The scope and scale of the construction is so small compared to the environment around them that the impact of the construction is in most cases unmeasurable.
It only becomes an issue if there is a need to construct a long access road through a previously unroaded area. Each year in BC we construct a lot of resource roads and these ones are only a tiny amount of them. One of the most important thing to do with re
Let us look at the projects belonging to Plutonic Power. Yes, they have a lot of projects slated for are area on the coast north of Powell River, but the impact is not dramatic.
In Bute Inlet they are talking about 17 projects with about 440 km of powerlines and use of around 1050 hectares of land. This in an area that is 350 000 hectares in size. This to make it possible to build 1027 MW of generating capacity and produce just under 3000 GW/h per year.
3000 GW/h will supply about 5% of the electrical needs of BC. It will further reduce the need to import coal produced electrical power from Alberta.
So is ten square kilometres of land being used for the projects a lot? Not really. It is about the same size as Oak Bay. It is much smaller than a lot of the reservoirs that have been created to produce power in BC. The region they are in is 3500 sq km in size, 50% larger than the Capital Regional District, 2/3s the size of PEI.
The construction that will be done for these 17 projects will be done to much higher standards than has been expected of industrial development in the past. The monitoring will be extensive and detailed. There will be no scope for a bad job.
IPP construction is handled very differently than logging.
The required roads and the powerlines could lead to some habitat fragmentation, but generally nothing dramatic.
Since the construction of the actual intakes and powerplants will take place in locations that have been considered for impact on fish, the potential for harm to fish populations is very, very low.
These projects are small, small enough that they will not cause any measurable impact during their construction.
If this power were to be produced by fossil fuels, the CO2 impact would be about 2 000 000 tonnes per year. That is the CO2 emissions from 130 000 British Columbians.