BC Hydro

Plug pulled on PowerBC

Before John Horgan was sworn in as Premier, BC NDP promoted a wise alternative to construction of Site C, a dam that would cost many billions of dollars and had no certain customers for electricity generated.

As noted in The Source:

Jennie Moore, an associate dean for Building Design and Construction Technology at BCIT, praised the NDP’s plan: “By far the most efficient way to meet B.C.’s future energy needs is to save energy now. Here at BCIT we showed that it is possible to achieve a 75 per cent reduction in energy demand with deep building retrofits.”

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Below is the NDP proposal.


  1. Create jobs with a bold new program of energy efficiency retrofits to public buildings such as schools and hospitals. Energy efficiency retrofits create twice as many jobs as building a new dam, and the jobs are long-lasting, good-paying, and close to home in every community across British Columbia. Conserving energy is the most efficient way to meet BC’s energy needs, and BC’s public buildings need upgrading. We will combine energy-efficiency upgrades to our schools and hospitals with much-needed seismic upgrades. We will save taxpayers millions of dollars by reducing the energy needs of our schools and hospital, as well as reducing the amount of carbon offsets they need to purchase. We will put BC jobs and apprenticeship spaces first so that British Columbians benefit from this work.
  2. Protect families and businesses from runaway bills with energy efficiency retrofits in industrial and commercial buildings and private homes. These retrofits are needed in communities all across BC and will be funded with the proven pay-as-you-save system. Energy-efficiency retrofits to private buildings are a win-win-win. They reduce your energy bills, increase the value of your home or business, and create good-paying jobs and spur economic activity close to home. Making buildings more efficient will also help BC meet our climate change goals by conserving the energy used to heat buildings.
  3. Upgrade existing BC Hydro infrastructure with resource-smart projects like Revelstoke Dam. Building Unit 6 at Revelstoke Dam would add 500 MW of energy capacity at a cost of $420 million, a fraction of the cost of Site C, and meet BC’s need for more peak capacity much sooner than Site C. Across BC many hydroelectric dams are operating 50s-era machinery. By upgrading these turbines and transformers with modern high-efficiency technology we can increase output while protecting our farms, protecting our natural environment, and respecting First Nations land title.
  4. Capture our wind and solar potential by making smart decisions now, freeing BC Hydro to pursue wind, solar, battery technology, and other renewable energy sources as costs fall and these technologies prove themselves. BC can become a world leader in clean energy, and join a global clean energy technology market with countries like California, Germany and the UK. We need to think big, look to the future, and allow BC Hydro the flexibility to pursue these projects incrementally to meet our energy needs, in partnership with First Nations and clean energy providers. PowerBC will position British Columbia as a clean energy champion and a world leader in new and emerging technologies.

What people are saying about BC’s energy future:

“Clean energy and energy conservation technology will increasingly power our economy and drive the jobs of the future. A major energy efficiency retrofit program for B.C. just makes sense. And retrofits will create meaningful skilled employment and apprenticeship opportunities for British Columbians across the province, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Lee Loftus, Business Manager, BC Insulators Union

“We are at a crossroads in energy planning in B.C. The Swain environmental review panel and other objective parties have all recognized there is no justification for building Site C now. There is much more to achieve through conservation, building Revelstoke 6 and being ready and nimble to take advantage of technological change. PowerBC is a better, more responsible plan.”
Marvin Shaffer, energy economist and adjunct professor, SFU School of Public Policy

“By far the most efficient way to meet B.C.’s future energy needs is to save energy now. Here at BCIT we showed that it is possible to achieve a 75% reduction in energy demand with deep building retrofits.”

“Ideally, energy efficiency upgrades can be coupled with other building renewal projects such as seismic upgrades, to achieve financial efficiencies in both.”
Andrew Pape-Salmon, Associate, Senior Specialist – Energy, RDH Building Engineering Ltd.

Some projects put idle and polluted lands to use. Others destroy productive lands that are also culturally sensitive.

Which is the preferred route?

The BC Government blundered egregiously when it chose the wrong one. The NDP decision-makers knew better but were in thrall to special interests.

SunMine: How solar is transforming an old mining town


No longer ‘alternative’, mainstream renewables are pushing prices down

The old guard can’t understand why prices for wind and solar have dropped so far, so fast. It’s not sleight of hand, just the cumulative effects of three factors:

● The technology has improved in leaps and bounds. A 150m tall wind turbine built this year will generate energy for almost 3,000 average Victorian homes. A decade ago, a top-tier turbine would have generated well less than half as much.

● Unlike coal plants, solar panels and wind turbines are products not projects. Repetition leads to cheaper manufacturing and more efficient supply chains. China now produces seven solar panels every second — providing countless opportunities to trim unit costs…

● A decade ago, few banks understood renewables, and investments were seen as “alternative” and risky. Now that renewables are mainstream, the risk premium applied by banks for renewables is much lower than for coal projects. Capital intensive projects are extremely sensitive to the cost of finance.


Categories: BC Hydro

14 replies »

  1. It is time that those who voted , understand that they have been lied too. John Horgan and Justin Trudeau have been baited by Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Hydro. Now, they controlled by the power of the “Bigs”. Greed has won out over Fear.

    China too, has also played them for fools. With every construction contract, the Chinese Government is collecting personal information on our lifestyle, habits and mentality. China got a big chunk of the lucrative Site C contract. Now, they are in the position to sue us – if the Dam is not completed on time or if they lose profits.
    John will have to admit he was “ just following orders”.

    Look at the “Fake President” to the south who used his wealth to manipulte the voters with “Fear” arresting/removing immigrants … allowing more contamination with fracking, coal production and pipelines with a little help from his Internet friends. That’s what happens when you borrow money from friends in Russia.

    History repeats itself: There was a mentally deranged , megalomaniac in Germany 1939-1945 who exploited the public, the environment and focusing blame on someone else. Trump just needs a moustache.

    Chameleon Justin Trudeau is foolishly prancing all over the world offering photo ops in colourful cultural costumes … its all about cash for government contracts. “We’ve got coal, we’ve got dirty oil, and more hydro than we will ever need. Show us your money! “
    I wonder if Justin would sign a contract making Big Oil responsible for all clean up of the oil spills offshore and along the coast – at their expense.

    Power BC is actually: foreign cash, corruptible politicians, numbered companies, opioids and internet data collection.
    John and Justin have sold their Souls.

    Here’s a limited-time offer that will be discontinued after the next election:
    An autographed photo and contract with Premier John or Prime Minister Justin.
    Just, add one billion $ for Shipping and Handling.


  2. John Horgan has shown his true colours. He has lied to the public. He has stolen from the public and given to China. His next scheme is big gas and we will pay for it. When he is done BC’s GHG emmisions will equal Alberta’s pollution.
    Thanks John you miscreant liar.


  3. The pre-election proposal makes eminent sense. I suspect it was one of the factors some included in their decision to vote for the NDP.

    Unfortunately there is currently no significant public forum where Mr. Horgan will be called upon to explain and justify his alternate course of action. The Official Opposition won’t do it in the Legislature or anywhere else because he’s essentially following their preferred course. And the traditional media won’t do it for the same reason. So he gets a pass. For now.

    These unexplained reversals of promised course have a way of building up like leaks in a dike. Sooner or later the dike will fail.

    Mr. Weaver should be paying attention, because he’s got fingers plugging some of those NDP leaks.


  4. From a Jan 19, 2018 article:
    “Horgan gave the go-ahead to finish the Site C hydro project and has been meeting privately with LNG proponents to see what can be done to get their projects to the construction stage.”
    He seems to be pursuing the whole delusional BC Liberal nonsense about exporting LNG as something good for the BC economy, and making it ‘green’ by using power from BC Hydro.


  5. Given the choice of ‘power for 450,000 homes’ (Site C) and ‘…provide food for 1,000,000 people’ (Peace River Valley), I’d opt for the food. I’d rather live in the dark than starve to death! (Besides, its only dark at night – hunger lasts all day long.)


  6. This article came out today:
    “The project would generate 4 megatonnes of greenhouse gases a year, but proponents said it would be the world’s greenest from a CO2 perspective and reduce global carbon emissions by replacing coal in Asia.”
    WTF? Didn’t we recently elect a new BC Govt because we don’t believe this BS?
    Ironically, today is World Water Day, Mar. 22nd. The natural gas used for BC LNG would all have to be fracked, as I understand, which uses a lot of water.


  7. It seems that special interests and vested powers are running BC.

    Horgan has been reduced to a pitchman with silly studies for American high speed rail.

    Who is the real ,Premier of BC, Horgan or Geoff Meggs?


  8. “The (Canada) Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass a motion calling on the prime minister to push the (KM expansion) project through and use the full weight and power of his office to ensure the completion of the pipeline.

    Richard Neufeld, former B.C. energy minister and Canadian Conservative Party senator, presented the motion.”



    This guy was BC Energy Minister who presided over the ruination of BC Hydro under Gordon Campbell.


  9. Okay the LNG announcement is the final nail in the coffin for progressive support of the NDP.

    John Horgan is no Dave Barrett, not even close. In fact John Horgan really reminds me of Justin Trudeau, pretend to be left and govern right.

    What a betrayal for the many loyal NDP supporters and activists. We were just “useful idiots” to get the NDP elected so they could be another Liberal party.


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