Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Home Weather Dammed If They Do. British Columbia’s Site C Ironies.

Dammed If They Do. British Columbia’s Site C Ironies.

Charles requested me to have a look at this WUWT reader Earthling2’s submission.

Having carried out so, the saga is so loaded with ironies that this visitor submit resulted.

Site C is a (very troubled) hydroelectric dam underneath building on the Peace River in NE British Columbia (BC) in Canada. It could have 900MW of put in capability—about equal to 2 medium-sized superior CCGT costing about $2.2 billion based on EIA December 2020  (extra on this irony under).  The newly reported choice NOT to cancel a now $16 billion ‘geotechnically challenged’ dam initially projected in 2014 to value ‘only’ $8.3 billion (plus $400 million contingency) was made for 2 newly introduced causes: an excessive amount of sunk value, and CLEAN vitality. Harvard Business School taught me to NEVER throw good cash after dangerous; sunk prices are irrelevant to future funding—besides to BC politicians excusing an extended historical past of poor Site C selections.

Site C was certainly one of 4 hydro areas alongside the Peace River initially proposed within the mid-Fifties. Two have been constructed. A critical have a look at Site C within the early 1980’s concluded it was neither financial nor wanted. It was revived in 2014 on inexperienced grounds regardless of one other pre-construction research discovering BC didn’t want the electrical energy. It would all be exported to the US (California), and at CA wholesale electrical energy costs would return BC over its life about $1.8 billion, leaving BC ratepayers on the hook for about $7 billion—a really dangerous deal even on the outset.

BC politicians pushed forward anyway, regardless of sturdy opposition from First Nation Tribes and the BC Green Party because the dam would flood a lot fertile Native Canadian farmland alongside the decrease Peace. A Tribe Treaty lawsuit nonetheless pends.

The then ruling BC Liberal Party pushed to get the mission to the purpose of no return earlier than the 2017 election. They did so—however misplaced anyway. Doing so was a BIG mistake, as a result of precise building began earlier than ending the preconstruction dam basis civil engineering. Which is why Site C is ‘geotechnically challenged’. Its shale bedrock isn’t steady, and the roughly $8 billion value overrun from 2014 is important to stabilize the dam’s foundations.

That the bedrock underneath Site C wasn’t steady didn’t want a accomplished civil engineering research to determine. That similar Site C shale, southeast of the dam website, is dwelling to main shale gasoline fracking operations—which sarcastically may have offered low cost gasoline to these two medium sized CCGT, which in flip may have saved First Tribes farmland AND ~$14 billion. Because of the fracking and accompanying wastewater reinjection, the realm has been topic to rising swarms of small to medium fracking induced earthquakes—similar to Oklahoma. In 2017-2018 alone, 6551 quakes better than Richter 0.8—in comparison with ‘only’ 71 registered within the Canadian earthquake database! A paper at PolicyNotes.ca comprises the next map of the realm for these two years.

Their politicians additionally simply informed BC ratepayers that it’s going to all be ‘OK’ after the dam is lastly accomplished in 2025. That is as a result of Site C’s clear hydro is dispatchable. It will allow increased future wind turbine penetration—which might additional cut back its hydroelectric output and worsen its terrible economics. Last I checked NE BC additionally has a heck of so much worse winter climate than Texas, so including future unneeded wind is past ironic. But BC will lastly have really inexperienced vitality to export to California at an enormous monetary loss—since based on the California PUC new hydro and new pumped hydro storage are NOT inexperienced.

Everything about Site C teaches the folly of Green New Deals. It is plainly a Green BAD Deal.

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