Another Use for Site C

The new proposed Site C dam in BC, Canada is deemed to provide electricity to future LNG export plants in Kitimat and Prince Rupert.
What if that plan does not work and no extra power is needed? There is an alternative: EV (electric vehicle)
How much electricity does an EV consumes? Take a Nissan Leaf and get the fuel economy from US EPA

Fuel economy kWh/100 miles34
Fule economy (Metric)kWh/100 km21.13
Miles per yearmi/a15,000
Travel (Km) per yearkm/a24,140
Energy kWh per yearkWh/a5,100
Cost of electricity per kWh$/kWh0.1
Annual fuel cost$/yr510

Site C will produce 5,100 GWh/a electricity. Assuming average 5.7% lines and system loss – BC Hydro report 2012 page 94, Site C could supply the energy for 5,100*0.943/ 5,100 =943,000 EV per year = about half of passenger vehicles in BC.

It could have a lot of benefits of the economy and the environment.
For comparison, here is the energy requirement of an equivalent gasoline car – the Nissan Altima.

Fuel economyMPG31
Fuel Economy (Metric)l /km7.59
Distance travelled per year (Miles)mi/a15,000
Distance travelled per year (km)km/a24,140
Annual fuel consumptionl/a1,832
Gasoline Price per litre$/l1.30
Annual fuel Cost$/a2,381.15
CO2 Emissions per LitreCO2kg/l2.29
Annual CO2 Emissions Million tonnes per yearCO2 MT/a3.95
Fuel cost saving per year in billion $ per yearB$/a1.7

As the table shows
the benefits will be indeed numerous:

  • 1/3 of BC cars become non-polluting, silent (and fun to drive).
  • 1.7 Billion $ annual saving in imported gasoline replaced by made-in-BC electricity.
  • For the same output, the BC economy costs less to run and has an higher local content.
  • 4 million tonnes annual greenhouse gas reduction
  • less VOC-emitting gas stations replaced by electric car charging station
  • less gasoline trucks on the road.
  • less refineries, less pollution.
  • reduced demand from the oil sands.
  • support to the development of dynamic local, cleantech industry instead of energy-intensive industries in China.
  • and finally, a new market for other renewable power, for example solar-powered charging station.

We don’t have enough electric power and there may be a better use for Site C.