John Hart Dam not affected by BC Hydro rate freeze
The North Island stole national headlines when a Globe and Mail article questioned if BC Hydro could handle expensive projects like the John Hart Dam on top of the new rate caps.
The article pointed out that BC Hydro plans to spend $6-billion on numerous projects around the province with $1.35 billion being spent on the Campbell River John Hart Dam.
On top of the pricey projects, on May 24 the provincial government asked that the BC Utilities Commission comply with a three-year rate schedule of 17 per cent over that time period instead of 32 per cent.
Demand is also expected to increase in the next few years and many are asking where does the combination of high spending and limited revenue leave BC Hydro?
Stephen Watson with BC Hydro says the John Hart Dam project will not be affected by the rate caps.
“With the government direction on rates for the next three years we don’t see that announcement affecting the John Hart Dam project,” says Watson. “On a broader level, BC Hydro will continue to invest in our facilities over the next three years.”
Watson says because the rate caps are only expected to last for the next three years and the Dam will take five years to complete, it is unknown how the rates will affect it, if at all.
He says the company had to choice but to invest the money into John Hart Dam.
“BC Hydro is proposing the John Hart Replacement project for three main drivers; seismic risk of the facility, the reliability of the facility that is basically end of life and environmental risk,” says Watson.
The improvements will result in a 10 per cent increase in power generation.
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