Site C

Board of Change position on Site C Dam

We call for an independent economic assessment of completing the Site C Dam

We, the undersigned businesses, believe that there are serious questions about whether completing the Site C Dam is in the best economic interests of BC taxpayers, notwithstanding other important environmental, social and legal issues that relate to it. The key areas of economic concern are as follows:

  • There is no local demand for the energy – While the original pipeline approval was based on an expected increase in demand from a new LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) industry, that industry has never materialized. In fact, there has been no significant increase in electrical energy demand for over 12 years. Given that the LNG industry has shown no signs of taking off, and the current price for LNG in Asia is well below our production costs, there is nothing to suggest that future energy demand will be significantly higher than it is today. Finally, a number of factors that suggest it could even be lower as general energy efficiency is gradually improving.
  • The export price for electricity remains low – The estimated fully burdened cost of electricity for the Site C Dam is $100 MWh (Megawatt-hour). However, the current prices being paid for electricity Alberta is less than half that amount and the current electricity price in the US Pacific Northwest is even lower.
  • There is ample supply of renewable energies and the cost is rapidly declining – There are sufficient supplies of renewable energies to meet 100% of the energy production of the Site C Dam. Further, the cost of renewable energies, particularly wind and solar, are declining much faster than expected. Solar energy has already dropped to $220/MWh and is projected to decline further to $50/MWh by 2020, at which point it will be much cheaper than the Site C Dam.
  • Renewable energy technologies generate many more jobs per unit of energy production – After construction, Site C Dam will yield only 25 permanent on-site jobs. Other types of energy production (solar, wind, and geothermal) each produce many more jobs per unit of production.
  • BC Hydro is already carrying a huge debt load and cannot handle more debt – BC Hydro currently has a debt: equity ratio of 4.5, making it the most highly leveraged major utility firm in Canada (Manitoba has the second highest debt: equity ratio at 3.7). It cannot handle a significantly increased debt load without a significant increase in energy rates to cover the debt servicing costs, not to mention the increased rates needed to cover base operating costs.


In Summary, there is no current domestic or export demand for the energy at a profitable price; there is ample supply of energy from energy sources at prices that will soon be price competitive with Site C Dam; and completing the Dam will force BC residents to pay much higher energy rates for decades.

We therefore call on the provincial government to:

  • Issue a contract for a qualified firm to conduct an independent economic assessment of completing vs cancelling Site C Dam, including giving that firm full access to the details of the various signed construction contracts that have been issued to date.
  • Allow the BC Utilities Commission to conduct its standard review process for all large utility projects to determine if it is actually needed and makes economic sense.


Add my voice of support to the Board of Change’s position on the Site C dam:

Site C dam


Share this with your friends:


(Note, only your company name will be published on this page as a supporter of the Board of Change’s Site C campaign.)

List of supporting businesses: