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B.C. Hydro updates Site C progress

Work on the project, about 65-percent complete; 2025 target date for project finish

An update Thursday from B.C. Hydro – work on the Site C dam, near Fort St. John, is close to two-thirds of the way from being finished.

“The project is about 65% complete at this point,” said the project’s community relations manager, Bob Gammer during a media tour of the facility.

“So, we would say that we are still on time for a 2025 completion date. That is all six units in service generating electricity.”

However, the generators, Gammer pointed out, will need to be set up inside the powerhouse before that happens.

“We’ve (also) got turbine runners. Those are kind of like the water wheels that get pushed by the falling water. We’ve got some of those on site. Some of them are on their way and will be here, hopefully, by the end of this calendar year or certainly by the end of winter.”

“We have our transmission lines that go back to Peace Canyon Dam and also connect to a sub-station in Groundbirch,,” Gammer continued.

“Those are already completed. The substation is already in service and energized, so electricity is running through those power lines.”

And, construction of the earthen dam, he added, could be wrapped up by this time next year.

“We’ve got something like elevation 440 (metres) is our target for the end of this year and elevation 469, for completion, in August, or so, in 2023.

Gammer was also asked about the concerns of residents in Old Fort and further downstream in Taylor over ensuring the safety of residents in the event of a breach.

“B.C. Hydro has a rigorous dam safety program. We have a department, that’s their full-time job. We monitor all of the dams in our system very carefully,” said Gammer.

“We have instrumentation that’s built into the dams, so even the slightest movement, like less than a millimetre, can be detected and then we can take action.”

“We’re monitoring now while it’s in the coffer dam stage.”

“Once it’s complete, we will continue to monitor for any kind of abnormal behaviour,” Gammer reiterated.

“Any tiny movements. We stay on top of that.”

The $16-billion project first broke ground in July 2015.

A record number-to-date 5200 employees and contractors are currently working on site.