27 September 2017 0 Comments Posted By : Nelson Bennett

Wind or water?

Would you rather spend $100,000 on a car designed to run for at least 70 years or $25,000 for a car that you will have to replace every 20 years, but which you know is almost guaranteed to be cheaper to replace?

Just one thing: the $25,000 car runs only 30% of the time, when the weather is bad.

That is the – admittedly oversimplified – debate that is shaping up around the Site C dam.

While there are many diverging opinions on the $8.8 billion project, the debate has largely divided into two main camps: those who say a single large hydro project is the best way to meet the province’s future power needs and those who insist other renewable energy alternatives – particularly wind power – are better, cheaper options.

The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) is considering the ramifications of completing, cancelling or mothballing the project. It is projected to go over budget, with costs reaching as high as $12.5 billion, if delayed.

BC Hydro estimates the cost of cancelling Site C and obtaining power from alternative sources would be $7.3 billion.

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