Where is the political will?
Letter to the Editor
BC Hydro is deeply in debt. With over 27 deferred accounts (not including the Site C) the debt is now approaching $19 billion. Charles Reid, the former CEO of BC Hydro in 2013 admitted publically that BCH had an additional debt load of $50 billion coming on line soon, from IPPs or Independent Power Producers.
BCHydro is required by law to buy this very expensive power, regardless.
Site C will add an additional $9 billion in a blink. This price tag could easily double when you compare similar projects such as the Keeyask dam in Manitoba or Muskrat Falls in Newfoundland.
When the Joint Panel Review committee or JPR met for hearings in Fort St John, a question was asked by the Chair, Harry Swaine, relating to the use of natural gas to firm up “non-firm energy” such as run-of-the-river projects or IPPs. The premise is simple…why build a horrendously expensive dam, when the gas alternative would suffice in those low water years? This would still meet the 93% criterion for the BC Liberal Clean Energy Act.
Strangely, but not surprisingly, BCH did not have an answer to the question of using natural gas. Instead, Hydro promised the JPR Chair to have additional information regarding this option. Has there been any response? Again, not surprisingly a resounding “no.”
With NO demand for Site C’s electricity for another 20-40 year period, and a major down turn in the demand for natural gas here in the northeast, where is the political will to look at using B.C.’s natural gas option at a fraction of the cost to B.C. taxpayers?