Prosperity mine would cost BC Hydro and us millions – Vancouver Sun opinion

Re: A future for Prosperity mine and B.C., July 27

A key question the federal government must address with respect to the proposed Prosperity mine project is whether the economic benefits of the mine would offset the destruction of Fish Lake and other adverse impacts its own environmental review panel concluded it would have.

There is no question that the mine would provide a welcome stimulus to the Williams Lake region, but it would also impose a significant cost on BC Hydro and, therefore, on British Columbians.

The mine needs a large amount of electricity, which means Hydro would have to buy or develop more power to meet the mine’s requirements. Because the cost to Hydro to do this would be more than double what the mine would pay for the electricity it uses, Hydro would lose more than $35 million per year.

Proponents are correct that the mine would be paying Hydro’s standard industrial rate, but that’s the problem: The rate in B.C. does not begin to reflect the cost of new supply.

Marvin Shaffer, Vancouver

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