Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ontario Power policy shocking

Niagara Falls Review

“We must deliver power to such an extent that the poorest working man will have light in his home,” “Power at cost” and “Public power ownership.”

These are three quotes from Sir Adam Beck in his initial years as chairman of the original Ontario Hydro. At this time, private companies are approaching agricultural-designated land owners in the Niagara Peninsula and offering them $500 per acre per year for 20 years to install hundreds of tons of concrete and solar panels. Once installed, they will sell the power back to the people of Ontario for 80 cents a kilowatt.

I calculated my bill this morning and my usage cost me 13 cents a kilowatt. If this is such a great idea, why not install all this concrete on the publicly owned land. For example, the hundreds of miles of transmission corridors, the hundreds of acres of industrial land surrounding the generating stations, in particular the Nanticoke site and Lambton site (assuming this government isn’t smart enough to install nuclear power on these sites) where the electrical infrastructure is right there.

The expense of upgrading the electrical infrastructure, installing fences and securing proper drainage on these farm lands are all expenses that the people of Ontario will bear the burden of through grants and then “blend” the 80 cents into their monthly bill. Once the land lease is over, I don’t think you can grow carrots in concrete.

In case no one has noticed lately, there is no industry here and with these proposed rates, it’s obvious we will not be appealing to any sort of business.

The U.S. and China are ramping up right now installing an unbelievable number of thermal plants. It’s obvious they want industry and jobs. In recent months, OPG has paid other utilities to take excess power and is regularly spilling water at four cents a kilowatt to allow solar and wind generation to stay on the grid. Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation have gifted individuals who are paid by the taxpayers who should be given the opportunity and ability to give us taxpayers some proper direction now and into the future. Politicians should only set the guidelines.

One last thought, our failing health system, our electrical power rates and this great HST — it shouldn’t take a brain surgeon come election time.

Darryl McGowan
Retired Ontario Power Generation supervisor, Niagara Falls

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