Letters: ‘Plant was valuable source’

Political meddling has financially ruined B.C. Hydro.

Editor, The News:

Burrard Thermal’s  electrical capacity is a vital back-up source for the B.C. electrical grid.

Political meddling has financially ruined B.C. Hydro.

Minister Bill Bennett likes to look back at the advantage we had with heritage power pricing that the Peace and the Columbia rivers gave us.

However, looking at the staggering costs going forward, run up by signing contracts with independent power producers at four to six times the cost of heritage power, we will very shortly close the gap with other higher cost North American utilities.

In the past, trading into the American electrical spot market during spring freshets meant, at times, we could buy electricity well below our costs, even for our low cost mega hydro plants.

Instead, B.C. Hydro had a government gun put to its head to sign up independent power producers, which paid large donations into the Liberal coffers in the run up to Gordon Campbell win in 2001.

Campbell, after winning, set out to privatize B.C. Hydro, but public opinion swung heavily against him, so instead he, and now Christy Clark, have hollowed out Hydro with 25 per cent of the very high cost power coming from IPPs.

And now we are seeing Burrard dismantled to justify Site C on the Peace by 2024.

B.C. Hydro has lost all capacity to act as an electrical expert in achieving low cost future needs of this province.

Instead, it’s a political tool of government with a developing $70 billion debt.

Geoff Clayton

past president, ARMS

 

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