Lardeau Valley Power Stability- minutes from Aug. 2019 meeting. Updated Oct. 29th

Lardeau Valley Power Stability

Community meeting- August 2019

Purpose: to hear residents concerns regarding utility grid vulnerability

Opening remarks:

–       Unreliable power in north Kootenay Lake Valley and very long power outages: affects local industry & economic activity.  Telephone service is lost after as little as 12 hours.  Water service and refrigeration is lost. Elderly residents placed at risk. Many forced to use backup generators; there is a safety risk if they are not properly isolated from the Hydro meter. This is due to the community being on a dead-end line with no redundant power source.  It is compounded by the long delay time for BC Hydro crews to arrive on site from Nakusp or Vernon to repair line damage due to tree falls & rock and snow slides.

–       There is a need to document the power outage statistics.

–       We should set up a research team to study solutions.

–       This is not seen as a priority issue by the Provincial Government; moreover, the Government is not interested in promoting local renewable energy.

  • This should be regarded as a compensation issue going back to the Columbia River Treaty
  • Need stats on power outages and duration over the last 10-20 years; compare to on the ground knowledge
  • Trees down very often the cause; can BC Hydro cut them down- do a better job of line maintenance?
  • What about having redundant lines that are in place as back up?
  • Need a better understanding of how the grid works; specific to how it works in the LV
  • Distribution is the barrier; currently comes up from the East shore and thus has many areas of vulnerability
  • Gap from Marblehead to Howser
  • No lineman since 2013; would that make a big difference in response time for restoring power
  • Possible for BCUC support; clean energy section 2- Andy Shadrack to follow up
  • Its getting worse
  • More power failures in Howser than Johnson Landing; how does that work?
  • Historical level of service; 26 years ago it took only a day to replace polls and lines, now it can take up to 72 + hours

ACTIONS

Document collection

  • BC Hydro: **Aimee is seeking this information**
    • Stats on power outages and duration
    • There are BC Hydro employees here to operate Duncan Dam; why not a local lineman
    • BC Hydro policy/ management of danger trees? Are they accounting for or working towards a wildfire mitigation plan that could support more stable system?
    • Why are the outages more frequent? Due to longer response or more frequent weather event?
  • Independent Power options: **Don Scarlett, Andy Shadrack, Joel Hutton, Bob Watters working together**
    • Hugh Elliot/Argenta Power; what agreements, if any, do they have as an utility?
    • Options for utility structure(s); in terms of governance
    • Columbia Power Duncan Dam power feasibility study (Aimee has a copy but it is considered proprietary, hoping to gain permission to share it)

o  Would a substation at the north end of the Lake improve power reliability?

o  Terms of Reference for an economic development study aren’t the first priority; first address the power unreliability issue, do the study, etc.

    • Renewable Energy Scan for Kaslo/D-**Aimee to circulate**

 

Community Engagement:

Premise of this action is to glean ground evidence and concerns from the residents while also soliciting locally based solutions. Actions and those who volunteered are listed below:

o  Andy Shadrackcould write up standardized questions for collecting community concerns.

o  Larry Leonardis willing to print out questionnaires to be dropped off at a central location.

o  Greg Underwoodis willing to put the information into a database; his business can help set up public polling questions/forms and manage the data.

o  Responses could be mailed in to the Lardeau Valley Community Hall.

o  Opportunity Links needs to be notified about this initiative.

o  At this stage funding could be available for materials needed to collect the data.

o  Bring LINKS into the loop, ask for a section on the website to host information and documents ** Aimee will share these notes with Nichol Ward and ask that they be posted, once the group approves them**

o  Responses could be mailed in to the Lardeau Valley Community Hall