Alberta's electrical deregulation handed $500M bonanza to BC Hydro
Contrary to expectations, free market has neither lowered prices nor increased generation for Albertans.
by Darcy Henton, The Edmonton Journal, reposted on BC Citizens for Public Power
EDMONTON, April 14. 2008 — The deregulation of Alberta's electrical system may be controversial here, but it has been a bonanza for British Columbia, say industry observers.
They say BC has made windfall profits — more than half a billion dollars — selling its cheaply produced hydro electricity on Alberta's power market at prices that rocket to nearly $1,000 per megawatt hour (MWh) — or $1 per kilowatt hour — when supply is short.
By contrast, John Calvert, an associate professor of public policy at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, says BC Hydro produces electricity at a cost of about 0.6 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh) and sells it to B.C.'s 1.7 million customers for around 6.4 cents per KWh to cover transmission, distribution and other costs.
Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald says it is obvious BC taxpayers are the winners in this province's electrical deregulation experiment and Albertans are the losers.
"It's like BC Hydro won a lottery — only they get a prize on an annual basis," he said. "They will get an annual dividend from our major mistake: electrical deregulation."...
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Links and sources
BC gains on Alberta's power pain: Deregulation handed $500M bonanza to BC Hydro, critics say, by Darcy Henton, The Edmonton Journal, April 14, 2008, reposted on BC Citizens for Public Power
Posted: May 29, 2008
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