BC Hydro

Something rotten with the state of BC Hydro

According to its annual reports, BC Hydro produced 53,334 GWh of hydroelectricity in 1997 from facilities with rated capacities of 9,746 MW. Total assets employed were $11 billion.

By comparison, the province’s utility produced 41,230 GWh (-23%) of hydroelectricity in 2015 from facilities with rated capacities of 11,379 MW (+17%). Total assets employed were $28 billion (+242%).

Comparing one year against another is an indicator, but not good evidence. So, I looked at 21 years, from 1995 to 2016. These charts reveal trends that are worse than troublesome.


Total Assets

One GW

After four decades of successful operation, BC Hydro changed drastically under Campbell/Clark Governments. The utility is a patronage playpen, with the chief executive suite and the boardroom peopled with loyal Liberal friends.

It’s been a comfortable ride for BC Liberals but a disaster for residents and small to medium sized businesses, who happen to employ most British Columbians. Now the incompetents want to make it even worse by delivering billions of dollars more to companies of questionable integrity. Important Site C contractors have been implicated in corrupt and questionable practices.

The Peace Valley Landowner Association asked internationally respected economist Robert McCullough for his opinion on cancelling Site C now. He responded on June 18, 2017 with this statement:

In 2013, B.C. Hydro estimated that Site C would cost 2.5 times then current annual market prices. As natural gas and renewable prices have continued to decline, Site C now costs 3.3 times current annual market rates.

Put another way, British Columbia rate payers could save $4.1 billion simply by buying the same amount of power from the United States — even after writing off the $1.75 billion already spent.



At 24:32, John Horgan talks about Site C and opening the books at major crown corporations:


Categories: BC Hydro, Site C

15 replies »

  1. Thank you Norm.
    It just doesn’t get any clearer than that.

    The whole sordid affair is sickening and so few are aware, which is just fine with the Libs.
    The new government, if there is one, owes it to all of us to stop this charade in it’s tracks and do a serious job of investigating the corruption.
    Thank you.


  2. Forgive the repietition but the evidence is overwhelming. There has been no Recession, much less Depression. There hasn’t been a dam collapse or major callamity .if on this overwhelming, carefully documented evidence the Attorney-General does not see an immediate need for a full investigation, what in the name of God does it take?

    This saga has been raised, by private citizens, like Norman Farrell, in the past three elections. Predictions made were wrong only because the situation was far worse than we said. . Private media oulets have had the guts to publish the stories the oil-soaked mainstream media wouldn’t print and, especially in Norm Farrell’s case, at enormous risk to themselved and at great personal risk, especially to Norm. From the Attorney -General and police authorities, silence. The Opposition has been no better.



    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a very good business case for the Site C project. Unfortunately it can only be found in the boardrooms of those to whom it makes financial sense; Petrowest, ACCIONA, Voith, and Samsung C&T, to name a few. They are all no doubt proud to show it to their shareholders.

    BC Hydro meanwhile, despite its duty to act in the public interest, hides its business case for the project from its shareholders and is afraid to submit it to an independent review by the commission established to ensure the public interest is protected by that business case.

    Now why would that be?


  4. I fear, that if the NDP becomes government, in spite of overwhelming evidence of possible criminal activity, nothing will be done. Only when an inside whistleblower puts a hand up will the law be forced to act.

    Rafe, I’m afraid money talks louder than integrity and truth as well.


  5. BC has been turned into a criminal state, by a criminal government, supported by criminals.

    Such was NAZI Germany in 1933, BC is supported by excessive taxation, through user fees and massive manipulation of the housing market.

    Those who chafe at the comparison, had better read history because it is obvious the BC Liberals have.

    Like the USA where Trump has bamboozled the public with deceit and lies, so has Clark, as Gordo before, with sheep like voting, Liberal supporters would vote for a “fence post with hair”, with their psychotic hate of the NDP.

    Evil rules the land and with evil in control, evil becomes common place, almost acceptable.


  6. BC is entitled to 1,100 MW of capacity and 4,000 GWh/yr of energy under the Columbia River treaty. See https://www.desmog.ca/2015/05/28/forgotten-electricity-could-delay-need-site-c-dam
    But the Liberals won’t let Hydro use this power, so it’s sold for 1/3 the cost of Site C’s energy.

    And with smart meters, one of the main benefits is time-of-use billing, which would reduce Hydro’s peak loads and further negate the need for Site C. But alas the Liberals won’t allow Hydro to employ it.

    Under the 10-year rate plan the Liberals imposed on Hydro, residential rates will rise 46% from 2014 to 2024. During the same period Hydro’s debt will rise from $16 billion to $24 billion. That’s if the dam is on budget. According to an Ernst & Young study, 75% of large hydro projects worldwide have gone over budget – by an average of $4.6 billion. Nfld’s Muskrat Falls is already more than $5 billion over and 2 years behind schedule due to geotechnical issues. Somehow Site C, built on sediment, will be different?


    • Smart meters were a boondoggle from the very beginning whether you talk about how they were brought in underhandedly they were shoved down the customers throats through lies and intimidation. The installation was rushed . The fires where covered up. The health risks were never discussed or researched. Their need for replacement every five years . They are not manufactured in Canada . Their costs in comparison to analog meters is assinine. I could go on and on about these dumb meters .


      • Most marinas on the coast and maybe inland, I don’t know, meter individual slips and boat houses. I’ve not yet seen a smart meter.
        I keep hearing about Hydro owing some billions to a pension.
        What pension and, is that money they have yet to put in as required, or money they have pilfered?


          • In fact, payments to the Province began during Socred days under Vander Zalm. The first payment to the province ($220 million) was in 1989 There’s a huge difference though. BC Hydro was profitable until about FY 2009 and since then, because of the impact of losses on IPP contracts, it has relied on deferring expenses and booking unearned revenues to create a pretend “profit.”

            The utility’s positive cash flow up until 2009 allowed it to pay dividends to the province. In recent years, the company has been borrowing money to pay the dividends. Hard to believe? Check out the chart of Hydro’s long term debts.


            • The game of the International of Asset Managers (sic) is to bankrupt anything public and sell it to your friendly hedge fund. G. Campbell and C. Clarke are aces in that deck. The government of BC even funds the same sink-the-ship-gang at Asset Management BC and BC Public Works Association. Names sure sound public and are anything but. They are in every small town and city of the land doing their dirty work. Site C is the tip of the iceberg.


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