Category: BC Hydro

Fighting climate change with slash and burn

Right now they’re destroying two amazing landmarks on the river, tall rock pillars called “The Gates” in an attempt to cut a channel of the river off and use the rock for their mad earthworks. We hear that even locals who support the dam are becoming restive when they see the profligate throwing around of money and environmental destruction…

BC Hydro's long-standing culture of deception

Serious storm clouds lie ahead. The only customers that create positive cash flow for BC Hydro are the residential, light industrial and commercial consumers. Political commitments have been made to sell power to heavy industry, including oil and gas operators, at a fraction of the average price BC Hydro is paying to buy electricity. That means individuals and small business operators will be paying ever increasing electricity prices because someone has to pay for corporate incompetence and it won’t be managers or customers with political influence…

Hopeful change?

Today, Premier Horgan gave Energy Minister Michelle Mungall a new job, replacing her with Bruce Ralston. I am encouraged, anticipating (perhaps naively) that leadership of the department responsible for BC Hydro and […]

Steady as she goes

The 40% demand growth over 20 years is a fantasy spun for so long that it is baked into BC Hydro’s DNA. No surprise. Not spending billions of dollars to expand a system with stable demand would leave more than a handful of affluent folks looking for work.

Unattractive risk

Every young person is taught that willingness to fail is empowering and roads to success are built atop failures. Such precepts are generally true but it is also accurate to say death-dealing disasters are usually reckless failures from which nothing good comes. Italian engineers were incautious when they chose to build a dam where the slopes of Monte Toc were unstable. Two thousand people died in the disaster that followed…

Open for business, at any price

Billions of dollars in the accounts of vested interests instead of the pockets of residents and SMEs. That’s will be the outcome after Clark Liberals and Horgan’s NDP greenlighted Site C, a $12 billion dam, which BC residential and SME consumers do not and will not need.

Same old, same old, part x

Political and power industry insiders dictated terms for the original IPP schemes but corporate inertia keeps them alive. BC NDP enjoyed the short-lasting attention paid Ken Davidson’s ZAPPED report since it highlighted BC Liberal incompetence or malfeasance. But, the expose was quickly put into storage. Business continues largely as before. It’s only the public’s money…

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…

New Era of Truthfulness at BC Hydro?

In BC Hydro’s most recent annual report, the company promised “one of the largest expansions of electrical infrastructure in British Columbia’s history.” To gain approval for massive spending, BC Hydro doctored load forecasts, issuing a steady stream of pronouncements about demand increases…

Path of destruction

I’ve argued on this website that BC Hydro’s ratepayers are victims of corporate inertia. The company continues to do what it properly did for its first 45 years. Unfortunately, now 58 years old, the company’s failure to adapt puts it on a path of destruction.

Liberal legacy

Years ago, SFU Professor and private power promoter Mark Jaccard assured us “independent power producers who will lose their shirts — not ours – – if they get it wrong.” In his 2018 retrospective report, government finance expert Ken Davidson concluded that somebody got it wrong but definitely not the independent power producers.

“A cathartic and vindicating moment”

Throughout that time, I couldn’t understand why the obvious insanity of costly private power programs didn’t raise the ire of many citizens. For that, I lay a large part of the blame on radio and Press Gallery pundits. Some had personal interests affecting their points of view and some believed that health of the business coalition party ranked above the public interest.

Power from the powerful

Politically connected individuals took advantage of citizens’ desire for clean, renewable energy and the Liberals wrote contracts with “lucky firms” that bore no relationship to market prices, guaranteed massive private profits and ensured all financial risks stayed with the public. The contracts in British Columbia last as long as sixty years and allow prices that are as much as 5x market value. In addition, the contracts have annual inflation escalators, a privilege allowed no other commercial segment. All taxpayers get is more power to sell at a loss.