Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Electrical is an Expensive Mess! 

John Clark
148`5 – 123 Ave
Edmonton, AB
T5L 2Y7
August 7, 2004

Honorable Ralph Klein,
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6

Honorable Murray Smith, MLA
404 Legislature Building,
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6


Your electrical plan is a free for all and is fouled by gaping holes which can only escalate into exaggerated and impossible costs for Albertans! Your comments acknowledging the needs of the electrical system have been in neglect for the past 15 years draws little comfort. Allowing this deterioration I believe was intentional as a tool to make privatization seem just a little bit reasonable regardless of the bizarre effort. It is obvious the costs of replacement power and energy have not been factored into Smith’s plans! We need answers before an election!

When will the upgrades of the transmission system be started and finished?

During part of the transmission upgrades it is obvious that Genesee and/or Keephills generating station(s) will need to be out of service in order to reconnect power and instrument transformers for higher voltage. Off line for a minimal duration of weeks extending to much longer!

When will these outages commence and, when will they end?

During the outages just described, there will be a need for replacement power. If Genesee is down we would need about 1200 megawatts of replacement power; if Keephills is down we would need about 800 megawatts of replacement power, if both are down we would need about 2000 megawatts of replacement power. Does the AESO currently have a contract with sources to supply this replacement power and energy and if so can you provide complete details of prices and suppliers?

Additionally, there are indications that you expect approximately 1000 megawatts of generation at Brooks and an additional 900 megawatts of generation at Keephills by December 2006. We have not seen any indication that design of these projects has been initiated, let alone the fact that we have not heard actual construction has started! Could you give a date when decisions will be finalized in regard to these two projects and when these projects will be providing energy?

In the event that the transmission upgrades are not completed by 2006, and that the two projects of (4) are not in service by December 2006, from where will the additional deficit of 1900 megawatts come during the upgrades? Do you have firm contracts for the supply of replacement power and, if so, please indicate the specific sources and prices?

Do you have a critical path analysis chart to show which events must be completed and when in order for a successful conclusion of the transmission upgrades and, if so may we have a copy?

Your scenario is outlining a situation where Albertans will face power outages on a large scale while paying impossibly high prices for the power we manage to import. The evidence contained in your own documents indicates Albertans could be facing a very critical shortage of electric power starting as early as next year and probably will be critical until after 2006 since it appears extremely unlikely that the 1000 megawatts of capacity near Brooks and the 900 megawatts to be added to Keephills will be available by the end of 2006. You will, as is your regular response, claim the high prices we are paying are the fault of a global market rather than your lack of planning and management of resource?

Recent media releases indicate 48 million dollar wind generation site is undertaken and is starting to produce; owned by Suncor Energy Products Inc. and EHN Wind Power Canada Inc.. According to http://www.aeso.com/ web information the most the unit can generate is, as you put it, when the wind blows which is 30% of the time, confirmed!

The long standing problem with wind power for commercial use has been the fact that a 30% production rate will not in any way pay for transmission lines. The announcement would indicate approval has been given for transmission lines. How are you going to be charging Albertans for the 70% subsidy you will be giving the power generators on their lines? Are Albertans prepared to pay for this?

Do you have a plan in place to reimburse Albertans for these excessive costs caused by your electrical scheme? Or, are you going to cry “market prices are good things” and deny Albertans any recourse or honest explanation?

Your scenario is outlining a situation where Albertans will face power outages on a large scale while paying impossibly high prices for the power we manage to import; your plans causing a prolonged, artificial and dire shortage of power in the electrical market!

Old age pensions will be woefully inadequate for covering electrical costs being incremented by the cost of living index not, extreme price flux over long durations such as your electrical scheme is going to cause, running into hundreds of dollars per month.

Factual answers are required! Because of the coming impact on fixed incomes and pensioners I am copying the Prime Minister in hopes of getting some coverage in place for all seniors before the electrical hammer falls!

John Clark.
Copy Honorable Paul Martin, Prime Minister.

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