Canada waves on new hydroelectric dam

A new hydropower plant in the Canadian province of British Columbia bagged planning approval yesterday. Building is set to start in summer 2015 on Site C, the third dam and […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A new hydropower plant in the Canadian province of British Columbia bagged planning approval yesterday.

Building is set to start in summer 2015 on Site C, the third dam and hydroelectricity station on the Peace River.

Costing C$8.7bn (£4.8bn) and meant to stand for 100 years, it will pump about 5,100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity each year, enough for about 450,000 homes per year.

Officials said the mountainous Canadian province’s energy demand is expected to jump 40% over the next 20 years.

British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett said: “It’s clear that to keep rates low, we must choose the option of building Site C.”

But the decision was branded “ill-advised and incredibly stupid” by Stewart Phillip, a leader of the First Nations, Canada’s Aboriginal people.

Campaigners have suggested the new dam will affect hunting and fishing areas and farmlands owned by the First Nations tribes.