BC Hydro

Looking forward

I assume that logic and fact will prevail and Site C, the most expensive public project in BC history, will be cancelled. It is a costly disaster but BC Hydro ratepayers are burdened even more by payments to independent power producers (IPPs).

Much of the $100 million a month or more paid IPPs leaves the province permanently because majority ownership of many suppliers is domiciled elsewhere. BC Hydro pays private producers a multiple of the wholesale value of the electricity delivered.

For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the June 2017 Mid-C wholesale electricity price in the Pacific northwest ranged from zero to 3¢ a KWh. In the 12 months ended June 30, 2017, BC Hydro paid IPP’s an average of 9¢ per KWh, an amount that totaled $1.24 billion.

That suggests BC Hydro paid IPPs roughly three-quarters of a billion dollars above the free market value of electricity in our traditional trading region during the last year.

xGreenspan 350

15 replies »

  1. Hello Norm: I read that the interest payment on Site C ( if it were to cost only $8.8 Billion) at 5% …. BC would repay the debt, plus $500 million interest per year – and sell the electricity at at 75% loss.
    Just think if Christy Clark had gambled $8.8 Billion and laundered it through our casinos where she hired an elite Fraud Squad … she might well have created $100 million yearly Prosperity Fund.

    Questions: Does she have enough money to pay her hydro bill? Does anyone know if she is working or gambling in the Kelowna casino?

    If the province cancels the project, can taxpayers demand that the Liberals and BC Hydro liars repay the theft?
    Apparently, gold is still trickling into the Liberal war chest and if the NDP allows it to happen, taxpayers will be giving them millions more for their campaign.

    Perhaps the Canadian mint will produce a Billion dollar BC coin with her image on both sides. We would just have to sell 8.8 coins via the China Bank, the Liberals used – to attract Asian investments and campaign donations to break even on Site C.


  2. Our systems, economic, environmental, and social, were all very badly abused under the ‘Liberals’ ,, and their sense of honour. We will have to work to bring the Province back from the proverbial abyss


  3. This is from the BC Clean Energy Act of 2010. It means:

    a) BC Hydro isn’t supposed to import power from the U.S. (where sometimes it’s cheap),

    b) BC Hydro isn’t supposed to use Burrard Thermal.

    Note how it benefits IPPs is BC.

    Sec. 6
    (2) The authority (BC Hydro) must achieve electricity self-sufficiency by holding, by the year 2016 and each year after that, the rights to an amount of electricity that meets the electricity supply obligations (power sales) solely from electricity generating facilities (ie: IPPs), within the Province

    (a) assuming no more in each year than the heritage energy capability (BC Hydro dams), and

    (b) relying on Burrard Thermal for no energy and no capacity, except as authorized by regulation.



  4. More from the BC Clean Energy Act:

    Exempt projects, programs, contracts and expenditures
    7 (1) The authority (BC Hydro) is exempt from sections 45 to 47 and 71 of the Utilities Commission Act to the extent applicable, and from any other sections of that Act that the minister may specify by regulation, with respect to the following projects, programs, contracts and expenditures of the authority, as they may be further described by regulation:

    (a) the Northwest Transmission Line, a 287 kilovolt transmission line between the Skeena substation and Bob Quinn Lake, and related facilities and contracts;

    (b) Mica Units 5 and 6, a project to install two additional turbines and related works and equipment at Mica;

    (c) Revelstoke Unit 6, a project to install an additional turbine and related works and equipment at Revelstoke;

    (d) Site C, a project to build a third dam on the Peace River in northeast British Columbia to provide approximately

    (i) 4 600 gigawatt hours of energy each year, and

    (ii) 900 megawatts of capacity;

    (e) a bio-energy phase 2 call to acquire up to 1 000 gigawatt hours per year of electricity;

    (f) one or more agreements with pulp and paper customers eligible for funding under Canada’s Green Transformation Program under which agreement or agreements the authority acquires, in aggregate, up to 1 200 gigawatt hours per year of electricity;

    (g) the clean power call request for proposals, issued on June 11, 2008, to acquire up to 5 000 gigawatt hours per year of electricity from clean or renewable resources;

    (h) the standing offer program described in section 15;

    (i) the feed-in tariff program described in section 16;

    (j) the actions taken to comply with section 17 (2) and (3);

    (k) the program described in section 17 (4).

    (2) The persons and their successors and assigns who enter into an energy supply contract with the authority related to anything referred to in subsection (1) are exempt from section 71 of the Utilities Commission Act with respect to the energy supply contract.

    (3) The commission (BCUC) must not exercise a power under the Utilities Commission Act in a way that would directly or indirectly prevent the authority from doing anything referred to in subsection (1).


  5. I agree: the management of BC Hydro won’t condemn themselves by axing IPPs. That’s enough reason, all that’s required, really, to ax them first, before assessing individual IPPs for environmental compliance, and possibly for fiduciary infractions.

    The “economics” of IPPs isn’t in question: it’s all bad for every penny they get over the cost BC Hydro can generate electricity for itself.

    As I’ve said, I cut the new government some slack at least until the BCUC finishes its investigation and recommendation for Site-C. It would be premature to clean house just yet.

    But my position on BC Hydro is firm: every single person involved in the permitting or administration of IPPs needs to be retired, starting the day the BCUC tables its report.


    • Heh, heh,…I’ve been known to be so verbose I have to be held down so they can get the knots out of my tongue! But thank you, anyway.

      I think there’s antidote in venom. Insofar as the BC Liberals intended Site-C to trap Horgan in a narrative of their own design — job-killing, and all — Horgan and Weaver still have to be careful the severed snakehead doesn’t bite them while they’re skinning it. There’s no point in preparing a rattler hide if you can’t put a nice, shiny buckle on it and wear it proudly.

      I think The two can purchase political advantage from the Site-C debacle, but only if they can do it in such a way as most citizens understand the whole mess in plain old fiduciary and fiscal terms, devoid of as much partisan ideology as possible. Everyone, including non-Greens and non-Dippers, needs to understand that this turkey was always a lame-ass dog that was going to hurt everybody in the province.

      The new government needs to, therefore, unpack it carefully so they can always point to impartial, arm’s-length assessment (condemnation) of the campaign stage-prop when its rival(s) attempt, as they have been and will surely continue, to make this as ideological as possible in order to distract from the fiduciary perfidy they tried to pull off and get away with.

      We can depend on them as we do the setting sun. Eventually, if the GDP doesn’t get sucked into the hateful, neo-right goo, the rear-guard rhetoric will provide its own antidote. It will look and sound exactly like what it is when set against a clear background of demonstrably unbiased fact.

      Horgan’s and Weaver’s just need to keep their balls away from that severed head: Halloween’s coming and it can still bite, even in death.


  6. A quote from Robert Mueller’s bio:
    “I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men, now walk ahead. He said there were many unexploded land mines since the war.”

    IPPs must be rationalized in the best interests of the province. Maybe even nationalized if feasible. At an absolute minimum each contract must be examined and every advantage to the environment and the public treasury exacted to the maximum extent possible. The sooner the better.

    But there are no doubt many land mines lurking. The BC Liberals and their installed handmaidens at BC Hydro should therefore be walked in front as conditions permit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Don’t let BC Hydro use Burrard Thermal, because it emits CO2, a greenhouse gas.

    But so do LNG plants, which burn natural gas to create LNG.

    LNG is then transported on CO2-emitting tanker ships, to the destination where it is burned, emitting more CO2.


  8. The LA Times has an interesting article regarding the over production of electrical energy.

    “California power plants already generate more electricity than its residents can use. There’s no sense in paying for another one if there are cleaner options.”.

    John Horgan should heed the message: … it took 16 years for the NDP to come to power, don’t waste your leadership powers by following the BC Liberal’s daydream that’s become a nightmare.



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