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There are a number of issues surrounding the Site C Dam project, but the benefits far outweigh the concerns, said Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett on Friday afternoon during a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
The $8.77 billion project is slated to be built on the Peace River in Northern British Columbia and, although there are a number of environmental and financial concerns, Minister Bennett is confident that the project will provide the province with clean and sustainable energy, thousands of jobs, and financially conservative hydro bills.
Minister Bill Bennett. (Photo Credit: KelownaNow.com).
Bennett acknowledged a number of legitimated concerns regarding the Site C Dam—agricultural implications, environmental impacts, exceeding financial expenditures, the concerns of local First Nations—but was quick to clarify that there were few options available to sustainably provide British Columbians with affordable energy.
“Site C is in the best interest for the vast majority of British Columbians,” added Bennett, “but it does have some downsides, and it’s up to us as government to deal with those downsides as effectively and generously as we possibly can.”
Moving forward, BC Hydro will be working closely with First Nations, the public, and shareholders.
Photo Credit: BC Hydro.
The massive, billion dollar project is expected to provide 1,100 megawatts of capacity, as well as produce approximately 5,100 gigawatt hours of electricity each year and, according to Bennett, the dam is the most efficient and cost effective means of producing electricity.
“The cheapest way to acquire the 1,100 megawatts of electricity is by building the Site C project,” said Bennett. “There’s absolutely no doubt about it.”
Bennett did not shy away from the fact that the project will cost taxpayers a pretty penny in the foreseeable future; however, the project is expected to provide future generations with sustainable, clean energy.
Last year, the Site C Dam project passed an environmental review, along with 50 recommendations for BC Hydro and the Province.
Minister Bennett did not directly address the facility failure at Mount Polly, but did reiterate that the Site C Dam project was under considerable environmental scrutiny.
For more information on Site C Dam, click here.