The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) issued its final report this morning, with findings that show terminating Site C is the best option for BC ratepayers. "Today has been a long time coming. The BCUC has confirmed what we have said for many years: Site C is a financially reckless project that is not in the best interests of BC ratepayers," says Ken Boon, PVLA President. “And that’s before we consider the many other significant adverse impacts of Site C on First Nations, agriculture, the environment and landowners. It’s time for the provincial government to terminate Site C.” The following is a summary of the BCUC final report by international energy expert Robert McCullough: The BCUC’s final report on Site C rejected virtually every component of BC Hydro's submissions throughout the review process.
Key findings from the report can be summarized as follows:
Site C is over budget and behind schedule, with costs expected to exceed $10 billion.
BC Hydro's load forecast is highly doubtful and the BCUC has recommended the use of the low forecast.
BC Hydro’s export assumptions are unrealistic. The BCUC has recommended a much lower forecast.
Wind, solar, and geothermal are realistic alternatives. Prices have declined significantly and will continue to fall.
The alternative resources cost less, are more deployable, and are less risky.
BC Hydro's planning methodology is undocumented and inaccurate.
BC has an excellent source of hydroelectric storage in the non-treaty storage agreement: 25 times the storage of Site C.
Overall, the economics clearly favour the alternative portfolios in terms of cost, risk, and availability.
A more detailed analysis by McCullough Research will be released on November 2, 2017.
Robert McCullough is Principal of McCullough Research in Portland, OR, and for over thirty-seven years has advised governments, utilities, and aboriginal groups on energy, metals, paper, and chemical issues. He has testified repeatedly in state, federal, and provincial courts as well as before Congress and regulatory bodies. His testimony in front of the Senate Energy Committee is credited with initiating the Enron trading investigations during which he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and three western attorney generals. He has consulted for U.S. and Canadian clients on hydroelectric issues in many states and provinces, including on many occasions, presenting on issues before Canadian regulators.