Letters to the Editor for the week of July 12th, 2012 

The Magic Within

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So join me if you love the bears and honk next time you see cars stopped along the highway endangering our beautiful bears!

Mariana Guaraldo

Whistler

What's the rush on IPPs

Innergex is attempting to construct three power plants via the Upper Lillooet Hydro project.

"We are pleased to consolidate our presence in the Pemberton region and we look forward to strengthening our relations with local stakeholders in what has become a strategic area of development for the corporation," said Innergex President Michel Letellier in (a recent) press release.

Do we really need more IPP projects right now!

Not according to Gwen Barlee, policy director of Wilderness Committee. She was referring to the open houses that were held in Mount Currie on July 9th and in Pemberton on July 10th.

"This is an important opportunity for citizens who are concerned about the gold rush that has been triggered by our provincial government's subsidization of private power projects to voice their opposition to this short-sighted policy. In the last call for power, BC Hydro paid $125 MWh for electricity generated by private power projects — but right now BC Hydro can buy firm electricity for $20 MWh. Not only are these industrial projects a financial drain on BC Hydro — ratepayers and BC Hydro are on the hook for $40 billion in energy purchase agreements to private power producer — aside from the significant environmental impact these projects have."

BC Hydro has the obligation to buy each and every MWh at a set price for the length of the lease. In the case of the Upper Lillooet River Hydro Project the lease is slated for 40 years!

"Run of the river" energy is not a storable energy. It is produced by the flow of the river and added to the transmission lines to be sold immediately.

Marvin Shaffer, of the Vancouver Sun reported in his column: "The government policies directed BC Hydro to buy all the energy generated by the IPP at a price that exceeds market value, regardless of the costs to Hydro to provide backup and other services it would have to supply and assuming the market risks.

"In its rate application BC Hydro reported that by 2014 it will be buying over five million megawatt hours of private power as a result of the government's policy. This is power that BC Hydro does not yet need, would not otherwise have acquired and the BC Utilities Commission would not have approved. The average price BC Hydro will be paying for this power is well over $100 per megawatt hour and its value, based on Hydro's latest forecasts of its market, will be less than $50 per megawatt hour. The financial loss to BC Hydro will be well over $250 million in that year alone.

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