LETTER: Solar project a good way to lose money

Reader Stu McDonald explains why he thinks Nelson's solar power will be too expensive.

Re: Solar garden project grows,” Nov. 11

Nelson’s solar garden project makes no sense. The proposal is to replace hydro generated electricity with solar generated electricity at a much greater cost. The Nelson Hydro cost to generate power is less than seven cents per kWh where the cost to generate solar power is over 70 cents per kWh. Why would we want to increase the cost of power generation by ten times?

The most important consideration before embarking on new power generation is do we need more power? Are we running short? Clearly the answer to both questions is no. Nelson Hydro generates enough power to supply 100 per cent of the city’s demand, and it buys power from Fortis to supply its customers outside of the city. The cost to buy the extra power from Fortis generators is just over seven cents per kWh. In other words, one-tenth of the cost of solar-generated power. There is a massive amount of available hydro-generated power in our immediate area at similar prices to the power purchased from Fortis. We’ll never run short.

I wonder why anyone would put their money into a project that will produce intermittent electricity at a cost of approximately 74 cents and receive a return of about one-tenth of the cost of production. Seems like a good way to lose your money.

Finally, we are continuously told to reduce, reuse and recycle and here the city is proposing to spend nearly $200,000 on infrastructure that we don’t need. How does that fit into reducing consumption?

Stu McDonald

Nelson

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