Friday, 4 October 2019

Summerland Solar just one more example of misinformed and misguided public money wasted

This comes under the heading of we are all in it together.  All residents of BC are shareholders of BC Hydro whose legacy dams make power for 3.45c/kWh.

The Ken Davidson report "Zapped" tells the story of IPP waste caused by a previous government and policy that required BC Hydro to buy IPP power at full or more retail cost, particularly ROR (run of river) power that BC Hydro didn't need, it was all earned from spring runoff when every hydro reservoir and lake was overflowing and spilling.  Yet BCH was required to buy this ROR power at obscene full retail rates or more with inflation while spilling their legacy dam power made for around 3c/kWh.   These contracts will cost us billions in the next decades.

Summerland solar sold to the grid has the same value as the ROR IPP power, ZERO$$ and lost income from otherwise BCH legacy dam waterpower.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Balfour Solar Scam no. 2


Same deception and waste occurrs with the Balfour golf clubhouse public data, all of this
I have presented to mayors, councilors, RDCK directors and others, the data is deceptive
it shows power made by the 40kW installed and yet shows 24.8kW installed.  Anyone reading
this and using the information for their calculations will be DECEIVED!  But although they have 38% more installed, its not working much better than a properly oriented south facing system with proper equipment.  More on that another time.

Nelson hydro's own bylaw says the maximum size of a solar system is 25kW without
special consideration from the Nelson hydro manager.

Also it states anyone's excess power will be purchased will only be purchased with the authorization of the Nelson hydro manager and if there is an economic benefit to Nelson hydro.

All of this and more I have presented to regional district directors, mayors and councilors past and present.   I also spoke in person with the Nelson hydro manager with the regional director for
Balfour present.   In my opinion the hydro manager is unethical and the director knows nothing.

The Balfour Golf Clubhouse is misrepresenting the public on line data, which no longer appears as of May2019, I have asked the regional directors involved why the data is no longer being shown, with no response.

There were two bids from Alberta solar companies to install the system, one stated in their bid
the size was limited to under 25kW to meet the Nelson hydro bylaw maximum.

The accepted bid installed 40kW of solar , exceeding the Nelson hydro bylaw maximum size!

Install price likely over $4/watt or $160,000 although its difficult to get real numbers from the available financials.

Nelson hydro pays FULL retail for their excess solar, most earned in summer when we don't need it, our dam and every one in the Pacific Northwest is filling and overflowing from spring runoff into high summer water levels when most  annual solar power is earned.

This credit is then cashed in during winter when solar is negligible and Nelson hydro is buying excess power from Fortis at 5 times the rate of their own generation.   Buy High, Sell Low.

Public grant money installs these systems, Nelson hydro customers pay full retail for this feelgood warm fuzzy feeling philosophical power while cleaner greener water that would make that power and profits spills down the river.

The same deception for the public on line data occurrs here as for the Balfour Community Hall

The Nelson hydro bylaw says no systems larger than 25kW and they won't buy anyone's power unless it makes economic sense for Nelson hydro.

How curious!  They show 24.8kW installed when actually 40 kW is installed exceeding the bylaw!

I spoke directly at a public budget meeting with the manager of Nelson Hydro Alex Love, standing beside him the regional director Ramona Faust and brought this up and asked why we were paying full retail for their excess power.   Alex Love looked at me and motioned to Ramona Faust as he said "ask her".  She said to me "you just don't like solar".  (we have had conversations and emails before).
I replied not true, I just don't like public money wasted.

I can't do this alone, nobody does anything, this is just one of many items I know about, my intention is to help with knowledge and information.   

How about someone standing up and helping?  Its your tax dollars (grants are not free money) its your Nelson hydro bill subsidizing this feelgood philosphical greenwashing wasting your money.
There will be more CBT funding for more public feelgood solar systems I can't stop anything.

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Monday, 30 September 2019

Balfour Solar Scam Part 1

Balfour Public Grant money Solar System Scam Part 1

Below is a screenshot from the public on line data for the Balfour Community Hall solar system.

They are misrepresenting the system size anyone using this data will be fooled.

I have brought this to the attention of those and others involved more than once.

The last public news release stated 305 watt panels were installed. There are 60 making the
system 18.3kW yet they show 12.4kW installed.

Anyone using this public data (there are thousands available in the world) will be fooled.

The information shows the system cost $157,130 for 18kW or $8.72/watt almost triple
what one might expect. Presuming it was on budget.

The first year it earned 13686kWh. Nelson hydro makes that for $119 and sells for a 500% profit.
If you really do the complicated calcultions I won't go into here its worth maybe $29 at best!
Business case borrowed $157,000 is $9600/yr for 25 years.

They take our public grant money that society could use for real needs, Nelson hydro allows full retail for any of their solar credit made in summer when Nelson doesn't need their power and
they cash in that solar credit in winter when Nelson hydro is buying excess power from
Fortis for 5 times as much as their own generation. Nelson hydro loses the power sales from their cleaner greener waterpower.  Nothing is cleaner than our waterpower.  That makes solar dirty power adding to our carbon footprint.   Cradle to toxic grave if the panels last 25 years the power is never cleaner than our waterpower plus all the non renewables in mining, smelting and transportation and final toxic hazardous material end of life costs.

Lose Lose Lose, grant money better spent wasted, Nelson hydro income from cleaner water power sales lost that helps bring down our hydro rates, and its dirty power.

Greenwashing absurdity at its finest. There is part 1, more to come.

PS All the information necessary to arrive at the $29 per year valuation for this solar systems annual power requires a very in depth knowledge of when solar power has value, for example from spring runoff through high summer water reservoir/lake levels when water is spilling, solar is worthless.  We don't even use all the water.   When our water batteries become useful in winter draw down, solar power is negligible, when we could use the power.  Example,  the Duncan Lake reservoir is one of our winter batteries,  30 miles long, fills up 100 feet for 1.4Million acre feet of storage.  Similarly Libby and Kootenay lake.  Several million acre feet of water that goes through our hydro generators for six months until spring runoff refills and the cycle repeats.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Open letter to Councillor Renwick

My blog title goes back to the community solar garden there is a connection Nelson hydro customers fund that feelgood political greenwashing failure and they also been involved with NelsonFiber funding.

Re: city council  presentation (starts about 1:42) for Nelson Fiber bylaw to reduce rates to be more competitive. Council will receive new bylaw rate request June 24th.

Good day  Councillor Renwick:

I would like to offer some information re: Nelson Fibre rate reduction,to help council make good decisions, what the CAO and NF manager presented is anything but
the best information to benefit the taxpayers.

The city is biting the hand that feeds it, Telus and Shawcable pay to be on the city hydro poles, why
interfere and use public money to compete with real business?

                         Above is a Nelson hydro pole with Telus, Shaw and NF fibre.

Nelsonfibre is dark fibre, like waterpipe with no water, you have no TV, internet etc., you only
sell the pipe, the income is in the product over the long term. Your pipe is redundant.  In fact
you are just resellers of what Telus and Shaw already have, why introduce another cost into
the picture?

The NF manager stated they are in discussion with Telus and Shaw, for what? Telus and Shaw
above have the product, internet, TV, etc., They need to pay your pole rental and bring their shareholders a profit. NF is a taxpayer funded pretend business with no customers or future.

Why does NF have NO residential customers?  Its been around for years. UNAFFORDABLE

NF residential rate  $500 min install, $250 admin fee  $100/mo for city darkfibre.
Then the customer must get their own equipment and an internet and or TV service plan.

NF business rate as above and  $150/mo to the city.

I have an invoice for the Retreat Guru business for NelsonFiber.  I believe councillor
Logtenberg rents a desk there, maybe he can bring council the latest information.

The retreat Guru invoice I show paid $2291 for install, (basic $500 or costs)
$250 one time admin fee, $150/mo to the city for darkfiber.

Then they have to buy their own equipment and an internet service plan.

Telus has 1GB Business unlimited data, free install, modem etc. for $170/mo.
Shaw although slower  $139.95/mo business, free install, modem and free Shaw Go Wifi
Is the Retreat Guru still an NF customer?  Will they be when Telusfiber is available
with free install, modem attractive competitive pricing we haven't seen yet.  When Telus
PureFibre went into Creston recently the promo was $49.95/mo for the first 6 months, free
install, modem, etc.


When we met the other day briefly you heard my friend relate the story his wife was
solicited by Telus and she wasn't interested initially, they sweetened the deal until it
was $40/mo for 2 years.  She called Shaw to cancel they offered $38 she told them to take
a hike she had been paying them for decades, recently over $80/mo. 

When TelusPureFiber is all over the city, Shaw cable already is, they share the total city
customer business, they will price compete as above to retain market.

What will NF who have NO residential customers expect to achieve.

NF has no TV or internet, only the fiber, its Shaw or Telus who provide the value.

The city rates now $100/mo for residential(no customers) or other gov;'t.  $150/mo
for business for darkfibre, like water pipe with no water,

How will NF compete?  Why would you parallel their fiber and then expect to put their
product in it to make a profit?  Ludicrous. Absurd!

Secondly NF has no penetration, they exist in a tiny percent of the city, how many potential
customers even if you were able to get all on your availability?  See map for Fairview below!

NF doesn't have the market penetration, below in green, NF in Fairview, hardly available anywhere, Shawcable is everywhere and Telus fibre soon will be.

Will NF give me a quote for 800 block 5th st?  It would cost $50,000 to bring fiber over to me.

The last council meeting re NelsonFibre was painful to listen to. Beginning
around 1:42 .

How can the CAO and NF manager appear before council and give you their salespitch
for NF with a straight face?

The city says its saving $100,000/yr with NF. With about 4 locations(firehall, library, city hall and works yard)

The Mgr is $97K/yr, with two full time IT techs, with holidays and benefits likely $250,000/yr.

NelsonFiber income  $100/mo from schools and other gov't connections and $150 from
business.  They still need an internet plan.

The city says NF is self sustaining

Believable?  I don't believe anything from this city anymore.

Someone who knows more than I suggests NF equipments and fiber cost over $2M.

Real business costs borrowed money 3.5% interest over 25 years another $10,000/mo.

 Where are the revenue expense financials for NF?  Can't be found. 

At the last council meeting presentation from CAO and NF mgr only mayor had a question, he said to the NF mgr “would we be having this conversation if Telus wasn't coming to town?” Her reply

YES we have been planning this for a long time this has created faster action.  Might this have something to do
with keeping her $97,000/yr income?

What was the CAO doing trying to sell council NF? he should be saying NF is a failure, bankrupt we should stop funding it.

The NF mgr. Goes on to say CBBC(Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation) is a strategic partner? How? More public CBT grant money?

So where are the questions from the rest of council?  Like deer in the headlights, rubber stamping
the CAO incompetence.  How about it councillors, ask some questions.

The CAO talks about multi unit buildings sharing a strand. Present NF pricing two sharing
$100/ea/mo. For darkfibre than they have to get equipment and a plan.
For a landlord/building owner with 5 sharing, down to $40/mo. What landlord would put this together, no need to create a bonus to attract renters, there aren't any vacancies.

The commons has fiber, not one residential customer. Just how many multi unit bldgs exist where
NF is available anyways?


I predicted this in 2016.

Nelson hydro does NF work, how about the  $90,000 taken from a city reserve fund to pay for the NF  reno in city hall, or the  $20,000 security door?

The Community Charter says reserve funds must be spent for the purpose created, any other
use must be repaid with interest, how will NF repay this?

Will schools continue as NF customers? The Ministry of Ed. Contracts to Telus for their NextGen Network (high speed fiber) in the rest of the province. Is NF the carrier of this product here? Now with Telusfibre at every school why would they stay with NF?

Will NF retain their other government customers?  
NF is a stranded asset (liability?) no future, no reason to exist.

NelsonFiber is a stranded asset, an unfortunate waste of public grant and taxpayers money.

NF makes the solar garden waste look like a walk in the park.

Will they keep paying the NF manager and staff with nothing to do?

June 24th lets see what the CAO and NF manager bring to city council for their 
new competitive rate bylaw.   NF would have been bankrupt long ago if it was
a real business.

Norm Yanke

PS the above example $40/mo for 2year contract was not fibre but conventional internet
speeds, all that most need, something supports emails and NetFlix video and YouTube.

Also when you are a reseller of internet who will your customer call when there is a problem
will NF have a hotline, support?   Will DHC who have gotten rich over NF be sending
bills to the city for all the trouble calls?  Telus and Shaw absorb this from their profits.
 Another reason NF has no reason to exist.
Even now schools have their own IT people, are city IT people servicing their business clients
Somewhere between 30 and 50 since the info is unavailable.   NF is done, over, finished
bankrupt don't waste another nickel.

Friday, 22 March 2019

2019 Nelson Hydro Ignores its own Bylaws, RDCK fails due diligence in public spending

Comment submission Re: Nelson hydro 2019 Rate review

Nelson hydro ignores its own bylaw(rates paid for solar only if there is economic benefit to Nelson Hydro) and Public information for the Balfour community solar.  (Systems cannot be larger than 25kW) both Balfour systems exceed this!
Grant money was supposed to be spent for projects that showed a positive return.  Alberta
Pembina institute  came up with that one.  RDCK did no due diligence to confirm.
Their statement "the two bidders calculations aren't similar! and how they did their calculations
is unknown! _should be a RED FLAG.

All of this I submitted to the last mayor and council, again to  this mayor and council, the Regional District and director involved and the Alberta installation company.

NOTHING has changed or been discussed with me.  And more grant money is coming likely
to produce the same result and loss to Nelson hydro ratepayers.

My concern is Columbia Basin Trust's recent announcement of $900,000 grant money available for community alternate energy systems.  We already have systems in the Nelson hydro service area from previous grants.  In 2009 a SolarBC grant put a system on the high school.  Around 2011 a local business received a grant for a solar system.  The business and solar system disappeared.  One of the city councillors was a principal in that business.  He has yet to reveal what happened to the system paid for with public money.
There is a solar system from grant money on a city park washroom.  The Nelson Community Solar
Garden, Nelson hydro pays full retail for that power when the alternative is huge profits from wholesale cleaner greener waterpower, now spilling down the river with the profits

Last summer grant money installed three solar systems with grant money on community buildings in Nelson hydro's service area at Balfour, Regional District.  Nelson hydro is paying full retail for any of their excess solar power while losing income from waterpower sales.  Its unknown how many more systems might show up with the recent $900,000 CBT grant money.

Every kW of solar in the Nelson hydro service area is lost hydro income that helps reduce rates.

Nelson hydro is not abiding by its own bylaw.

Nelson hydro bylaw   6.4 Net Metering Interconnection Requirements

States Rates paid will be subject to the approval of the Nelson hydro General Manager and will be determined based on the economic benefit to Nelson Hydro.

It also states maximum projects size is 25kW .

The Balfour systems don't meet bylaw, they should never have been approved, never mind
exceeding the maximum size!

 The Balfour systems exceed 25kW.

At the recent public hydro budget meeting the Area director for Balfour and the manager of Nelson hydro were together and I approached them.  I asked the hydro manager how much Balfour was being paid for  their excess solar power.  His reply,  motioning towards the area director, "ask her".    She didn't know.   I then asked why the systems exceed the 25kW bylaw maximum power.  He acted like he didn't know what I was talking about.  I had a printout of the bylaw in my hand.  Trying to show him, he put his hand up towards me, signalling the conversation was over.

The CBT grant requires one must show a positive return for the project.  Balfour's report was prepared by the Pembina Institute of Edmonton.  With no engineering data collected on site, their estimate of annual power exceeded any known local data and now that its been in operation for over 7 months data shows they are earning less than 70% of estimates.

The report makes a deceptive statement as follows:

A way for Nelson Hydro to avoid purchasing
electricity from other utilities (FortisBC) is to purchase renewable, low-carbon

electricity locally

Nelson hydro makes a large profit selling low-carbon waterpower, nothing is greener or
cleaner than waterpower.

The RDCK makes the statement

 the systems must be economical to ensure public dollars are being spent prudently. This analysis uses the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) metric.

IRR ignores all expenses, Warren Buffet calls it Bull$hit bookkeeping, to take public grant
money this way is anything but prudent.

The RDCK statement in the report as follows:\

 Each company provided an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) calculation, but the details of how each company performed the calculation is unknown. It is suspected the calculations are not similar and may or may not include levelized operation and maintenance costs. Regardless, the IRR calculations give good guidance to the economics of the system. Cost savings does not take into account operating, maintenance and replacement costs. They are strictly savings on electricity bills.

In my opinion referring to the above statement, there was no due diligence by the RDCK to confirm whether the projects were economical to  ensure public dollars are being spent prudently.  No bank would loan money with this lack of due diligence or non engineering, yet grants were given.


The public on line data shows the following deceptive information
 public data for the  Balfour Community Hall

Balfour Community Hall PV System Overview
aCurrent PV Power
41 minutes ago
3040 W
PV Energy
67.26 kWh
Total: 5522.17 kWh
CO2 avoided
47 kg
Total: 3.9 t
PV system information
PV system power:
12.40 kWp
Note above it shows 12.4kWp installed. They have 18.4kW installed!!!  This fools anyone using this data into thinking the system makes far more power per kw of solar panel than it really is! 

They have 18.3kWp installed, anyone looking at the on line data will be fooled into thinking
the system is making far more power than it is.

Above are 60 305 watt panels on the Balfour community hall making 18.3kW installed.


The on line public data similarly is deceptive, showing 24.8kW installed when over 40kW is installed.  Deceiving anyone looking at the on line data into thinking the system is making far more power than it is.

Balfour Golf Course PV System Overview

Current PV Power
PV Energy
11.429 MWh
CO2 avoided
8.0 t
PV system information
PV system power:
24.80 kWp

Anyone viewing their on line public data will be fooled, their info shows the power made from the 40kW installed, they are only showing 24.8kWp  installed, this meets the Nelson hydro bylaw maximum of 25kW installed per site.

                          Above birds eye view of the Balfour Golf Clubhouse solar system

There are 132 305 watt solar panels = 40.3kWp installed, they show 24.8kW installed.

All of this information I have sent to the Columbia Basin Trust grantors, the RDCK directors, the city of Nelson council and Nelson hydro manager.

This was also sent to the installation company Dandelion Renewables in Alberta who would have set up the on line data, they would be the ones to correct everything.  Nothing changed.

The Balfour Golf Clubhouse on line data stopped updating in 
mid December.  Wouldn't look good when no power is made while the system is covered in snow.

I have contacted the RDCK director responsible and the installation company.  The director emailed me saying she would look into it.  At the public meeting I asked her about it in person, she had nothing to say.

Its my contention this type of deception is responsible for the new CBT grant funding of
$900,000 becoming available.

These systems and the IRR method of calculating payback deceives one into thinking solar
has value.

The BCUC denied the Fortis Kelowna solar garden project stating it had no benefit to anyone.
BC Hydro's application to no longer pay for any excess IPP power is in abeyance.
Fortis only pays their wholesale power production costs for any excess power.

And both BC Hydro and Fortis only allow one to size a system to meet their annual needs.

Nelson hydro remains as the only utility I know of that is paying full retail for any IPP power at the expense of ratepayers and  the waste of public grant monies.

In Summary:

Nelson hydro ignores its own bylaws.
1. the bylaw says it will only purchase power if its of economic benefit to Nelson hydro
2. maximum sized systems 25kW without special permissions.
The Balfour systems are on two buildings, both exceeding the 25kW maximum.

Apparently more are being planned.
Nelson hydro already scammed us with the phoney solar garden engineering.

Norm Yanke
Nelson BC

Wednesday, 20 March 2019


                     GETTING TO 100% RENEWABLES QUICKER

    A past Nelson Hydro engineer spoke about Voltage Optimization at a public
hydro budget meeting a couple years ago.   We haven't heard about it since.

This could save a lot of energy, thus getting this city to its goal of 100% renewable
by having far more cheap electricity available.

The concept is similar to your home water pressure regulator.  In Nelson city water pressure
can be and is higher than what you want inside your home.  Typical home water pressure
regulators are set for about 60 psi.   City water pressure on the inlet side at my home is over 80 psi it can be much higher at times.   This could cause leaks in your plumbing, that is why you have a water pressure regulator.

These devices require no attention they just keep working year after year reliably.

The same concept can be applied to Electricity.

At the moment  I am seeing 128.7 vac, at my electric outlets, I have seen 130vac and higher.

Let me show you basic electric principles and ohm's law.

You have likely seen nameplates on electric appliances such as below

Here is how Voltage Optimization can work.
Using ohm's law if Voltage is maintained at 110V in a linear device. (resistance remains the same current increases with voltage, therefore power used).

Solve for Resistance above we get 12 ohms.
Current is E/R or 110V/12 ohms = 9.16 amps
Power is I x E or 9.16 amps x 110V = 1000 Watts or 1kW

What happens if the voltage is 130V?

Using ohm's law you will arrive at 1.4kW,   40% more power.

Sounds too good to be true, it violates one of the basic laws of physics: conservation of energy.

Well yes that is true for the most part.  But putting a brick in the toilet tank that saves a litre per flush over a million toilets is a million litres of water saved.   Will you notice if the lights aren't quite as bright, the tv and computer and everything else will still work.

 A study done by Intel Corporation(most computers main processor IC comes from Intel) found a 9% reduction in voltage on their microprocessors saved 20% in power consumption.

Check out these case studies from dozens of companies.  Most of this coming from Europe where electricity is costly.

Over 10.5% energy savings for the RAF.

These are using on site power optimizers, what if Nelson hydro did this?  What happened to the study the engineer was speaking about a couple years ago?

Although most of the information is talking about devices in individual homes, what if Nelson hydro did this, optimization at their level would translate into stable lower voltages in your home.

The cheapest power made is the power conserved.

Could Nelson hydro reduce power consumption by 20% how about just 10%?.

Their annual total power load is approaching 200,000MWh per year.

Saving 20MWh/year would be the equivalent of powering almost 2000 average homes.

Nelson hydro buys $6M in excess power from Fortis annually.

How many electric vehicles could use that energy.

A Nissan leaf uses 20.13kWh/100 km.

20MWh/20kWh =1000 x 100km = 100,000km.

Using too much voltage might be adding an unnecessary 10–20 percent to your electricity bill; multiply that across the whole of the industrial world and you get a big problem that's bad for the economy and bad for the planet.

save up to 26% on your electric bills

technology is demonstrated and proven

the national grid case study

How it works

I think I will call Nelson hydro and get them to turn the voltage down in my house
its reading just under 130 volts, I would like to see 110 volts.

Thats only a 15% voltage change but it gives almost 40% reduction in power, see calculations above.
Would you like to see your hydro bill reduced by 40%?

Sunday, 9 December 2018

City of Nelson Director of Technology

As City of Nelson Director of Technology can you tell me if the city is applying for CBT funding?

Lets analyze the above--less electricity purchases---  Nelson buys half its power from Fortis if you don't know they buy this at about 4c/kWh and resell for a 300% profit yet solar costs are 10 times that.  Just one of the many deceptions regarding the solar garden.

Nelson Hydro - Regional Energy Efficiency Proposal for RDCK –
Alex Love P Eng Manager of Nelson Hydro2

Alex’s first design and install of Solar PV was in 2000. This system is still in place. Alex’s experience with several electric utilities includes a number of customer driven grid tie solar PV installs (mostly homes and schools). The most recent significant PV experience is with the development of the Nelson Community Solar Garden. In this project Alex played a support and mentoring role to the project manager, Carmen Proctor, where he collaboratively he provided solar PV engineering expertise, general project management guidance, and customer buy in model guidance.  So why did Nelson hire a consultant for the solar garden?

There are dozens of publications regarding the Nelson Solar garden stating Nelson Hydro is promising
a return on investment in 12 to 15 years.

 The consulting engineers only able to come up with
a 25 year payback with a faulty engineering report.

How do you explain the public being told payback is guaranteed in 12 to 15 years when
even the engineering report can't provide a 25 year payback without faulty inputs.
Mr. Love is a qualified solar person from above information taken from an on line publication.

The slide below from a Nelson hydro presentation showing solar garden ROI in 12 to 15 years