While John Horgan’s government was almost doubling the Site C budget to C$16 billion, the Biden administration was getting ready to approve a C$3.4 billion wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. The per megawatt cost of the wind project is less than 30% of Site C’s capital cost per megawatt and it destroys no farmland, violates no Indigenous rights agreements, and presents no threats to nearby communities…
BC NDP arming opponents
Like BC Liberals before them, BC NDP is dishonest about BC Hydro operations and the Site C megaproject. Government joins BC Hydro and continues lying about demand growth. At the same time, they hide embarrassing information about the dam and its out of control budget. The Horgan path is inexplicable when pre-2017 NDP statements are reviewed. The explanation will be had some years from now when NDP opponents are denouncing the party’s competence. Liberals used BC Ferries as a hammer for 15+ years after the 1990s but the financial blunders at BC Hydro are much, much larger…
Lesson to be learned
A Bloomberg Quicktake video, How Boeing Lost Its Way (embedded below) put me in mind of BC Hydro. Years ago, both companies were effective in delivering value for money to customers. Then attitudes changed. Growing bigger became more important than growing better…
BC Hydro quandary
Unrestrained capital spending and needed write-offs of valueless items will result in major rate increases. But that presents a critical problem. Alternatives for consumers are steadily getting easier and less costly. BC Hydro is entering the utility death spiral.
BC Hyjacked, provincial utility
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…
BC Government: do the right thing!
Lindsay Brown is a reliable information provider, particularly about energy in British Columbia. Her Twitter thread today should be required reading for every politician and BC Hydro ratepayer. It’s repeated here with permission…
True cost of hydro power?
Proponents of megaprojects routinely underestimate financial costs. After conducting an extensive study, top experts concluded this is caused by “strategic misrepresentation, that is, lying.” In addition, proponents invariably ignore environmental and social costs of megaprojects…
What BC Hydro is today and why…
In-Sights reader Bruce has been thinking about BC Hydro and asked important questions, I offer my answers but with a broader picture of what BC Hydro is today and why…
Site C bywords: misinformation and secrecy
Misinformation and secrecy have become the bywords at BC Hydro and at the Premier’s office and the provincial energy ministry. Because the decision makers involved with Site C are determined to spread misinformation, they rely on secrecy to keep evidence out of the view of project critics and the BC Utilities Commission…
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead
When the project assurance board was populated by insiders and avid Site C cheerleaders, inevitably, it would fail to protect the public interest. Everyone involved knew that but were satisfied with the status quo. The main responsibility for massive waste and destruction in northeast BC lies not with self-interested enablers and not to the previous government; it belongs to the man who four years ago needed money to wage an election campaign. To get it, he made promises to a group of trade union leaders.
Electricity policy built on lies
No one doubts that in coming decades, demand will grow, partly fueled by electric vehicles. But that growth will be more modest than claimed by BC Hydro’s agents. It could be easily met by conservation and efficiency programs, upgrades to existing facilities and creation of clean, non destructive renewable sources.
Non-standard accounting creates imaginary profits and hides failure
Future BC Hydro ratepayers will be paying excessive rates for electricity and BC Hydro financial statements have been distorted by non-standard accounting methods. These allowed the provincial government to direct payments of dividends funded by borrowing, not by real profits of the utility. But other failures and mismanagement at BC Hydro are apparent…
Falsehoods and misinformation, government specialties
Never has the government of British Columbia stood behind a larger megaproject than the Site C hydropower project. Never have more falsehoods been used to justify BC Hydro operations and the spending of tens of billions of dollars.
Campbell Clark Horgan madness
While British Columbia has policies to prevent additions of solar power to the provincial power grid, Germany has been moving forward on this form of renewable electricity. It should be noted that the centre of Germany is at a latitude similar to that of Kamloops…
BC Hydro’s dishonesty about demand growth costs us billions
Most people are educated by BC Hydro’s dishonest claims about demand growth. So, when they read a report that domestic sales have been flat for 15 years, they tend to be doubtful. Today, an In-Sights reader who works in the trades sent a message. It shows one example of modern technology affecting electric utility demand.
In a few words, over a 15 year span, total annual revenues (what we have paid as customers) have increased by 100% , over the same period and with inclusion of contract obligations the total capital deployed more than doubled but customer needs ( as represented by volume of annual sales measured in gigawatt-hours) remained unchanged.
Why we’re voting
It is easy to conclude why Premier John Horgan ignored BC’s established pattern of general elections every four years. The BC NDP was riding high in the polls but a threat to that popularity was looming. A threat not known to the general public…
A conversation about BC Hydro
My conversation about BC Hydro with Chris Cook for CFUV 101.9 FM radio in Victoria. Chris regularly addresses issues not well covered by corporate media. BC Hydro’s difficulties definitely fit in that category.
North American Megadam Resistance Alliance
Before forming the Horgan Government in 2017, BC NDP was a frequent critic of how BC Liberals managed BC Hydro, our largest and most important crown corporation. NDP promised radical improvements. Those promises were empty. The only substantive changes were the appointment of Chair Ken Peterson and multi-billion dollar increases in capital spending.
Curious deal in BC’s pay-to-play economy
In early 2014, BC Hydro awarded SNC-Lavalin a contract to design, build, finance and maintain the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.