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ACCIONA completes foundations of future Site C hydroelectric dam


Peace River Hydro Partners (PRHP), the consortium led by ACCIONA,  in partnership with Samsung C&T Canada LTD, has completed the foundation structure on which the Site C Clean Energy Project will be constructed. It is one of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects undertaken to date.


PRHP was selected by the Canadian power company BC Hydro to carry out the main civil works. The dam will provide 1,100 megawatts (MW) of capacity and produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity each year – enough to power the equivalent of about 450,000 homes per year in BC. 

The 1.75 billion civil engineering contract includes the construction of a 1,050-metres earthfill dam 60 metres above the riverbed with a fill volume of 20 million m3. The twin river diversion tunnels, and an 800-metre Roller-Compacted Concrete foundation to enhance seismic protection for the hydroelectric plant, spillways and dam buttress.

The foundation structure is 70 metres high and contains 1.8 million m3 of Roller-Compacted Concrete to support the future 1,100 MW hydroelectric power plant and spillways.

This October, PRHP completed the hydroelectric power house foundations (a total volume of 414,000 m3) and also finished the Spillway Apron (122,000 m3).

At peak production of the foundation and spillway work, 9,460 m3 of concrete were poured daily and 160,000 m3 of concrete were poured a month. Significant technical and logistical challenges arose during the project due to the extreme weather conditions. Temperatures fell below -40º during the winter months. Consequently, the concrete placement timelines were restricted to six months to comply with strict temperature control parameters.

In addition, the main civil works contract includes significant ancillary works such as a permanent network of site roads and temporary access bridge, site drainage and debris handling facilities.

Site C will be the third dam and hydroelectric power plant on the Peace River and its construction is a major milestone for ACCIONA. The company has been successfully delivering large infrastructure projects across Canada since 2001. 

ACCIONA’s commitment to delivering critical infrastructure projects across Canada has led to projects including the recently opened Walterdale Bridge in Edmonton; the A-30 highway in Montreal; and the Windsor Essex Parkway in Ontario. It is also modernising the water distribution system in the city of Saint John, as well as designing, constructing and financing the North Shore waste water treatment plant in Vancouver.

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