Keeping the lights on with geothermal power

letter to the editor from Andru McCracken - Keeping the lights on with geothermal power

To the Editor:

Elected officials are working diligently on your behalf to raise the issues to the province’s power utility as they have been for years, but to no end, despite a high profile power outage hours before a key meeting on power at UBCM in Vancouver last week.

The message from the province and BC Hydro is pretty clear if you take a high level look. They believe the Robson and North Thompson Valleys should be happy with what we have. Incremental improvements come, but there is no game changer coming, no looping of the power line through to Prince George in our lifetimes.

Looking at the vision for the province, it’s not going to change until we discover some worthwhile resource to extract under our feet.

But this is where things get absurd.

There is a resource under our feet that can be extracted.

It can generate stable electricity that remote communities need. It happens to have the lowest carbon emissions and lowest surface disturbance of any alternative energy. And it runs year round.

It adds a redundancy that can only be matched by looping power through to Prince George – all this without requiring upgrades to transmission infrastructure, because the generation comes on line exactly where the load is instead of transporting it across the province.

It’s geothermal power. The province isn’t interested in it and BC Hydro is clear that they won’t lift a finger to help it come into being in B.C. But as small communities face power challenges we need to take this bull by the horns. If the province and BC Hydro continue to drag their feet, we need to meet as communities and determine how we will do it ourselves.

Lobbying won’t work. It’s time for us to take the lead.

Andru McCracken, mayor

Village of Valemount