Category: BC Hydro

NS News: Not worth a dam

Site C, which was approved without a proper review by the B.C. Utilities Commission, is going to cost $8.8 billion we don’t have to produce electricity we can’t use, to power LNG plants that won’t exist, at a cost too expensive to sell to foreign markets…

Curious deal in BC’s pay-to-play economy

SNC-Lavalin has a 100% interest in the new John Hart power generating facility near Campbell River. It remains under construction and is a considerable way from completion. However, even though SNC-Lavalin, the scandal-plagued company that has been banned from World Bank funded contracts for ten years, owns 100% of the project, it is costing BC taxpayers plenty. Keep in mind that not a single KWh of electricity has been delivered from the new John Hart facility and another year has passed since Hydro’s last FIA report of expenditures. According to its annual Financial Information Act returns to March 2016, BC Hydro paid almost half a billion dollars to the organization that owns 100% of the John Hart project.

National NewsMedia Council complaint

On April 8, Vancouver Sun published an opinion piece by BC Hydro Chair Brad Bennett titled B.C. Hydro, vision, planning and fortitude — getting the job done. The Vancouver Sun does not identify Bennett as a partisan campaigner in BC’s current general election. In the article, Bennett applauds Liberal power policies and repeats an outrageous lie that has been part of BC Hydro’s misinformation strategy for more than 12 years.

IPP losses about $800 million in 2016

Despite the flat demand for power, BC Hydro is not only buying more private power, its capital spending program is out of control. As a result, despite a reduction in sales to BC customers since 2005, the utility’s assets in 2016 are 256% of the total eleven years ago. With Site C and other major capital projects, we can expect assets to grow by another 15-20 billion dollars in the near future. BC Hydro’s politicized management, under directions from Victoria, are hiding bad news with accounting trickery and, while they’ve increased the average price to residential and business consumers by 74% since 2005, the rates must rise significantly or the province must reverse the flow of cash from the public treasury to the accounts of BC Hydro.

Liberal estimates and guesstimates

A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. …We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased below actual costs of large hydropower dams — excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing, environmental, and social costs. …The outside view suggests that in most countries large hydropower dams will be too costly in absolute terms and take too long to build to deliver a positive risk-adjusted return

Surprise is surprising – UPDATED

$101 billion in contractual obligations is breathtaking? What is really surprising is that Toronto Globe and Mail’s BC political reporter didn’t notice before February of 2017. On one hand, I applaud Ms. Hunter for daring to mention the subject now. On the other hand, I wonder why she previously avoided this huge issue and did not report it fully in her newspaper?

Blunders, haste and waste – UPDATED

We know the Premier vowed to get Site C dam past the “point of no return” before the May 2017 provincial election. Clark’s Liberals have their own reasons for Site C haste and these eventually will be revealed, perhaps by a postmortem report of an inquiry into the economic destruction of BC Hydro. However, we do know that incautiously pushing a project forward can be costly. Unfortunately, the cost of error will fall not on decision makers but on taxpayers not wealthy enough to hide their income elsewhere.

Assets up, production down

In the real world, if a company grew its assets by $18 billion (138%) but reduced its production by 8%, heads would roll. In Premier Clark’s La La Land, party favours roll instead. Good Liberal CEO Jessica McDonald is secure in her job, at least until until May 9.

Liespotting

BC Hydro will lose hundreds of million of dollars per year on Site C dam output, according to a Vancouver Sun article by economist Marvin Shaffer. Facing an installation cost double that of power from utility-scale solar or gas fired turbines, additional hydro-electricity is unneeded and unaffordable. However, in the face of an election, the board of BC Hydro, loaded with Liberal patronage appointees, is not about to correct its faulty course.