11 replies »

  1. It constantly amazes me that this material can be left in plain sight and not occasion both riots and arrests, especially given the lengthy trail of destruction it has left across the history of BC over the last fifteen years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Norm, I am enjoying the stats that you are working hard to provide re: BC Hydro. I have a question regarding a tweet by Jessica McDonald, quote: “He has missed the load reduction created by ~$100M/yr DSM programs in his numbers.” Can you tell me what this means?

    Liked by 1 person

    • If she is referring to my work, she is less aware than I believed. Demand side management is, in a single word, conservation. That is the program that a previous CEO, Bob Elton, wanted to accelerate. Gordon Campbell – the Premier McDonald worked for – fired him. Recently, BC Hydro pulled financing from conservation programs, saying they had “matured.”

      In fact, BC Hydro is troubled by flat demand. Their construction program and massive borrowings can only be justified by demand growth. They changed consumption reporting trying to include out of province sales as if they were part of domestic demand.

      If McDonald actually read my work she would find many comments about conservation and evidence that further efforts could save much more power. There has been little effort aimed at upgrading all electric motors to high efficiency units. BC Hydro sells cheap power to big industrial users who therefore have little incentive to upgrade efficiency.

      Look at my chart of consumption in the USA. They have also experienced flat demand for a decade. Is their experience caused by BC Hydro investing in DSM? Of course not. The change in use is large because of more efficient technologies coming into service. The trend will continue because improvements are readily available to those who choose them. New lighting and high efficiency motors can save 15% or more quite easilly.

      McDonald should be leading the effort to use less electricity, not more. She is a complete failure as head of BC Hydro. Any honest business manager who studied the facts would knows that to be true.

      BC Hydro refused to talk to me or answer questions submitted in writing because I don’t simply repeat their words or rewrite press releases. If Ms. McDonald wants a public debate, she had better learn more about the energy business.

      Liked by 2 people

    • This, sadly, is what happens when two professional groups fail utterly in their duty. MLAs who are supposed to represent you and me, but upon being nominated turn their powers, morality and dignity over to the leader in exchange for a vague promise of promotion and the guarantee that they won’t be fired if they always do as they’re told.

      Whowould believe the likes of Norm Farrell, Erik Andersen, Rafe Mair, Joe Foy, Gwen Barlee, Damien Gillis, with all their facts, figures and photos when, instead, they could believe the stony silence of Campbell, Clark, Coleman, BC Hydro brass, AND all the MLAS?

      The second group, the media. simply stopped all investigative reporting that could harm the campbell/clark “governments”. People were used to looking ro Vaughn Palmer, Mike Smyth etc for the inside story and now, overnight, got nothing. The papers didn’t print a word about BCH, its sweetheart deal with IPPS, the destructon of the rivers by so-called run of river orojects abd haven’t since 2002

      At the same time, under Johm Horgan, the NDP gave up opposing

      Look at the records, folks, it’s all there to see but no one wanted to look.

      It’s been a huge deception and if we don’r do anything about it, it will just spread.

      Wake up, folks, it’s later than you think!


  3. I hear you, Dan. Certainly, many thoughtful people are yet to be shown this material — so we need to keep sharing it — but so many others just don’t want to hear it.

    I was listening to “The Social” a mostly-women’s talk show out of Toronto. The topic was striking up a conversation with strangers and it was agreed that many people have interesting stories to tell, if we just invite them to open up. One of the hosts had an interesting comment:

    “When they start talking about gas prices or accounting, my eyes glaze over.”

    I suspect many of us (and I believe even Norm is included here) have spouses or partners who “don’t want to hear it” when we talk about corruption or IPPs or projects that more than doubled in cost over the original projection. Right under our own roofs… and we aren’t anywhere near the same level of “know.”

    For those strangers or friends with eyes that don’t glaze over, we need to make sure they at least are exposed to the info. For those with less interest or time, we need to make the info easier to digest… perhaps more entertaining or catchy. Memes, jingles or songs come to mind. I LOVED the “Harper Man” song in the last federal election.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kudos to Jon McComb and CKNW for having you on for the excellent session this morning Norm.

    It’s very unfortunate for the public that the rest of our traditional media sources don’t have access to the reports BC Hydro is mandated by law to provide. I’m sure if they were allowed to see them they would properly be informing the public in accordance with their journalistic obligations.


  5. It’s amazing what will get people riled up. Make a well-documented post about $5 BILLION going down the tube since 2004 and it draws (at this writing) 8 responses.

    Post a story about a First Nations artist who wants a new name for British Columbia and it draws 475 — make that 477 — comments in the same time frame.


    (Note that Global classifies the story as “news.”)

    Perhaps you, Norm, need to propose a new name for “$5 billion.” I’m only half-joking…


  6. By chance, I stumbled across this fresh story on a legacy power plant at Woodfibre. Western Forest Products used the dam and hydro station to make power for the old pulp mill, which closed in 2006.

    Left with a perfectly good power plant, capable of churning out 11 gW/hours per year, WFP appears to have applied for an IPP standing offer contract in 2010. This seems to have been transferred over to Woodfibre LNG in 2013.

    The news story says “Woodfibre LNG earned $1,745,928 during the year ending March 31, according to BC Hydro’s Financial Information Act Return for 2016. Woodfibre LNG officially purchased the Woodfibre site in February 2015.”

    (Norm, tell me if my math is wrong): Take 11 gigaWatt/hours and turn it into 11,000 megaWatt/hours. $1,745,928 ÷ 11,000= $158.72 per mWatt/hour.

    As Norm shows us, the market price for hydro power is around $30/hour.

    One might wonder if Woodfibre LNG has any intention of ever making LNG. They are printing pretty easy money, selling power to mostly-unwitting ratepayers.



  7. I tried three times to leave comments at the Squamish Chief, regarding my views on the Woodfibre IPP. All three were wiped out — and now “comments for this thread are now closed.”

    Perhaps I was getting too close to the truth? (Perhaps others also wrote in.)


    Here’s what I sent as my last attempt:

    “I’ll try again. BC Hydro markets its own power — or can buy surplus power out of the USA — for about $30 per megawatt/hour.

    “At BC Hydro’s IPP site, we see that Woodfibre’s power plant makes 11 gigawatt/hours per year. This equals 11,000 megaWatt/hours. If Woodfibre were being paid market price, they’d be getting $30×11,000, or $330,000. Right?

    “So: why in hell are they making $1,745,928… about FIVE TIMES market rates? Because the BC Liberals want Hydro to pay them that much. This same scam is being repeated at many other independent power projects around the province — some with much larger outputs. It’s the you-and-me ratepayer who are covering for this scam, that is the darling of the BC Liberals.

    “Much more insight on IPPs and the severe losses Hydro is absorbing because of them, at https://in-sights.ca/2016/10/04/just-asking-2/


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