Tweets of mine are repeated here since they provide a brief recap of situations that impose huge costs on consumers of electricity.
In the early 2000s, Liberals changed BC Hydro’s primary purpose from utility service for the public to financial service for party friends and other special interests.
BC NDP carries on much as before, except they slightly altered beneficiaries of the utility’s massive spending.
Neoliberal energy policies have already cost BC more than $10 billion, with above market payments to IPPs rising by $750 million to $1 billion a year.
This began under BC Liberals but is continued under BC NDP.
In 2019 & 2020, purchases from IPPs were $1.9 billion more than in 2005 & 2006.
Yet BC Hydro sales to BC residential and business consumers were 1.7% lower in 2019 & 2020 than in 2005 & 2006.
BC Hydro gave set-price, above-market, inflation protected contracts to independent power producers.
Predictable and secure income flows were guaranteed to IPPs, whether BC Hydro needed the energy or not.
Under Christy Clark, IPP contract terms got longer.
AltaGas, the company that was lined up to sponsor her “Om the Bridge” stunt, got 60-year deals to provide power.
BC Hydro bought power from AltaGas a higher rate than they charged AltaGas for electricity at that company’s gas processing plant.
Early on, AltaGas sold a major piece of their IPP operations, providing the company instant cash-out and a stream of ongoing revenues until 2075.
During the compared periods (2005 to 2020), BC Hydro spent billions to add 17% to its own hydroelectric generating capacity.
In summary, BC Hydro added public generating capacity, bought more private power and sold less to BC consumers.
Oh, and spilled water without generating power.
To serve its customers in 2005, BC Hydro employed total assets of $12 billion.
To serve its customers in 2020, BC Hydro employed total assets of $41 billion.
But it sold less electricity to BC consumers in 2020 than in 2005.
BC Hydro demand forecasts have been wrong consistently for 2 decades.
That is not by accident.
Empire builders want their empires to grow, particularly if others pay for the growth.
Site C, with budget now doubled to $16 billion, results from the same unrestrained urge to spend large sums of borrowed money.
BC will not soon need its output, and alternative power sources are far cheaper, meaning exports of surplus power cannot be profitable.
Are there cheaper, less destructive ways of producing electricity than Site C when BC does need more? Well… yeah!
Because west coast winds blow in the wrong direction, Hydro and the BC Gov’t worry that wind turbines would actually draw energy from the grid instead of adding it. Thus requiring more hydro dams producing electricity at 5x what others pay for wind power. #bcpoli https://t.co/LYc9LwTeaO— Norm Farrell, IN-SIGHTS.CA (@Norm_Farrell) April 10, 2021