For those of you who are interested in keeping up-to-date on the findings and quotes from experts such as Robert McCullough, international energy expert;  Dr. Harry Swain, former chair of the Joint Review Panel for the environmental assessment on Site C; and Eoin Finn, retired partner of a major accounting and consulting firm, please see our latest brochure.

You may also find the brochure helpful in preparing your submission in response to the BCUC Community Input sessions on Site C.


September 21, 2017

This report has been prepared by McCullough Research for the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA).


Date:              September 21, 2017
To:                 McCullough Research Clients
From:             Robert McCullough
Subject:          BCUC’s Preliminary Findings

Last night, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) released its preliminary findings in the Site C inquiry.  The two hundred and five page preliminary findings are very direct about the many failings in BC Hydro’s continued support for Site C.
First and foremost, the document continuously criticized BC Hydro for failing to provide relevant and supportable materials. This was BC Hydro’s important opportunity to ‘show its work’ and demonstrate to the BCUC the detailed basis for the assertions BC Hydro has made in support of continuing Site C.

However, despite the 800-page BC Hydro submission, the lack of substantive content and transparency did not go unnoticed by BCUC. The gamble lost – the BCUC has responded with 73 official questions representing requests for hundreds of files, studies, and calculations.
Second, the BCUC has, preliminarily, rejected the foundations of the Site C submission.  Is Site C on time and on budget? The preliminary findings makes it clear that no one knows. Will it be delayed?  Deloitte’s concerns about the 2019 river diversion—and the significant cost consequences of that—are supported in the preliminary findings.
Is it needed? BC Hydro’s forecasts are undocumented, but historically far too high. And the findings question a variety of the forecast components.
How much does Site C cost? For years BC Hydro has used the mysterious “UEC” measure – Unit Energy Costs – without definition or a formula. The UEC has effectively been rejected.
Should Site C enjoy special low cost financing not used for alternatives? As every analyst has noted, this odd idea makes no economic sense.  The BCUC has rejected the special financing calculations.
Are renewables viable? BC Hydro has held that renewables aren’t viable in the province – apparently the exception for states and provinces in North America. The BCUC has not accepted this argument either.
Can the surplus energy and capacity be sold to the United States?  The BCUC has questioned the lack of detail in this assumption and demanded evidence of why expensive BC Hydro energy could be profitable in the face of rapidly declining prices in the Mid-Columbia market.
Overall, the BCUC has effectively removed the foundations of BC Hydro’s defense of Site C.  It has requested that the defense be resubmitted in its entirety, but this time with transparent calculations, detailed analyses, and compatible industry methodology.
It should be noted that Deloitte and the BCUC are operating under a punishingly short schedule and performing admirably.  The scale and depth of the comments in the preliminary findings document are very encouraging.

– Robert McCullough

The PDF of the report can be downloaded here.


                                                   Fall in the Peace River Valley              Photo:  Wendy Francis

Very exciting times right now in our campaign to protect the Peace River Valley!  I’m sure many of you are aware of the numerous comments that support many of the messages that we have been putting out therer for years from the Deloitte LLP independent review of Site C, as requested by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) last week.  Additionally, international energy expert Robert McCullough has endorsed many of the Deloitte findings and added his own expert opinion as to why Site C is the wrong choice for BC.

Most importantly, the Deloitte report concludes that it would be cheaper to cancel Site C than to suspend the project.  Canceling Site C would cost approximately $1.2 billion, while suspending construction until 2025 would cost $1.4 billion.

For more highlights from the Deloitte report, please see this excellent article by DeSmog Canada.

How can you get involved in this final push to save the Peace River Valley?

The BCUC is holding Community Input sessions on their review of Site C in locations throughout the province, starting in this Saturday, September 23rd and concluding on October 11th as follows:

 Location Date (2017) Time Venue
Vancouver Saturday, Sep 23 1:00–5:00 p.m. 1125 Howe St , 12th floor
Kamloops Sunday, September 24 6:00–10:00 p.m. Kamloops Coast Hotel
Kelowna Monday, September 25 6:00–10:00 p.m. Kelowna Coast Capri
Nelson Tuesday, September 26 6:00–10:00 p.m. Nelson Best Western Hotel
Prince George Friday, September 29 6:00–10:00 p.m. Prince George Ramada Hotel
Hudson’s Hope Saturday, Sept 30 6:00–10:00 p.m. Pearkes Centre
Fort St. John Sunday, October 1 6:00–10:00 p.m. Fort St. John Pomeroy Hotel
Fort St. John Monday, October 2 6:00–10:00 p.m. Fort St. John Pomeroy Hotel
Vancouver Thursday, October 5 6:00–10:00 p.m. 1125 Howe St, 12th floor
Nanaimo Tuesday, October 10 6:00–10:00 p.m. Nanaimo Coast Bastion Hotel
Victoria Wednesday, Oct 11 6:00–10:00 p.m. Delta Ocean Pointe Hotel

We hope that as many of you as possible will attend the hearings closest to you.  On Friday, September 22nd, we will share key highlights from our economic experts’ review of the Preliminary Report on Site C by the BCUC which we will encourage you to share in your presentations at the input sessions.  If you prefer not to speak, attending in person as a show of solidarity is still helpful.

Further details including how to register to attend, speak and/or email submissions to the Community Input sessions can be found here.


We need people to make calls to our petition signers and encourage them to attend the hearings.  If you can spare even one hour to make calls from your home, please email Morag Keegan-Henry at morag@forceofnaturealliance.caand she will get you set up to use CallFire to contact people from the petition list.

Vancouver Community Input Session Event
If you are in Vancouver on September 23rd, make your way down to 1125 Howe Street between noon and 5 p.m. to help flood the room with opposition to this dam.  We will meet outside the hearinngs at noon, an hour before they begin, to get organized, and then flood the very first Community Input session with a show of opposition.

We encourage you to sign up to speak, but we also need folks to show up to wear our Stop Site C t-shirts, hold signs, and show the BC Cabinet that this decision is important to British Columbians, and that we’re ready to hold them accountable.

We look forward to a great turnout.  If you’re on social media, please share and invite your friends through our Facebook event page for this action.

The momentum is so positive now!  All your support is really paying off!  It’s been a long road, but we feel like we’re almost there – just a few more bursts of action and we should have this dam stopped!

For the Peace,

Andrea Morison
Peace Valley Env. Assc.


6123 REED COLLEGE PLACE 􀀀 PORTLAND 􀀀 OREGON 􀀀 97202 􀀀 503-777-4616 􀀀


1. Terminating Site C and building a renewable portfolio of Wind, Solar and
Geothermal would save British Columbia $.7 to $ 1.6 Billion. Greater savings
could be achieved by including upgrades to existing hydro facilities. The savings
would be even greater if Site C is not on time and on budget ($1.5 to $5.9
Billion) or if demand for electricity is less than BC Hydro’s overstated load forecast
requiring more power to be exported at a loss.

2. Site C is not needed to nor is able to act as a back-up battery for times when
intermittent resources such as wind and solar are unavailable. The Williston
reservoir already plays this role since it has two hundred and fifty times the storage.

3. If Site C were completed, BC Hydro will almost certainly lose money on any
exports of surplus electricity to the United States.

4. The findings of Deloitte LLP on Site C delays, cost overruns, and electricity
demand and energy generation alternatives are consistent with our findings
and the findings of other acknowledged energy experts.


On Delays and Cost Overruns – There is likely to be a cost overrun of $1.7 to $4.3 billion or 10% to 50%.

On Energy Demand – Site C is not needed. BC Hydro’s previous long term demand forecasts have overestimated demand for electricity by nearly 31%.

On Alternatives to Site C – There are environmentally friendly and less costly alternatives.

For the full reports go to
Robert McCullough is Principal of McCullough Research in Portland, OR, and for over thirty-seven years has advised governments, utilities, and aboriginal groups on energy, metals, paper, and chemical issues. He has testified repeatedly in state, federal, and provincial courts as well as before Congress and regulatory bodies. His testimony in front of the Senate Energy Committee is credited with initiating the Enron trading investigations during which he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and three western attorneys general. He has consulted for U.S. and Canadian clients on hydroelectric issues in many states and provinces, including on many occasions, presenting on issues before Canadian regulators.

Here’s the whole press conference that was held yesterday with information from legal counsel, Rob Botterell, energy expert, Robert McCullough and former Site C JRP chair, Dr. Harry Swain – presenting on the need to ensure that the remainder of the BCUC process is as comprehensive and transparent as possible and providing rationales for putting this project to bed for good – we can save $1.6 billion by stopping it.

September 13, 2017


 Terminating Site C Immediately Will Save BC $1.6 Billion

 SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 – VANCOUVER, BC – Today the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA) released a report from McCullough Research, showing terminating Site C and building a renewable portfolio of wind and geothermal would save British Columbia $.7 to $1.6 Billion.

The McCullough Report responds to the BC Hydro Site C Submission and the Deloitte LLP Reports submitted to the BCUC Site C Inquiry.

 “It is not financially prudent to finish the Site C project,” says Robert McCullough, Principal of McCullough Research. “The cost of building a renewable based portfolio excluding Site C will be much less costly, and still meets the province of BC’s clean energy goals.”

The findings of Deloitte LLP on Site C delays, cost overruns, and electricity demand and energy generation alternatives are consistent with McCullough Research’s findings and the findings of other acknowledged energy experts, although a number of Deloitte’s estimates are more favourable to Site C than official estimates from elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada.

Key findings can be summarized as follows:

The cost savings of terminating Site C and building a renewable portfolio will be in the billions of dollars.

  • Terminating Site C and building a renewable portfolio of wind and geothermal would save BC ratepayers $.7 to $1.6 Billion.

  • The savings would be even greater, from $1.5 to $5.9 Billion if Site C is not on time and on budget. Deloitte found this to be likely to occur given similar recent projects in Manitoba and Newfoundland which had cost overruns of 55% to 90%.

 BC Hydro’s demand forecast is vastly overstated.

  • Deloitte studied previous demand forecasts made by BC Hydro and found that they overestimated past forecasts for electricity by nearly 30.8%. Demand has been flat for many years and there is no basis for this sudden change in trend in the data or in the province of British Columbia’s industrial horizon.

  • If Site C were completed, BC Hydro will almost certainly lose money on any exports of surplus electricity to the United States because of low export prices.

BC does not need Site C to act as a back-up battery for times when intermittent resources such as wind and solar are unavailable.

  • The Williston reservoir already plays this role and has sufficient capacity to continue doing so for many decades to come.  In fact, it has approximately ten times the usable elevation and almost twenty times the usable area of Site C.

“The findings from the McCullough Report provide solid proof of what experts have being saying for years,” says Harry Swain, Former Chair Site C Joint Review Panel. “British Columbia does not need this power, and even if we did, we have lots of less expensive alternatives.”

“It’s time to put an end to this financially reckless spending,” says Ken Boon, PVLA President. “The McCullough Report provides all the information needed for the BCUC to recommend the NDP government halt Site C immediately. We call on the BCUC to consider the McCullough Report’s new findings in preparing its September 20th interim report and its November 1st final report.”

The full McCullough Report can be found here.


For further information please contact:

Ken Boon, President, PVLA – 250.262.9014 |

Robert McCullough, Principal, McCullough Research – 503.784.3758 |

Harry Swain, Former Chair, Site C Joint Review Panel – 250.882.3731


September 11, 2017

Media Advisory: Public Release of McCullough Report on Site C Responds to BC Hydro Submission and Deloitte LLP Report

What: The Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA) will hold a press conference Wednesday, September 13, to release the reply from McCullough Research to the BC Hydro Submission and the Deloitte LLP Reports on Site C.

The McCullough Research reply submission demonstrates that there is sufficient information and analysis now on hand to justify an immediate suspension of construction of Site C, pending completion of the BCUC Site C Inquiry. The report provides unequivocal findings to support a BCUC recommendation to the BC Cabinet to permanently halt Site C.

Harry Swain, Former Chair Site C Joint Review Panel, will also provide expert commentary on Site C, and Rob Botterell will outline ways to enhance public confidence in the remainder of the Site C inquiry process.

When:             Wednesday, September 13, 2017
12:30 pm

Where:            Oak Room (Third floor)
Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver
791 W. Georgia St, Vancouver, B.C.

Who:              Robert McCullough, International Energy Expert
Harry Swain, Former Chair Site C Joint Review Panel
Rob Botterell, Legal Counsel, PVLA and PVEA

Everyone with an interest in the future of Site C, the largest capital expenditure in the history of BC, is welcome to attend.

Participation details:

Robert McCullough, Harry Swain and Rob Botterell will be available for interviews following the press conference (in person, via teleconference and online).

The McCullough Research Report document will be publicly released at 1:00 pm (PST) on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.