BC Hydro has reached a major milestone on the Site C project this week.
The earthfill dam stands about 60 metres tall (the height of a 20-story building), stretches more than one kilometre across the Peace River and is about 500 metres wide at its base.
The Site C project is being built and designed in accordance with international and Canadian safety practices to withstand a major (one in 10,000 year) earthquake.
The placement of material for the Site C earthfill dam began in 2021. In total, about 16 million cubic metres of earthfill material was placed. Most of the material for the earthfill dam was taken directly from the dam site, while other material was sourced locally offsite and transported to the dam on a five-kilometre-long conveyor belt.
Completion of the earthfill dam is one of the essential milestones required before filling the Site C reservoir. While BC Hydro is targeting to begin reservoir filling in fall 2023, there are still a number of key project areas that need to be completed. These areas include the approach channel, spillways, tailrace area, dam intake structures and certain components of the powerhouse, says Site C officials this week in a statement.
Another key component for reservoir filling is the conversion of one of the tunnels that currently divert the Peace River around the project site. This process requires the installation of constrictions (or large ring-shaped devices) inside one of the tunnels to restrict the flow of water. This work is now underway. More information on tunnel conversion and reservoir filling can be found here.
Construction on the Site C project began on July 27, 2015. The project remains on-track to have all six generating units in-service by 2025.
Once complete, Site C will provide the equivalent amount of energy needed to reliably power about 450,000 homes or 1.7 million electric vehicles per year in British Columbia.