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

18 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.


    • Governments choose to make secret contracts if revealed details might be embarrassing. If one IPP has take-or-pay, it is almost certain the rest do as well. But we can’t be sure.

      Indeed, Innergex is giving detail to investors that BC Hydro refuses to give to citizens. This is from a recent release by the company:

      “Our renewable power production is sold mainly through PPAs to solid counterparts and no credit issues are anticipated. A majority of our power purchase agreements include sufficient protection to prevent for material reduction in demand.”



  7. I believe we (In the now-gone Save Our Rivers group, about 2004) wanted to know everything about the IPP Contracts and terms….

    > It is hard to believe that 16 years later serious British Columbians are still shadow-boxing with … shadows on the question of the IPPs: a structure wholly related to BC resources allocation and, theoretically, in the pleasure of British Columbians to confer upon contract holders…. Is there really NO WAY we can demand of premier Horgan that he lays out the whole structure for British Columbians to (minutely) examine? Perhaps we should look into the possibility of some kind of demand through the courts to get information. Even broadcasting the news that we are looking to a court challenge might inspire Horgan to meet and communicate. Anyhow … he should want to tear up the contracts from the basis of his political ideology…. (We won’t get into that.)

    I don’t know the law in this instance. And I don’t have a nice friendly lawyer friend to inquire of. But it seems to me there should be a way for citizens to demand (through the courts) that government-in-power report on contracts entered into in the name of the people of the province. Since it would be Law of Torts, I believe … (not criminal law) and since those courts are open (as far as I know) we could draft the Statement of Claim (or whatever the technical term is) without using a lawyer. (When we sued the Mayor, the Chief of Police, and the City Solicitor in Edmonton, we filed the Statement of Claim (or whatever it’s formal name is) without the use of any lawyer. And we only got into serious trouble when we hired a lawyer to do the court action … (but enough of that!!!!)

    Does anybody have any thoughts or ideas about how to begin a move to force the issue????


    > Begin forwarded message: > > From: ERIK ANDERSEN > Subject: Re: Hydro will use pandemic to claim force majeure > Date: May 26, 2020 at 7:13:05 AM PDT > To: Gwen Johansson > Cc: Harry Swain , Ken Boon , ARthur Laurel Hadland , Eoin Finn , Richard McCandless , In-Sights > > A reminder involving Mr. Bennet, former cabinet member for energy. He was only once reported to have said that if a IPP failed to preform to contract terms that could/would cancel the IPP contract. It was never again spoken of in public and Mr. Bennet did not run in the next election. > > The contract we did get to see was for the Duke Point generation plant that BC Hydro and the BCUC gave the green light to. That contract required a minimum annual payment regardless of generation. The then present value of certain future revenues was $500 million. Evidence by the IPP to the BCUC was that to build the plant would be $300 million. A few of us applied to have the project moved into a real civil court and got approval. The IPP applicant withdrew and the project vanished. The “need ” was never there and Hydro remained quiet about not getting this source of supply. > > Cheers from Erik >


Leave a reply but be on topic and civil.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s