Tag: Power Generation

Back scratching

An old expression says, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” The maxim doesn’t require rewards for scratching be equal and, often, they are not.

According to Elections BC, AltaGas Ltd. and associates contributed a little more than $70,000 to the BC Liberals. It’s been money well spent… At $110,000 per GWh, AltaGas’ revenue from BC Hydro would be worth $143 million in 2016…

Walk more lightly on the earth

…The changeability of the future suggests to us that megaprojects are becoming less of a credible answer. They are a huge capital drain and carry a great deal of financial risk.
…We also know, better than ever before, that no means of generating electricity is environmentally benign. Hydroelectric dams can flood large areas of land and can impact aboriginal people and their lifestyles. Fossil-fuelled generation creates sulphur dioxide, nitric oxide, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases that impact global warming and deplete the ozone layer…
One even more significant source of “supply,” in one sense of the word, is demand management or energy conservation — and it has dramatically fewer or nil environmental effects.
…demand management is much more than a good deal for the environment. It’s also a great business deal for Hydro’s customers. Furthermore, this is not a bridge or a “quick fix” until the next supply stations can be built…

IPPs received $672 million above market price in 2015

I’ve been reviewing more than 20 years of BC Hydro records and they show gradual growth in electrical demand until 2005. Subsequently, there has been no demand growth; in 2015, domestic power sales were lower than ten years before. What did grow were Hydro’s purchases of electricity from independent power producers. In calendar year 2006, 5,636 GWh supplied by IPPs cost $368 million (6.5¢/KWh); in 2015, 14,418 GWh cost Hydro $1,217 million (8.4¢/KWh).
A 155% increase in the volume of IPP purchases is alarming by itself given the lack of need for it but the average unit price has been rising steadily. In the 4th quarter of 2015, IPP unit prices were 9.2% higher than the preceding quarter. To accommodate power coming into the system, BC Hydro had to choose between shutting down their own capacity or dumping power in markets outside BC at well below cost…