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Letter: What I am fighting for

Letters to the editor
By Letters to the editor
September 9th, 2019

To The Editor:

Any day now the BCUC will rule on whether rural Nelson hydro customers will be paying more for power than city customers.

There is a clause in the Community Charter that says councillors can be held personally financially accountable. Might this apply to what I am presenting below?

Nelson hydro’s bylaw says they will not purchase any power unless it makes economic sense.

Nelson hydro is a business owned by the city (residents) that makes huge profits helping reduce electric rates. The community solar garden was a political project where one could buy a 25-year contract for the power made by a solar panel. It should not be subsidized by Nelson hydro customers.

Nelson hydro produces clean green power using water for around 1c/kWh. If real costs were known I estimate solar power upwards of 50c/kWh. We are now stuck with the 25-year contracts to pay full retail for solar so that money is distributed among those who opted in. They said it would be fully funded by those opting in and payback.

The estimated cost $186,000, the contract price per panel based on that, real costs unknown, something over $400,000. No adjustment was made to contract purchase, you and I paid that difference.

Nelson hydro customers are paying full retail for power from the three Balfour community buildings solar power systems installed with grant money. . . . Lose, Lose.

BC Hydro and Fortis only pay wholesale for anyone’s excess solar power and they limit the system size so one should not have any excess. Two of the three Balfour systems exceed the Nelson hydro bylaw maximum size.

Vernon states, “under no circumstances will we buy anyone’s power”.

Grand Forks, Penticton and Summerland only pay their wholesale cost of power purchase if anyone by chance generates some extra.

If Nelson paid wholesale for those solar contracts they would have received $3 per panel the first year, instead they got $30. Nelson hydro sells power to BC Hydro, if the solar power were sold to them they would get a little over $2 for the first year.

We can’t change these contracts, we need to change those who got us into these contracts.

It’s time for a board of directors to watchdog Nelson hydro, city council has no ability. I have brought all of this to the attention of the past and present council, no one even responds.

Many other things in this city don’t look right to me. Most of it revolves around Nelson hydro management and monies. If things don’t look right, they probably are not.

Maybe councillors should be responsible for our losses. I see no ability in this council to ask the hard questions and get in behind the curtain of what happens at Nelson hydro, I am looking for accountability, we don’t have that.

Norm Yanke, Electronics Technologist Supv. Retd, Nelson, BC

Categories: LettersOp/Ed

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