of fish spawning grounds
destruction of sacred sites
excessive cumulative impact from large scale development in the area


plus examination of alternatives was excluded, for example
clean natural gas generation
geographically dispersed wind, solar, tidal and geothermal


sounds like you've got some research to do.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 10:44 AM
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LNG export looks like a bust, so where is the big new demand for electricity?
Why the weird obsession with endless continuing growth?
Hydro rates are going up, so people will be cutting back use, I imagine.
So they would be spending $9 billion when demand is levelling off or dropping.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 12:26 PM
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There is a price to paid for any significant energy generation project and that price will always be paid in some combination of dollars and environmental impact. Achieving high return in terms of KWh production while keeping cost (ecological+dollars) down, is very difficult and fraught with challenges. There are no simple solutions.

For example, where exactly would Geothermal projects be placed in BC such that they yield significant KWh of electricity production? What yields can be expected and how many of these plants, at what cost, do we need to provide enough yield? Further, what exactly do these projects look like? If we transfer vast amounts of heat from inside the earth to a reception facility on site, what do we do with it?

Do we build multiple large, complex steam-turbine electricity generation plants right on site somewhere 'out there' and transmit electricity many kilometers along a number of new powerline corridors? Or do we transfer the heat via multiple pipelines elsewhere, suffering heat transfer loss in the process prior to generating power at multiple new turbine plants in urban areas? These are complex, difficult questions. There are impacts to all these mechanisms, I suggest similar in level to Site C impacts.

Wind, solar etc, all have major ecological impacts as well. First consider their dependence on rare earth elements, of volatile availability and mined in environmentally destructive ways. Further, at American windfarms and solar facilities, so severe is the mortality rate among birds and bats, especially endangered species, that President Obama had to grant many of them exemption from prosecution under species protection statutes. The avian death toll from these 'green' power projects is in the hundreds of thousands so far. I suggest Site C would pale compare to that.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 12:31 PM
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sorry but 30,000 Acres of farmland in the peace river isnt a big loss. the peace river growing season is to short that's why its the cheapest farmland around.

in context that would produce 20-30 thousand MT of wheat, we grow 55 Million MT tonnes of grain in western Canada (and export 30 million MT of it)

not saying they should or shouldn't build the dam but the farmland loss is insignificant.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 01:11 PM
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 01:35 PM
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There are other means to get energy. As xj6 suggests, those also have an ecological price, but that needs to be assessed and compared to Site C before we construct it.
It should be noted that just because Site C is approved, that does not mean other energy projects will not proceed. There indeed may be merit in specific geothermal, run-of-river or wind power projects. Even Clean energy BC has acknowledged they have not been shut out. However, if we are going to ramp up our power capacity in a major way, then its either Site C, massive LNG projects or nuclear power.

I think nuclear is the way to go (Thorium CANDU) but that's likely a non-starter. Although NG power generation yields about 1/4 less output of atmospheric carbon than coal does per unit of energy produced, it still adds to the atmosphere's carbon budget. So, Site C it is.

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 02:02 PM
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Energy experts in BC disagree that Site C is a good choice for securing energy for us in future (see http://www.cleanenergybc.org/whats_n...sion-on-site-c).
I think that it would be more accurate to describe that group as a lobbying group for the IPPs than energy experts. Clean Energy BC is the association for IPPs. IPPs profit by selling power to the province and lose out on opportunities when the province decides to build a project on their own. They may have some good points but we need to acknowledge that the sole purpose of that organization is to increase profits for IPPs.

Very large hydropower projects have been proven to be a environmentally friendly way to provide relatively clean power. It has also been shown that it is in the best interest of the public if these types of projects are built and managed by the government as a public asset instead of allowing a private entity to profit from them.


As for farmland - Has anyone looked to see how the loss of this farmland for the dam compares to the loss of farmland in the lower mainland due to needless urban sprawl?
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 02:10 PM
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Actually, Peace River farming is very successful. Despite the short growing season, the long summer days provide heat units and sunlight to support the growth of many cereal crops (grains etc.) and vegetables and other important food crops. There are a whole host of Professional Agrologists and agricultural experts who can attest to the suitability and agricultural capability of the Peace.
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the point is losing 30,000 acres of marginal farmland , (im one of those agricultural experts you speak of ) is not a significant factor in deciding if this is a worthwhile project.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Steventy View Post
Very large hydropower projects have been proven to be a environmentally friendly way to provide relatively clean power. It has also been shown that it is in the best interest of the public if these types of projects are built and managed by the government as a public asset instead of allowing a private entity to profit from them.
As embracing as i am of private enterprise, I think you're spot on in that there are just some things best delivered within a publicly controlled entity. Even that ardent conservative, premier WAC Bennett saw that BC's interest was best served by developing the province's power and transport infrastructure within the public domain. It was that man, vilified as he was, who forged ahead with BC Hydro and initiated the BC Ferry corporation in the 1960's to the collective benefit of all. It's just a shame that his vision was not maintained properly.

Site C has been batted around since I was in high school in the early 70's. I applaud the government for finally moving on it. Yes, there are environmental and monetary costs with the project. However, on balance, if we're going to dramatically elevate power production in this province, then Site C is the highest benefit at least cost (dollar+ecological) way to proceed.

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 02:43 PM
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 04:32 PM
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If droughts in California continue, it would be good to have more food production here in BC.
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