Category: BC Hydro

Private profits but public risks – Updated

Commercialization of small-scale nuclear power has turned out to be far more difficult than investors expected a decade ago. Even one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs cannot finance a multi-billion-dollar program with an uncertain future. Nuclear may play a role in the 2030s but solar, wind and geothermal are viable power sources today…

Simple facts about BC Hydro

Despite flat electricity demand since 2005, BC Hydro increased dollar value of IPP purchases by 185%, added 17% to its own generating capacity and bumped total assets from 12 to 38 billion dollars and is spending 15+ billion more on capital expenditures…

Billions lost – bad luck, incompetence or fraud?

Electricity ratepayers, mostly residents and small to medium sized businesses, suffer because of failures by politicians and major media. The public was badly informed and that has enabled losses that will ultimately measure in the tens of billions of dollars. This should be British Columbia’s largest ever political scandal but the people responsible for it will never be held to account. On the contrary, the scoundrels have departed or will one day retire in unsullied comfort…

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…