BC Hydro

Empires expand, until they disintegrate

BC Hydro’s 2019 Annual Service Plan Report shows the quantity of electricity sold to residential, commercial and industrial customers in BC is still flat.

The value of 2019 sales is increased by BC Hydro’s $1.2 billion purchase of Teck’s majority interest in the Waneta dam, a generating site on the Columbia River southeast of Trail.

Power produced at Waneta still goes to Teck but, since the dam is now 100% publicly owned, all electricity produced there becomes a BC Hydro sale.

In the four fiscal years 2006-2009, electricity delivered to BC consumers measured 203,278 gigawatt-hours.

In the four fiscal years 2016-2019, electricity delivered to consumers measured 201,001 gigawatt-hours, a 1% decline.

But that is considerably different than what BC Hydro has been telling BC taxpayers for years, and is still promoting:

There is strategy behind BC Hydro spinning a story of rising demand and, because growth was usual until 2005, it seems reasonable to most people.

Increasing capacity keeps the utility’s technocratic empire expanding and most management personnel hunger for continuation. Empires expand, until they disintegrate.

At present, political and bureaucratic oversight lacks the strength of will to cause material change at British Columbia’s largest public enterprise.

If we were spending instead on energy efficiencies, the Site C boondoggle — with the risks associated with building on unstable land — would be unnecessary. Additionally, there would be no loss of prime Peace River farmland or further interference with an area that First Nations have populated for millennia.

Categories: BC Hydro

4 replies »

  1. Commodity prices in US$ are not indicating need for electricity in North America. Dosen’t seem to bother BC Hydro. Paying for Site C deffered (see page 71 of the 2018/2019 Service Plan).

    I wonder if BC Hydro board are operating outside the law as this is the third year they are trying to get by with not deliving an Annual Report. There is liability for the Minister, Board and Executives when an Annual Report is delivered but no such accountability goes with a Service Plan Report. They still expect same pay?


  2. if it had been the b.c. lieberals they might have wanted a private sale to friends of the family, but the ndp, it is doubtful. it might get them out from under the debt, but who would have the money? a sale to a Chinese corporations would not be politically expedient at this time, neither would an American firm. a political party can make more “hay’ by keeping it, because they can use it for ‘job creation’, which is why I do believe they are building that dam currently. it employees approx. 3k people and if they were all laid off, they could loose the next election. the people who work on that dam come from all over the province. its not like the damage can be controlled to one area. as to the dam itself, what it does to the environment, is not good. but the damage is controlled to one area. most in the southern half of the province are more consumed by the pipeline and the tankers. so Horgan picks his fights, fighting the pipeline is popular in the areas he needs to keep votes.


  3. BC Hydro reminds me of an ‘ol saying’ with our financial/business world. Q: What is another term for success? A: Future failure.


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