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  #81  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2015, 5:48 AM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
Weird - some stores have emergency generators to keep the freezers running when there's a power outage.
A grocery store isn't a Hospital.

Like AFAIK, emergency generators in most buildings only power specific circuits. Given how often a grocery store will re-arrange it's aisles for no darn reason, even if they had generators, they would likely only operate the lights to keep people from knocking over something getting crushed to death. The refrigeration and freezer units will keep food cold for a few hours. The first thing just about every business does when the power goes out for more than 15 minutes is evacuate the premises. Smaller stores have everyone leave because they can't operate their point of sales system anyway.

Metropolis at Metrotown's office towers have generators, but I have no idea if any of the actual mall does. There was one day I saw half the mall without power, and it was a BC Hydro-needs-to-fix thing.

Like according to the local people I follow on Twitter, just about everyone who lives SoF or Tri-cities lost power. Many of them were out of the city at the time (they went to Seattle before the power went out.)
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  #82  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2015, 5:56 AM
Sheba Sheba is offline
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Some grocery stores do have emergency generators - it's only used on cold foods and not to power the cash registers, etc. Ok yes probably some basic lighting too.
http://www.generac.com/for-business/...dustry/grocery
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  #83  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2015, 6:15 AM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
Some grocery stores do have emergency generators - it's only used on cold foods and not to power the cash registers, etc. Ok yes probably some basic lighting too.
http://www.generac.com/for-business/...dustry/grocery
Speaking of generators... all these people the News channels interview to form an "Angry at BC HYDRO" story... good grief. If one operates a business from home, they should have a UPS and a generator for business electronics. Like the story theme is "thrown out all my food", "losing business"

Which comes back to the point of... "and what if this had been an earthquake?" The road infrastructure would be damaged and even if Burnaby and South Vancouver were undamaged and still had power, how are supplies going to be delivered? Access to the Burrard Peninsula would be seriously crippled.
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  #84  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2015, 4:21 PM
go_leafs_go02 go_leafs_go02 is online now
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I think most if not all of the anger is the lack of communication and the fact BC Hydro came power on estimates that were days away from reality.

I have no issues with BC Hydro in terms of the impact the storm had on their infrastructure, nor with how they got hydro back on. I just was relying strongly on a time estimate of 12 PM Sunday afternoon for hours and hours in advance before it was pushed back to 12:30 AM, and then eventually came on at 3:30 AM Monday morning.
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  #85  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2015, 5:28 AM
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It's very common to see grocery stores to have generators esp here in the hurricane prone south which can leave a store without power for weeks
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  #86  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2015, 9:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Large Cat View Post
I'm guessing this actually has to do with density. There are more feet of vulnerable power lines in Surrey for every person, as the lines have to stretch to each single family home. There is less incentive to solve an equally time-consuming power line break when it will only restore service to 10 homes, rather than 2-3 apartment buildings and so on. Even a whole "block" in Surrey usually has less people than 3 or 4 buildings in much of Van-Burnaby-NewWest-Richmond. Power is also more essential in tall buildings that have elevators, as lack of electricity prevents many from even reaching their units, and there is also less space to store emergency supplies in each unit. In terms of tree-clearing too, the denser grid of roads is more robust at handling blockages, since there are multiple options for going around, whereas in Surrey a blocked arterial may be your only way out of an area. This likely allowed BC Hydro to immediately prioritize repairing power lines north of the Fraser rather than clearing roads so their trucks could get through to even do so. The density-related explanations could go on and on.
Much of Vancouver a few blocks past False Creek is all single family homes. Burnaby is almost entirely single family homes on rolling hills with bands of forest running throughout. And except for basically one street, Richmond is all houses.

When I posted that picture, and the night before, power was still out to many areas in Surrey that are for more urban than 3/4 of Burnaby.


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Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
Speaking of generators... all these people the News channels interview to form an "Angry at BC HYDRO" story... good grief. If one operates a business from home, they should have a UPS and a generator for business electronics. Like the story theme is "thrown out all my food", "losing business"

Which comes back to the point of... "and what if this had been an earthquake?" The road infrastructure would be damaged and even if Burnaby and South Vancouver were undamaged and still had power, how are supplies going to be delivered? Access to the Burrard Peninsula would be seriously crippled.
What if it was an earthquake? Yeah, or what if it was the rapture?

This was a wind storm. It wasn't an earthquake. They are completely different events on other worldly scales.

It's like if my waiter forgot to place my order because he got a phone call from his girlfriend and I was without food for an hour. I think it would be ok if I complained. But if the whole restaurant was firebombed and my meal was cancelled, I don't think I would complain.

The problem with a wnidstorm and why people complain, is because for most people, life goes on as normal.

"Hey Phil, why are you late to work on Monday? Everyone else was on time." -Boss
"Because my power has been out for 2 days and the backup batteries in my alarm clocks died, as did my phone and it's backup charger. The hot water doesn't work, so I had to heat up some water on my camping stove, and then slowly drizzle it on me to wash my hair in my candle lit bathroom. Then all the traffic lights around me don't work so traffic was bad."

I think that knowing that other people are 100% unaffected, and that your office is going to be open on Monday as normal, but you have to have a sponge bath because 3 mornings without a shower is a bit too long, is going to make people very cranky.

At least with an earthquake we would all be in it pretty bad. Life would not be going on as normal around us. Offices would be closed. States of emergency would be on. The Red Cross would be out helping people. There would be emergency shelters and information broadcasts on the radio. There are even roads that are completely illegal to drive on after an earthquake.

An earthquake is also once in a few generations kind of thing. Wind storms are pretty common. Heck, the winds were far less strong than they were during the 2006 storm that obliterated Stanley Park, yet double the number of customers were without power.

You would think that BC Hydro would be investing our rates into making sure the grid can withstand what has become a routine occurrence.

So I wish people would not compare this to an earthquake. I was able to "survive", in fact, everyone was able to (I haven't heard of any post storm deaths from starving or tripping and falling in the dark). People are complaining because this is costing them money. Either you have to throw out food, or you had to pay money for ice. Even the Surrey food bank lost thousands of pounds of food. So please, I think people have a right to complain, because if Hydro can't handle the wind, how can it survive an earthquake.

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Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
I think most if not all of the anger is the lack of communication and the fact BC Hydro came power on estimates that were days away from reality.

I have no issues with BC Hydro in terms of the impact the storm had on their infrastructure, nor with how they got hydro back on. I just was relying strongly on a time estimate of 12 PM Sunday afternoon for hours and hours in advance before it was pushed back to 12:30 AM, and then eventually came on at 3:30 AM Monday morning.
I think this is more the issue too.

They spent something like $20 million on just the website, and it couldn't handle a few thousand people hitting it at once.

They spent $500 million on Information Systems inside the company for work order management (not counting the billion $ on smart meters themselves), and they can't give out ballpark estimates of when the power will come back on.

They have a twitter account that had about 1000 tweets that were all "Thank you" tweets in reply to people who were lucky to have power. They posted a link to a PDF file, that doesn't work in the twitter app on android (in the embedded browser) so were telling people to use their other phone (yeah, because everyone has 2 phones of different OSs), and then it was impossible to read (with errors like West of 84th Ave in Surrey; you can't be west of 84th ave in Surrey, it is impossible), and their help was to "use Ctrl+F"; right, because everyone reading this is on their electricity powered computer. It wasn't until Monday afternoon that they started sending out tweets that had information in them.

It was like $500 million flushed down the toilet. That money could have been spent on burring a lot of infrastructure to keep it safe from these dangerous trees.
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  #87  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2015, 5:58 AM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post

What if it was an earthquake? Yeah, or what if it was the rapture?

This was a wind storm. It wasn't an earthquake. They are completely different events on other worldly scales.
Yet, everyone complaining was ill-prepared. Earthquake, Severe Wind, Flooding, oil pipeline rupture, etc. You're supposed to be prepared for 72 hours.
http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsr...k/tlkt-en.aspx

The Surrey Food bank lost power and that was entirely the fault of the City of Surrey not telling BC Hydro that it was on the priority list.

I'm sorry if home-business people aren't at the top of the list, but I have little sympathy for those that are operating a business and don't even have the most basic emergency supplies.

On the plus side BC Hydro got some actual use out of the Smart Meter monitoring, so they shouldn't have needed to handle 710,000 outage calls.
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  #88  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2015, 6:48 AM
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...

I'm sorry if home-business people aren't at the top of the list, but I have little sympathy for those that are operating a business and don't even have the most basic emergency supplies.

....
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  #89  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2015, 8:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
Yet, everyone complaining was ill-prepared. Earthquake, Severe Wind, Flooding, oil pipeline rupture, etc. You're supposed to be prepared for 72 hours.
http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsr...k/tlkt-en.aspx

The Surrey Food bank lost power and that was entirely the fault of the City of Surrey not telling BC Hydro that it was on the priority list.

I'm sorry if home-business people aren't at the top of the list, but I have little sympathy for those that are operating a business and don't even have the most basic emergency supplies.

On the plus side BC Hydro got some actual use out of the Smart Meter monitoring, so they shouldn't have needed to handle 710,000 outage calls.
Why so callous?

There is a difference between being prepared for survival and suffering loss. You can have all the supplies you need to survive 72 hours AND yet, still lose all your food in your fridge/freezer. You can comfortably survive a long time on a small amount, but that doesn't mean that afterwards, just because you survived, you didn't lose any money.

I mean it's great that my car has airbags, but if I ever need them to deploy, it probably means my car is fucked up. Just because the airbags saved my life doesn't mean I won't sue the guy that ran the red light and hit me.

And, as far as I know, everyone DID survive. But people are out money.

This was an average windstorm that knocked out double the customers as "the big one" in 2006.

BC Hydro spent Fast Ferry proportions of money on Information Technology. Yet they couldn't keep a website running. And they couldn't get any kind of accurate word out to its ratepayers. Ratepayers that have been paying an inflated price for electricity for 4 years so that BC Hydro could buy a system that would get information to them in just such a situation.

I think people have every right to complain. No one is complaining: "OMG, I almost died without electricity." People are complaining that BC Hydro's incompetence lost them money. And it's a double blow, because we pay higher rates in the first place so Hydro can have infrastructure to keep this from happening, yet it happens, now we are out of pocket even more money to cover our expenses.

And on top of that, you expect everyone to go out and blow their wad on generators? Just a generator to power some lights and a TV costs over $1000. For a Generator to power commercial fridges for a business, you are looking at over $10,000 just to entertain the idea (probably more like 10 times that for a proper solution). Not every business, even big ones, can cover that cost. Some businesses can't afford to be off the grid for 2 minutes, so the spend on backups is worth it (as small outages are common), but how often is someone in a built up urban area without power for over 48 hours?

And on top of that, generators are unsafe to use in Condos/townhomes (and probably against a lot of stratas to use it on your balcony (as the fumes can just get sucked in your window/vents)). And a UPS barely powers a computer for 5 minutes. And 4/5 times, if the power is out for an extended period in a disaster, then so is cable/phone, so what is even the point of powering your home office? I guess you just really need to get that TPS report done, even if your head office was leveled in the earthquake, right?
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  #90  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2015, 4:07 PM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
And on top of that, you expect everyone to go out and blow their wad on generators? Just a generator to power some lights and a TV costs over $1000. For a Generator to power commercial fridges for a business, you are looking at over $10,000 just to entertain the idea (probably more like 10 times that for a proper solution). Not every business, even big ones, can cover that cost. Some businesses can't afford to be off the grid for 2 minutes, so the spend on backups is worth it (as small outages are common), but how often is someone in a built up urban area without power for over 48 hours?
I expect that businesses will perform adequate risk assessment.

If you live in your own house with it's own well and septic system, you are 100% responsible for dealing with any natural disaster, regardless if your house is on a hill, the foot of a hill, or in the flood plain. Expecting the power to stay on and power a dozen fridges full of hunted food or beer is an overly optimistic risk assessment.

Someone who lives in a 600sq foot condo or apartment with no balcony and is for some damn reason is operating all their websites off their home internet connection also has an overly optimistic risk assessment.

The problem with both of these locations assuming the power will never go off for more than 5 minutes, is that the people occupying these premises are not prepared, at all, for any kind of inconvenience.

If you operate a business at home, you spend 1000$ on UPS. If you have thousands of dollars in computer equipment, you would wouldn't put it in an apartment in the first place, you'd store it at a data center where they do have generators (not that it isn't possible to have the generators fail due to bad engineering.)

Likewise the person out in the boonies who doesn't want to loose thousands of dollars in food or other products would have a generator. To do otherwise is to accept that risk.

Like I said, the angle of the news reports is tried to frame a story of "BC Hydro is to blame" for losses when the combination of wind storm and dry summer is. Trees that may have been planted over 30 years ago fell over. If you live in BC, wind and rain are predictable several days in advance.

Nobody has any right to be mad at BC Hydro for losing business. That is poor risk taking on the part of the business owner.

The people who lost a few hundred dollars in food and couldn't flush the toilet for 3 days... that's a minor inconvenience, and should be covered by home owner/renters insurance. No insurance? That's again a risk willingly accepted.

Anyway I'm not entirely without sympathy for those who lost power, I just find the news media fishing for a story that just isn't there a poor excuse to dump on BC Hydro and by extension the Provincial government.
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  #91  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2015, 8:26 PM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
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Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
I expect that businesses will perform adequate risk assessment.

If you live in your own house with it's own well and septic system, you are 100% responsible for dealing with any natural disaster, regardless if your house is on a hill, the foot of a hill, or in the flood plain. Expecting the power to stay on and power a dozen fridges full of hunted food or beer is an overly optimistic risk assessment.
Who is talking about anyone remotely like that? This didn't happen in the backwoods country. This happened in Coquitlam and Surrey. I know a lot of people treat Surrey like some podunk backwater, but the city IS on Metro water and sewers.

Quote:
Someone who lives in a 600sq foot condo or apartment with no balcony and is for some damn reason is operating all their websites off their home internet connection also has an overly optimistic risk assessment.
Again, who is talking about anyone like this? Maybe there was 1 guy in this situation.

So either we are all redneck bumpkins or we are all neckbeards running a cluster on our Shaw connection? You are completely ignoring the average majority.

Quote:
The problem with both of these locations assuming the power will never go off for more than 5 minutes, is that the people occupying these premises are not prepared, at all, for any kind of inconvenience.

If you operate a business at home, you spend 1000$ on UPS. If you have thousands of dollars in computer equipment, you would wouldn't put it in an apartment in the first place, you'd store it at a data center where they do have generators (not that it isn't possible to have the generators fail due to bad engineering.)

Likewise the person out in the boonies who doesn't want to loose thousands of dollars in food or other products would have a generator. To do otherwise is to accept that risk.
So, really, either we are all redneck bumpkins or we are all neckbeards running a cluster on our Shaw connection? You are seriously completely ignoring the average majority.

Quote:
Like I said, the angle of the news reports is tried to frame a story of "BC Hydro is to blame" for losses when the combination of wind storm and dry summer is. Trees that may have been planted over 30 years ago fell over. If you live in BC, wind and rain are predictable several days in advance.
I would hazard a guess that in a windstorm, not every tree that falls over was planted since the last windstorm. Old trees fall over all the time. A thousand fell over in Stanley park alone in 2006 (and I bet most of them were well over 30 years old), yet 250,000 customers were without power after that storm vs 500,000 after this one.

Yes, dry conditions and winds from the unusual south didn't help, but why did a storm with winds peaking at 90km/h knock out double the customers as a windstorm with winds peaking around 175km/h? I think we have a right to complain until we find out why.

If it really is just because it was dry, and that is the only reason, then we really need to complain. Because this might become the new normal (dry summers followed by severe storms) and BC Hydro should look into exactly why so many customers were knocked out, and how to prevent it in the future. It's great to be prepared for an earthquake that might happen within the lifetimes of my great grandchildren, but this can happen once or twice a year going forward.

Quote:
Nobody has any right to be mad at BC Hydro for losing business. That is poor risk taking on the part of the business owner.

The people who lost a few hundred dollars in food and couldn't flush the toilet for 3 days... that's a minor inconvenience, and should be covered by home owner/renters insurance. No insurance? That's again a risk willingly accepted.
I don't know if I would use the word minor. To me, a minor inconvenience is going to Tim Hortons and they are out of double chocolate donuts and I have to get chocolate glazed. If I had $300 in my pocket and lost it, I don't think I would turn to my wife and say, "Oh well, that was minor."

I can't imagine perceiving this as minor if I had children to feed and take care of. The hassle of getting them fed, bathed and dressed without power and hot water (let alone several people sharing an unflushing toilet if all water was out) would be more than inconvenient.

And I can't imagine how infuriated I would be if I was being marginalized by lucky people who skated through the situation without their lights flickering while I had to go into credit card debt to replace a fridge full of food for a family of 5 right after spending my paycheck on back to school shit. And what if I couldn't go to work because they were closed too (they don't have to pay shift workers if there is no work to be done), so on top of it all I was not making money. I would be pissed.

And dealing with insurance companies is a pain in the ass. Even with insurance, most people would be unwise to get them involved unless they like paying deductibles and higher premiums. Either way (making a claim or not), people are out money.

Real people are facing real hardships. And just expecting people to shut up and spend their way out of this is heartless at best.

Look at the outrage directed towards translink when Skytrain went down, and all they did was make less than 10% of the population late by an hour or two. 500,000 Hydro customers is around half the regional population, and many were without power for well over a day. Translink gave everyone an entire free day of riding transit (even if you weren't stuck in the mess). BC Hydro won't give you much as a $5 rebate to help you buy ice they told you to buy on Twitter. At least the Smart meters should tell Hydro who wen't without power for a long period, and those people could be given a little pity and a break on their bill (if Hydro can't tell who was off the grid for more than 8 hours, then what was the point of the billion dollars spent on smart meters?).

Quote:
Anyway I'm not entirely without sympathy for those who lost power, I just find the news media fishing for a story that just isn't there a poor excuse to dump on BC Hydro and by extension the Provincial government.
Why isn't there a story here?

They spent $500 million on an information system that didn't inform anyone of anything. Putting aside the scale and cause of the outages, how can BC Hydro spend that much of your money on something that doesn't work and just get away with it?

I hate the NDP over the Fast Ferries and they deserved to be kicked out of government, but at least the boats were able to float.
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  #92  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2015, 10:44 PM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Why isn't there a story here?

They spent $500 million on an information system that didn't inform anyone of anything. Putting aside the scale and cause of the outages, how can BC Hydro spend that much of your money on something that doesn't work and just get away with it?

I hate the NDP over the Fast Ferries and they deserved to be kicked out of government, but at least the boats were able to float.
No idea. My point over the last few posts was "News Media tries to incite outrage at BC Hydro by not having power back in 5 minutes instead of 3 days" and then they focused on people (eg home businesses) who damn well knew the risks of not being prepared.

It's no different than the "SKYTRAIN IS TOO LOUD" story where they measured the sound of the Skytrain, inside the MK I car with the windows open.

Staging the situation to find the worst case scenario and presenting it as the average is just stupid and designed to incite anger.

BC Hydro's website is likely designed around having 10,000 people able to access the website at once, at most. A single server can produce a static image to 10,000 people at once, it can not process a dynamically generated map to more than 100 people at once. So when you have a an order of a magnitude more traffic at the peak of a natural disaster, someone didn't think to maybe point the website to a static image or use a content delivery network for the 3 days it was needed in the last decade. It's far more likely that there is more than one server at BC Hydro, but the point is that it shouldn't have been out at all. Did all 710000 customers decide to hit the site at the same time? Doubtful. It was more likely that the news media was hammering on the site for their news broadcasts and brought it down themselves.

Update 6:20PM: Oh hey look Global News found a new angle. "BC Hydro contractors were not called in at all."

Last edited by Kisai; Sep 11, 2015 at 1:20 AM.
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  #93  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2015, 11:51 PM
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The Port Mann Water Tunnel is almost completed:


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The 2.1-metre water main is slated to be finished by the end of next year, at which time it will carry about a billion litres per day from the Coquitlam reservoir to taps mainly south of the Fraser, Gant said. The existing water main will remain open for another four years to ensure the new tunnel is operating properly.

The Coquitlam reservoir is one of three water sources in Metro Vancouver and provides drinking water to the Tri-Cities south of the Fraser, and as far away as Vancouver’s Little Mountain. The Capilano and Seymour reservoirs on the North Shore provide the bulk of drinking water to the rest of the region through three water mains.

Metro Vancouver has just started designing another tunnel, which would run under the Burrard Inlet, to replace the three water mains from the North Shore. That tunnel would likely be the same depth as the Port Mann tunnel, although twice the size in diameter.
http://www.vancouversun.com/Huge+wat..._lsa=fe5f-0f0f
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  #94  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2015, 7:12 AM
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“Glacial soils are challenging because it means one minute you are dealing with sand or silt and the next moment you run into a boulder the size of a car. There are no predictions of what you are going to encounter.”
Sounds a little familiar, doesn't it?
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  #95  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2015, 5:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
I expect that businesses will perform adequate risk assessment.

If you live in your own house with it's own well and septic system, you are 100% responsible for dealing with any natural disaster, regardless if your house is on a hill, the foot of a hill, or in the flood plain. Expecting the power to stay on and power a dozen fridges full of hunted food or beer is an overly optimistic risk assessment.

Someone who lives in a 600sq foot condo or apartment with no balcony and is for some damn reason is operating all their websites off their home internet connection also has an overly optimistic risk assessment.

The problem with both of these locations assuming the power will never go off for more than 5 minutes, is that the people occupying these premises are not prepared, at all, for any kind of inconvenience.

If you operate a business at home, you spend 1000$ on UPS. If you have thousands of dollars in computer equipment, you would wouldn't put it in an apartment in the first place, you'd store it at a data center where they do have generators (not that it isn't possible to have the generators fail due to bad engineering.)
......

Anyway I'm not entirely without sympathy for those who lost power, I just find the news media fishing for a story that just isn't there a poor excuse to dump on BC Hydro and by extension the Provincial government.
Any one running a home business these days should have a ups that shut there computer down in a reasonable fashion (that is a $200 UPS). A home business running web-servers at home is a pretty week design.

The baremetal servers going down is a case of you get what you pay for. They are basically charging $10 a month to host a website and they don't have any people on the ground in the city where the servers are located. It is a Victoria based company with its equipment in Vancouver. There is nothing wrong with their service but at that price point you should not be surprised if a once a year event to shut you down. For a lot of business that is more than adequate.

If you can't tolerate that downtime then you need to go with someone else (like these guys Mighty Oaks or a host of others who design system rathen just host them) who will architect a solution that puts your systems into multiple data centers in several cities. But it is going to cost quite a bit more.

As for BC Hydro, if you ever read a BC hydro RFP for IT technology it is obvious how they end up in this mess.
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  #96  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2015, 8:53 PM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Originally Posted by casper View Post
Any one running a home business these days should have a ups that shut there computer down in a reasonable fashion (that is a $200 UPS). A home business running web-servers at home is a pretty week design.

...

As for BC Hydro, if you ever read a BC hydro RFP for IT technology it is obvious how they end up in this mess.
I marvel at how Telus and Shaw sell "premium" business accounts, yet it's exactly the same residential service. A 200$ UPS is fine for maybe one machine. My UPS powers 3 computers and all the networking equipment and monitors. The only thing not plugged into it is the printer. It will last 15 minutes on the battery, plenty of time to shut down everything but the wireless modem and switch to running off a tablet or something to check periodically on the status. But someone who is running their servers from home ... bad idea for numerous reasons that I mentioned before and you restated.

I don't feel that BC Hydro should get any blame for not being able to prevent outages. At most, you could reasonably say that BC Hydro had the opportunity to call in third party workers and chose not to. If they did that for cost reasons, then it was stupid. If they did it because it would have delayed recovering from the outages, then maybe not. We'll never really know.

But it does show how poorly prepared Metro Vancouver is for disasters. We just don't get anything frequently enough for people to take disaster planning seriously.
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  #97  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2015, 8:02 PM
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Plans for a new water supply tunnel under Second Narrows underway:

http://journalofcommerce.com/Infrast...rway-1011542W/
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  #98  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2015, 12:10 AM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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Location: Vancouver
Posts: 24,752
Quote:
Originally Posted by officedweller View Post
Big article in the Vnacouver Sun on Ian Gillespie's takeover of Central Heat Distribution:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technolo...405/story.html


http://www.vancouversun.com/technolo...405/story.html
Follow-up story:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technolo...928/story.html

Essentially what was rejected was charging new customers (i.e. only a portion of its customers) a higher rate for the same service
as existing customers, with the extra profit being banked for future upgrades.

The BCUC didn't like charging new and old customers different rates for the same service, saying that the rates for all customers must reflect the cost of providing the service (and not be jacked up for some).

So Creative will have to finance the new facility on its own, not on the backs of a portion of its customers, although the costs of the new facility will eventually trickle down to all customers through rates.

Quote:
Utilities commission throws wrench into city’s energy plans
By Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun
December 9, 2015

The B.C. Utilities Commission has given community utility company Creative Energy permission to build a new hot water heat system in Northeast False Creek.

But in a blow to Vancouver’s plan to get the company, which is owned by developer Ian Gillespie, to convert from natural gas to biofuel, the commission has rejected a franchise agreement between Creative Energy and the city.

In a ruling issued Tuesday, the BCUC said it doesn’t think the utility’s plan to charge new users extra fees for future construction of a low-carbon biomass facility is fair.

It also turned down a proposal in the application to build a separate hot water heat utility in Chinatown, saying it can’t judge if there is enough business.

And in an unusual rap on the city, the commission said it was concerned it was being dragged into looking like it supports the city’s neighbourhood energy bylaw. That new bylaw, approved by council but not yet enacted, will make it mandatory for buildings to hook into the monopoly utility.

...

In February, Gillespie bought Central Heat Distribution, which supplies steam heat to about 210 buildings in downtown Vancouver. He renamed it Creative Energy, and in March entered into a franchise agreement with the city to expand hot water service to Northeast False Creek, which spans from the west side of BC Place to the undeveloped lands owned by Concord Pacific near Science World.

That agreement also requires Creative Energy to move to a low-carbon source of energy and begin reporting on its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

In its decision, the BCUC said there is enough demand to justify construction of an $11.2-million hot water heat system. Trent Berry, the chairman of Creative Energy Vancouver Platforms, said work must begin soon since many buildings in the area are nearing completion. He said the system should be finished by late 2016. The company will submit a rate application to the BCUC at a future date.

The commission had trouble with the new franchise agreement between the city and Creative Energy. It singled out a proposed “carbon reduction rider” it said was similar to one it rejected last year by Corix Multi-Utility Services, which is building a district energy utility at the University of B.C. Both Creative Energy and UBC have older natural gas-fired boilers that provide relatively cheap heat to their customers but at the expense of high-carbon emissions. Creative Energy charges about $64 per megawatt-hour. UBC charges $83. BC Hydro’s energy rate is closer to $104, while FortisBC is about $90 per megawatt-hour.

The commission said such a rider, in which the difference between old rates and new rates would be banked to pay for construction of a new low-carbon energy source,is inconsistent with cost of service rate design principles.”

...

The commission also was unhappy with language the city inserted into the agreement that made it look like the BCUC was directly or indirectly approving the city’s new Neighbourhood Energy Bylaw.

“While there is no specific clause in the (neighbourhood energy agreement) that provides for mandatory connection, there is language in (it) that may leave the impression that the commission is indirectly approving the neighbourhood energy bylaw, which will mandate connection.”

...

It defended the decision to ask for a carbon reduction rider, saying it was meant “to demonstrate the low-carbon commitment of the utility company and its customers.” However, it said the rider is “ not a significant factor in the business case for the low-carbon system” and that it does not expect eliminating the rider will delay the conversion of the existing system.

...
http://www.vancouversun.com/technolo...928/story.html

The Province also mentions concerns raised by the Urban Development Institute about Creative Energy/Westbank controlling deevlopers' ability to connect to the utility, and potentially stonewalling or delaying other developers' projects:

Http://www.theprovince.com/technolog...863/story.html

Quote:
Green power scheme loses steam: B.C.'s utilities regulator refuses to give city-favoured energy company a downtown monopoly
By Sam Cooper, The Province
December 10, 2015 3:24 PM

...

The Commission was asked by some stakeholders to over-rule Vancouver’s legal authority to grant a monopoly to Creative Energy. The panel stopped short of that but effectively required the city to go through a public process in order to establish its green power deals.

“The panel is fully aware that the granting of a (certificate) for this project in a situation where (Vancouver) imposes mandatory connection requirements on its developers has the effect of establishing a monopoly in the franchise area,” the ruling states. “ ... mandatory connection is a fundamental aspect of the (city’s) strategy for this project ... a report from the (city’s) General Manager of Engineering Services ... suggests that the connection bylaw would not be brought forward to council for enactment until the Neighbourhood Energy Agreement is approved by the Commission ... the panel is concerned that enactment of the bylaw is contingent on the Commission.”

“They denied the neighbourhood energy agreement within the city and it was because of the issues we raised with mandatory connections and carbon reduction (taxes),” Urban Development Institute CEO Anne McMullin told The Province Wednesday.

“The panel said if the city wants a mandatory connection between a private utility and a single (developer) then you need to come up with your own bylaws.”

The Commission’s ruling says that McMullin’s group also raised concerns “that Creative Energy’s shareholder is also a developer and may influence discrimination against other developers for competitive advantage …. given the connection agreement is a prerequisite for applying to the city for a building permit.”

http://www.theprovince.com/technolog...863/story.html

Last edited by officedweller; Dec 11, 2015 at 1:04 AM.
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  #99  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2015, 3:51 AM
cairnstone cairnstone is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by officedweller View Post
Follow-up story:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technolo...928/story.html

Essentially what was rejected was charging new customers (i.e. only a portion of its customers) a higher rate for the same service
as existing customers, with the extra profit being banked for future upgrades.

The BCUC didn't like charging new and old customers different rates for the same service, saying that the rates for all customers must reflect the cost of providing the service (and not be jacked up for some).

So Creative will have to finance the new facility on its own, not on the backs of a portion of its customers, although the costs of the new facility will eventually trickle down to all customers through rates.


http://www.vancouversun.com/technolo...928/story.html

The Province also mentions concerns raised by the Urban Development Institute about Creative Energy/Westbank controlling deevlopers' ability to connect to the utility, and potentially stonewalling or delaying other developers' projects:

Http://www.theprovince.com/technolog...863/story.html




http://www.theprovince.com/technolog...863/story.html

Wow Today there was a ruling against Metro Vancouver's waste to power cogen. But Vancouver wants to convert boilers to wood fired biomass.

I believe Central heat used to be biomass fired and was converted in the 80 to Ng.

I still believe we need to endorse a euro style incinerator and have the proper filters precipitators and dispose of the carbon at source and create energy. In many areas the garbage and construction waste goes in incinerator steam goes for heat and power is also produce the same way as burnaby does it.

Does anyone know where the waste for incineration comes from in Burnaby
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  #100  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2015, 6:44 PM
Sheba Sheba is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: BC
Posts: 1,658
Garbage shortage prompts Metro Vancouver to scrap plans for new incinerator

Quote:
Metro Vancouver has halted plans to build another incinerator to burn the region's waste.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore, Metro's board chairman, said while Metro remains committed to waste-to-energy over landfills, it worries there won't be enough garbage to feed a proposed 250,000-tonne plant.

"We don't want to build a facility that's too big."

The regional district has spent $4.5 million since 2012 on investigating waste-to-energy garbage disposal. Directors had pledged to release a short list of potential sites before Christmas and build as many as three waste-to-energy plants in or outside the region by 2018.

Garbage volumes have been dropping sharply as a more people reuse, reduce or recycle waste and organics.

In addition to the rise of recycling, Metro directors say part of the problem is that commercial haulers are taking Metro's garbage to dumps elsewhere, particularly to Washington state. The regional district recently reduced its garbage tipping fees from $109 to $80 per tonne in hopes of drawing more commercial haulers back to Metro.

...
Full story here
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