I recently read a Facebook article that noted that the cost of wind-generated electricity in Alberta has dropped to
To this, the poster commented: “So tell me again why we need Site-C?”
Let’s do the math:
When completed, Site-C is expected to harvest
5.1 x 109 kWhof energy per year, for (at least) one hundred years.
510 x 109 kWh, in total energy.
The current cost estimate for construction is around $10 billion, and if it costs, say, $30 million/year to operate and maintain it after that, that’s another $3 billion, and, well, let’s throw in another couple billion, just for because, which brings us to total lifetime cost (in today’s terms) on the order of $15 billion, or
$15 x 109.
Conservatively, then, the Site-C energy cost is:
$15 x 109 / 510 x 109 kWh = $15 / 510 kWh = $0.029/kWh, or
In this scenario, wind generation costs
((3.7-2.9)/2.9) x 100= 27.6% more.
That’s why Site-C still makes economic sense.
While wind generation is becoming cheaper (though we don’t know whether replacement and maintenance costs were considered in that cited
Note: Current BC Hydro Residential Rate
- “You pay 8.29 cents per kWh for the first 1,350 kWh you use over an average two-month billing period.
- “Above that amount, you pay 12.43 cents per kWh … for the balance of the electricity used during the billing period.” — BC Hydro, 2016