BC Hydro

Still buying high, selling low

do what youve doneBC Hydro waited until the last day permitted by legislation to issue its quarterly report for the period ended June 30, 2018.

It reports the utility’s service plan for fiscal 2019 forecasts “average market energy prices of US $21.43/MWh” and “a Canadian to US dollar exchange rate of US $0.8088.”

So, in the current year, BC Hydro expects to export electricity for a Canadian dollar price of 2.65¢ per kilowatt-hour. Compare that to the 9.14¢ per KWh paid independent power producers in the fiscal year ended March, 2018, an amount 28% higher than five years before. Bank of Canada puts inflation at 7% and the average market price barely changed between FY 2013 and FY 2018.

The June 2018 quarterly report reveals the utility purchased 5% more gigawatt hours from independent power producers (IPPs) than in the same period a year earlier.

Sales of electricity were down 1.5% from sales in the first quarter a year before.

That means the BC Hydro is buying private power it does not need and hoping to recover roughly 30% of its cost on export markets.

Having proven she is unable to bring BC Hydro under control, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall should resign. If she does not, Premier Horgan should fire her and the entire board of directors.

get what you got 300


September 14, Quebec company Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. celebrated official opening of two power projects that generate electricity from waters flowing in the Pemberton Valley. From these, Innergex has 40-year contracts to sell power to BC Hydro. That will cost ratepayers over $50 million a year, although about $15 million should be recovered through export sales.

Altagas, a company favoured by Christy Clark, scored 60 year contracts for their operations.

The IPP industry convinced BC Hydro that long term inflation-protected contracts are needed for this surplus power. They haven’t been as successful in convincing customers elsewhere in the world. This chart contains information from Innergex about the terms of contracts they hold in other jurisdictions.

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18 replies »

  1. So selling BC public dam power for 3 a unit and buying private Ipp power for 9 sounds like potential lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty.
    Ie 900 million dollars vs 2,700 million dollars

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    • And like this is news lol, how many ex liberals are owners operators or shareholders in IPP corporate enterprises? No criminal investigation or contracts renegotiated, we know the NDP is also involved!

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  2. More reasons why politicians have earned our scorn. I thought the NDP had a conscience. No more than Ms. Christy Clark. So very frustrating to look around and say to ourselves, “Who in the hell can we vote for?”

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  3. Yes , its pillaging the public purse into private pockets and it all seems so ideologically aceptable.
    Fashionable even, yet failing in England where it was tried with now bankrupt Carrilion.
    What’s the crime? Can the politicians be held to account?
    Anyone have a legal answer for this?
    A clarity on this so we know where to go with it.
    Its debate material.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In a legitimate world corruption should be punishable. In BC? Anything goes….with blessings from the premier,,,,whomever that happens to be. The BC auditor general has been farwarned….to no avail. Christy’s minstrels were no worse than this.

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  4. Norm, do we know if there is a full stop on IPP proposals? That AT LEAST would be the first step in stopping this lunacy — unless the new IPPs were willing to come in at the market rate.

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    • BC Hydro announced a suspension of new IPP applications in 2017 but then appeared to lift that without prominent notice to the public. There may well be justification for small scale developments in remote areas that would be too costly to service from the provincial grid. But, should those be owned by extra-provincial companies or developed by BC Hydro, perhaps in concert with First Nations and/or local governments?

      One of the reasons that Hydro’s lack of transparency is objectionable is that we cannot review their decisions and agreements to ensure they are in the best interests of BC citizens.

      I expected the Hogan Government to change the level of secrecy imposed by Liberals but the NDP seems fully committed to conducting public business behind closed doors.

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  5. The BC Clean Energy Act contains provisions which cause BC Hydro to supposedly ‘need’ more IPP power, like the so-called self-sufficiency requirement. Stopping Burrard Thermal also creates a false demand for more power from IPPs.

    The CE Act is just a sham for creating a false need for more IPP power by BC Hydro.

    The CE Act also appears to ram through Site C (and other projects) by exempting it from BCUC scrutiny.

    We know that part of the ‘need’ for Site C is to provide back-up capacity for all the intermittent IPP power.

    So (publicly-owned) BC Hydro is not only paying $billions for un-needed IPP power, it will also pay $billions for Site C, to back up that IPP power. While flooding farmland at the same time.

    So why hasn’t the NDP govt dumped the CE Act?

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  6. The entire democratically elected Vancouver School Board was fired for (non)actions very much less harmful to the public interest than those inflicted on British Columbia by the politically appointed denizens of BC Hydro’s board of directors.

    John Horgan validates the appointments made by his predecessors, promotes some, continues their programs, and drops promised and promising energy initiatives like Power BC that might threaten the status quo.

    He might as well have left Jessica there and saved us her severance payment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is surprising the NDP/Greens have left that bunch on the board of directors. they need to be fired and a new group hired. Might have some representatives from the public on that board, you know as in those of us who pay those electrical bills each money and perhaps some one from the environmental community.

    Surely there must be a few people around who can do the job. Keeping old B. of D. is not a good way to go.

    Those contracts are for long periods of time. Terminating them, may have financial implications, via the court system. However, terminating them and making a financial settlement with some of those companies would be less expensive. of course some on good at poker could be hired and it explained to those companies, those agreements aren’t valid, we hve evidence there was “collusion” and therefore if you go to court, etc…………

    Another way out is to have legislation ‘undoing” B.C. Hydro and then in the same bill creating a new corporation. the old corporation’;s debts would end with that bill. If the IPPs take the province to court, Horgan can always use the “not with standing clause”. It may not be nice or ethical, but it would save this province $50 to a $100BILLION and that would be nice because we need a new highway on Vancouver Island to avoid the Malahat and the Nanoose bottle neck. then the lower mainland needs to doube the highway to Chilliwack.

    Surrey needs a lot of new schools. We need a lot of new hospitals, seniors centers, social house, and affordable housing, hospitals to detox addicts, etc. I think we can get over the unethicalness of the not with standing clause to improve our province at the expensive of the IPPs. O.K. I understand if we go down that road, where does it end, but really, this province needs to get rid of that debt load, restructure our tax system because all that money going to IPPs could be used right now on Vancouver Island to provide housing for those living in homeless camps.

    So as I sit here, its keep spending money on B.C. Hydro or adequate housing for the people of the province? Some one should go and see if the 3 Greens are asleep or just enjoying the perks of their new station in life.

    Mr. Eby has already done a lot of work, now perhaps he can wander over to B.C. Hydro and add to his work load and get that straightened out. I like to view Mr. Eby as the guy who straightens things out. Oh, and fire Meggs. He can’t be doing our province much good. Look at what hasn’t been accomplished. Reminds me of the all the promises Vision made and didn’t deliver on. Looked enviormental and caring, but did little to improve the lot of anyone except the developers. DUMP MEGGS. Tell Horgan to grow a set and find some one else to deal with B.C. Hydro. I’m sure there is a woman on the back bench who has the determination to do it.

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  8. What a mess. It’s sad to me that the NDP has become a willing partner.
    Creating a logical, lucid energy policy was one of the main cornerstones giving me hope. Now that there appears to be no chance of that happening, I am becoming one of the disillusioned masses.

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  9. We must accept that the real Premier of the province is Geoff Meggs and Horgan is a mere puppet.

    Meggs is an unsavoury person, with unsavoury connections; Meggs is Grima Wormtongue to Horgan’s bewitched Théoden.

    Will no one rid the of this turbulent Visionista?

    The NDP have become one very bloody miserable disappointment.

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