FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro is marking a major milestone as the Site C project in northeastern British Columbia has completed its earthfil dam.

The dam stands 60 metres tall, spans a kilometre across the Peace River and is about 500 metres wide at its base.

“Completion of the earthfill dam is one of the essential milestones required before filling the Site C reservoir. While BC Hydro is targeting to begin reservoir filling in fall 2023, there are still a number of key project areas that need to be completed. These areas include the approach channel, spillways, tailrace area, dam intake structures and certain components of the powerhouse,” a BC Hydro release stated.

A view across the earthfill dam at Site C, which spans one kilometre across the Peace River in British Columbia.
BC HYDRO — A view across the earthfill dam at Site C, which spans one kilometre across the Peace River in British Columbia.

Next steps include capping the dam and building roads across for crews to travel on once the project begins operations.

Most of the material for the earthfill dam was taken directly from the dam site, while other material was sourced locally offsite and transported to the dam on a five-kilometre-long conveyor belt, the release stated. Placement of material for the dam began in 2021 and in total approximately 16 million cubic metres of earthfill material were placed.

A key component before the reservoir is filled is conversion of one of the tunnels that currently diverts the Peace River around the project site, which requires installation of constrictions inside one of the tunnels to restrict water flow.

Construction on the Site C project began on July 27, 2015. The project remains on track to have all six generating units in-service by 2025, the release said.

B-roll of the earthfill dam from BC Hydro is below.

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