Metro Vancouver bills entire province for new incinerator

April 25, 2014

Metro Vancouver has just released details of an updated business case for its garbage burning plan. The FVRD believes the business case is flawed for many reasons, including its assumption that Metro Vancouver can secure above market rates for electricity.

As it turns out, the financial viability of a new garbage incinerator hinges on their ability to classify the energy it produces as "clean or renewable." Metro Vancouver’s own numbers verify that much of the garbage that will be burned is recyclable plastic, itself produced from fossil fuel. Contrary to Metro Vancouver’s hopes, energy produced from incineration is neither clean nor renewable as per the BC Clean Energy Act.

The market rate for electricity in BC is about $24/Mwh. According to a recent filing to the BC Utilities Commission, Metro Vancouver is asking BC Hydro to pay four times that amount ($100/Mwh) for electricity generated from incineration after they reclassify it "clean or renewable". "If such a deal were to be made, all BC Hydro ratepayers across the entire province would be subsidizing Metro Vancouver’s incineration scheme" said Patricia Ross, Vice Chair of the FVRD. Metro Vancouver has noted that unless they can secure this dramatically higher rate, the business plan for their incinerator is simply not viable.

"The people of BC don’t deserve to be green washed, nor can they afford it" responded Ross. The FVRD asks that anyone in BC who is concerned about their BC Hydro rates rising due to Metro Vancouver’s garbage burning scheme to contact the BC Utilities Commission to voice their concerns. Erica Hamilton is the Commission Secretary at the BCUC and can be reached at commission.secretary@bcuc.com.

Metro Vancouver has called a last minute meeting of its Zero Waste Committee to discuss the implications of the updated business case and possibly a significant postponement of planned public consultation. This meeting will occur at 9 am on April 28, 2014 at Metro Vancouver’s offices on 4330 Kingsway in Burnaby.