Peace River Hydro Partners (PRHP), a JV between ACCIONA Infrastructure Canada Inc. and Samsung C&T Canada Ltd, has successfully completed one of the most important technical milestones on British Columbia’s $1.75bn Site-C project having finalised the construction of the two twin tunnels to divert the Peace River. Each tunnel is 750m long with an 11m diameter and once operational will channel up to 3,000 cubic metres of water per second from the Peace River.
Excavation of the diversion tunnels began in the summer of 2018 and was completed at the end of 2019. The process to line the tunnels, which used a custom-made slip form structure to ensure a perfect finish, began in the summer of 2019 and was completed this May.
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The project commissioned by BC Hydro involves the construction of an earthfill dam spanning more than 1km that rises 60m over the riverbed of the Peace River. The principal civil engineering contract also includes major auxiliary works such as construction of 5km of cofferdams and the two recently completed river diversion tunnels, as well as various temporary access roads and bridges.
Once completed, Site C will be the third hydroelectric dam and power plant on the Peace River and one of Canada’s largest dams. Once in operation, the project will provide 1,100 megawatts of capacity and about 5,100 gigawatt hours of energy each year to the province’s integrated electricity system. It will ensure the supply of clean and renewable energy for more than 100 years, to an average of 450,000 homes per year in BC.