The Site C Dam location along the Peace River in Fort St. John in April 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

BC Hydro forced to misspend billions on private energy contracts, report says

Previous government pressured it to buy too much of the wrong energy at inflated prices, report says

The province’s previous government forced BC Hydro to sign long-term contracts with independent power producers, causing it to buy too much energy for too high a price, in a move that will cost taxpayers billions, a new report says.

The report, written by former B.C. Treasury Board director Ken Davidson, says the Christy Clark government fabricated an urgent need for electricity, but would not allow the utility to produce it, and forcing it to buy the wrong type of power from private producers at much higher prices.

READ MORE: BC Hydro’s $5.5 billion in deferred debt puts pressure on rates

“Government directed BC Hydro to purchase 8,500 GWh/year of Firm energy BC Hydro did not need,” the report says, costing a “conservative” estimate of about $16 billion over 20 years, or $200 a year for the average residential customer.

Davidson makes a number of recommendations, including restoring the oversight of the BC Utilities Commission and ensuring all power is purchased and priced at market rates.

He had been tasked to independently review what influenced BC Hydro’s purchases of electricity from private power producers, and how those purchases affected hydro rates.

His report is separate from the two-phase review into controlling costs at BC Hydro – the results of which are to be released on Thursday. The NDP launched the review last June following its decision to proceed with the controversial $10-billion Site C megadam in the Peace region.

READ MORE: Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

“British Columbians are paying more on their hydro bills because of the previous government’s choices,” said Energy Minister Michelle Mungall in a release Wednesday evening.

“Professional staff within government and BC Hydro warned them against that course of action, but that government refused to listen.”

Read the full report here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shuswap men targeted in police ‘high risk’ search remain in custody

Bail hearing tentatively set for Feb. 4 in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm

Parents unhappy mould issue at Sicamous school not made public sooner

School District #83 says clean up of trouble areas will address air quality concerns

Fair pay? Revelstoke council seeks wage similar to Salmon Arm counterparts

Neighbouring mountain town pursues different path to increase remuneration

Proposed trail improvements would better connect Salmon Arm schools

Project would upgrade 350 metres of trail near middle, secondary schools

Shuswap mental health study: Grocery stores a destination for people in need of connection

Ongoing interviews provide useful insight to suicide prevention efforts

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Health upgrades in South Okanagan and Similkameen forecast to cost nearly $10 million

Capital projects include CT scanner, medical vacuum system, ultrasounds and more

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Most Read