In the past ten years, generators at BC Hydro dams produced an annual average of 4.12 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per megawatt (MW) of capacity. That suggests the 1,100 MW capacity at Site C will average 4,530 GWh of power each year.
Yet, the utility claims production will be 5,100 GWh annually.
If you think we should trust BC Hydro’s numbers, check out their demand forecasts over the past 20 years or their budgets for capital improvements like the ones they had when the Northwest Transmission Line or Site C were conceived.
Since even Energy Minister Michelle Mungall admits the province has surplus electricity, and because demand has not grown in a dozen years, BC Hydro cannot accurately predict revenue from Site C.
If BCH sells 4,530 GWh on spot markets, it would gross $150 million, at the current Alberta rate of 3.3¢ per KWh, or $177 million if the current cost of Alberta solar power is realized.
Mind you, there are transmission, sales and overhead costs to deduct so the net return would be much lower. Keep in mind that electricity markets have been soft for years because of low cost solar and wind power and more efficient consumption by utility customers.
That predicted revenue would certainly not cover amortization costs of Site C. Financed at the current rate for 10-year Government loans, a 50 year amortization of $10.7 billion in Site C costs requires $424 million a year.
What I describe here is exactly why the BC Government has no business case for Site C. Unfortunately, leadership also lacks the courage to terminate this white elephant.