BC wastes Millions of Public money for Solar

(See the short version in pictures)  click HERE

Fleecing the public spending millions in BC on this  greenwashing fantasy.  Nelson is a great example of this public waste of money.  This applies to all of BC.

Nelson is the only city in western Canada with its own hydroelectric generation making clean green waterpower for 2c/kWh and selling for 12c/kWh bringing the city a huge income.

The city put 60kW of solar panels at the dam, the mayors green vote.

Every kW of public money for solar panels is lost income from selling cleaner greener waterpower.

Solar power cannot be stored it must be used when made, intermittent, unreliable and virtually nothing in winter when we need power the most as our water reservoirs, our batteries, draw down.

It comes down to a simple concept, CAPACITY FACTOR (CF).  If a hydroelectric plant makes power 24/7/365 its CF is 100%.

Years of publicly available BC data for solar shows solar CF at little better than 10%.
Almost all of it earned in summer high reservoir levels when we don't need the power.
From October through March the solar garden CF 2.3%.  All Nelson hydro customers pay full retail for this feelgood political power so that money can be distributed among those who bought in for their warm fuzzy feeling to save the planet.  Only 24 more years to go on that contract for all Nelson hydro customers.  While the water that would have made that power with profits to reduce our electric bills spills down the river!

UPDATE  its getting worse, Columbia Basin Trust has $900,000 for community alternate energy systems, Balfour already has solar on community buildings wasting even more.

Nelson Hydro dam, If we can't use all the water spilling down the river why are we adding solar power?
Above begins with spring runoff and lasts through to September
All the Orange is excess water spilling down the river in summer,  the blue represents power made in hydro dams.  This happens across the Pacific Northwest  a time of excess water and when most annual solar power is made, its as worthless as the excess water.

Historical Kootenay Lake levels, our winter batteries storing power, full overflowing from April through Septermber when almost all annual solar power is earned, why add solar, its more water down the river!
Above from Nelson Hydro showing annual utility load, notice blue represents water spilling down the river, power we can't use from around April through September when almost all annual solar power is earned, solar is worthless.  From October through March when we could use that power it doesn't work.  
    I added the coloring to the above Nelson hydro produced graph, during winter Nelson hydro buys excess power from Fortis shown in red. Yellow is Nelson hydro power, if we needed more we would just buy Fortis clean green waterpower, and make a profit, they have excess at this time also.
Above is a REAL actual graph of the Nelson solar power system showing almost all is earned when we don't need it, water is spilling over every dam and reservoir in the Pacific northwest, solar is worthless.  

This is the picture that should concern everyone, taken in March,  after our winter batteries (water storage) are depleted.  BC is a hydropower province, Site C is only necessary to store water for winter power, if water flows were even year round  it wouldn't be necessary.  
As March comes around the Nelson community solar panels begin to show some snow clearing,  we needed that power in winter not now.   Notice the front row panels shading the back row.   The city paid $80,000 to someone with no previous solar knowledge for this, who now is a city hydro management employee.  The city rumour is you don't have to know anything to be a manager you just have to know the right people.

                         Fleecing the public for solar fantasy in BC

And recently public grant money brought us another solar project for a town nearby.

Balfour received Columbia Basin Trust money, taxpayers dollars and every Nelson hydro customer is paying FULL retail for any of their excess solar power sent to the grid when we don't need it while losing the income otherwise earned from cleaner greener waterpower now spilling down the river!!!

They put solar panels on three buildings, the golf course, community centre and seniors centre.

Should the Balfour Golf Course receive free electricity paid for by public grant money, taxpayers dollars and Nelson hydro customers paying full retail for their excess solar power?

The Nelson golf course isn't getting free electricity, well not yet.

Unless solar power can avoid the burning of some non renewable like coal in a conventional power plant its dirty power adding to the cities(province's) carbon footprint.  This can't happen in BC a waterpower province.

Fortis a for profit company only pays their wholesale cost of  electricity for anyone's solar power why are Nelson Hydro customers paying full retail?  That bylaw can be changed.
Fortis only allows a solar system to be sized to meet the needs of the applicant,. Nelson hydro bylaw says 25kW maximum, without special permission,  the Balfour golf course is about 40kW?  I have asked if they received this permission without an answer.  Why would Nelson hydro customers pay for power they don't need, never mind losing the income that otherwise would come from our cleaner greener waterpower.

Solar is out of sync with need, daily power consumption peaks at breakfast and evenings when solar is least, mid day solar in BC is worthless.

Above is the actual best day for the Nelson Community Solar Garden, note almost all power earned miday, we don't need it, we need power in winter, and at night.

Within a few miles of Nelson we make around 1000MW of clean green waterpower.
The Nelson solar garden makes .000006MW enough for maybe 3 or 4 homes.

Between the schools and other publicly funded solar systems this area easily has over a million dollars in solar panels doing nothing for us.  At a public meeting I asked the manager of Nelson hydro what makes the solar power green, that is the publics perception.

                                     His reply, "Nobody said it was Green".

At the Community Solar Garden coffee shop meeting notes attribute the following to David Lovekin,  head of the Pembina Institute who did the study for the Balfour solar project.

He said:
Half our power comes from coal?????????

But these same minutes don't show any negative comments, I was at the meeting.

No BC companies bid on the Balfour solar systems, they came from Alberta and were installed by an Alberta company.  Alberta has $36M in government subsidy, a solar industry exits, BC has no subsidies, solar  business doesn't exist without subsidy.

I want to see the bleed of public dollars for something that can't help us stop, its about education, I hope this helps you understand solar in BC is a waste of money, we need power in winter, at night, not when we are putting on sunscreen at the beach.

Who installs solar panels so the front row shades the back row as above?  Nelson did, but then their $80,000 consultant had no solar experience.

Norm Yanke
Nelson BC

Nelson Community Solar Garden  $339,000 (that we know of) for 60kW or $5.65/watt not including the subsequent stolen solar panels, security guards, security camera installation and who knows what else.
Nelson hydro customers paying full retail while losing the income otherwise earned from cleaner greener waterpower.

Kimberley SunMine $6/watt, $5.65Million BC Hydro required to buy and pay full retail.

Balfour public info I can find suggest they did it for around $2/watt?  'Believable?  Would they have replaced the roofs if the solar grant money/project didn't happen?  How much was that?
Nelson hydro customers paying full retail while losing the income otherwise earned from cleaner greener waterpower sales.

Here we see the Balfour community hall with a forever metal roof.  The number of penetrations necessary to mount solar panels is a huge risk of leaks, was this roof changed to asphalt  to accommodate the solar panels or because it needed replacing?  The seniors centre is the same, how about the golf clubhouse?

What is the life expectancy of the new asphalt roof?  Solar panels life expectancy about 25 years, they make less power every year with age.  Looks like a new roof and new solar panels will be necessary again, does this make sense, will there be more grant money picking everyone's pocket for this insanity?

I retired from possibly the largest remote solar user in the province with in excess of 100 sites where solar was economic compared to helicopters flying fuel.

When the Nelson solar garden first was a thought I met with the Nelson hydro manager thinking I could help show it wouldn't work here.  Showing him years of local solar data,  He told me it was irrelevant and he was an engineer.
I made two applications to speak to city council, both denied.

When I was emailing data to those involved the hydro engineer said I was wasting their time and he would block my emails.

I became aware of the Balfour solar plan and in touch with the director, I thought I had her convinced solar was an economic failure.  Then I heard via the newspaper they had the grant money.

Grant money doesn't make unaffordable projects affordable it just changes who pays.  Solar in BC can not compete with our own clean green water power.  Why is this happening?  Misinformation, lack of knowledge and polticial points for what is perceived as green energy.


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