In Kleptocracy: rule by thieves, I repeated news that BC Hydro spent $676 million with private power producers. Through idiocy or corruption, the public utility has been forced to buy electricity it did not and does not need, some of it at prices five times market. Taxpayers’ irrecoverable losses could reach $500 million in 2012 alone.
Presently, the Pacific Northwest has more electricity than can be used in the region or transmitted to California. “Over-generation” results from American wind energy producers and other private sources and because many large consumers – pulp and paper mills, sawmills, shipbuilders, smelters and other industries – are gone. In this province, private producers have priority, so BCH must shut down their own equipment and spill water unused from reservoirs. South of the border, the Bonneville Power Authority curtails private power instead of shutting off turbines and spilling excess water over the dams.
Smart, connected private power producers knew the possibility of oversupply so they got others to take the financial risks. The others were delivered by Gordon Campbell and BC Liberals. It was us, taxpayers and consumers of electricity.
BC’s Energy Independence? Don’t Believe It, Will McMartin, The Tyee, May 31, 2012
“…[Blair Lekstrom, Liberal cabinet] minister, moreover, thinks it’s “tremendous” that small businesses — even those with little experience and virtually no capital — are competing against larger, more experienced electricity providers to obtain long-term supply contracts from BC Hydro, the province’s publicly-owned utility giant.
“It all sounds great, doesn’t it? Self-sufficiency. Entrepreneurial risk-takers. Why, you can’t get more small-town that that.
“Except, it’s all a sham. British Columbia under Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberal government has become increasingly dependent on non-B.C. owned corporations to produce high-priced electricity, which BC Hydro is forced (by government edict) to buy, and in turn sell at inflated prices to captive residential and commercial consumers…”
Opponents of BC Liberal policies have been warning of the current dilemma facing electricity consumers. Folks at The Common Sense Canadian warned this would happen; many of us paid attention, many did not. However, once more, Rafe makes his opinions clear:
Hydro’s Overflowing Dams, Huge Losses Due to Private Power, Rafe Mair, The Common Sense Canadian, May 13, 2012
“BC Hydro is spilling water over its dams and missing a chance to make a huge profit and is, instead, sustaining a crippling loss all by reason of corrupt bargains it’s been forced to make with private companies.
“Ask yourself how Hydro could lose money in one of the wettest years in history, when their reservoirs are chock-a-block full?
“It’s because of the gross negligence of the Campbell/Clark government – supported by the mainstream media (which has refused to do its job and investigate the private power plan – a plan which compels Hydro to buy private power at double+ the market price.)
“Yes, folks, the chickens I’ve been writing about for years have indeed come home to roost – BC Hydro is buying private power while spilling its own water over the dams. Your power company, instead of using the water in its reservoirs to make power for British Columbians, lets it spill away, unused, while it pours money into grasping private hands at immense profits to them and immense losses to us.
‘Moreover, BC Hydro – such is the surplus of power in the US – could be buying Bonneville Dam power for a song and flipping it into a neat profit…”