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Peer-Reviewing my TCE Analysis

Last weekend, I reached out to Stephen Carr, an engineer who lives in Meaford, to read through my article and provide his feedback. Here is his feedback:

“Thank you Eric for your email. I have now read your article.

You have made many relevant claims concerning the efficiencies of the PSP, technically and financially. With regard to the Cash Flow Projections, I cannot confirm exact figures due to so many variables which will remain ambiguous until the time of project completion. I can confirm however, your numbers are certainly within sufficient margins of deviation to demonstrate that the project will never generate sufficient energy capture to pay for itself. Losses will be paid by taxpayers and ratepayers on a mandated basis for the life of the installation which could be 50 to 100 years.

Respectfully, I will correct a couple of claims (or assumptions) you have made.

The project cost will not be $4 billion. That is a 2018 cost with the undisclosed assumption the project be completed within that calendar year. Given that expenditures would be made over a 8 year construction duration, starting in 2 years, the cost to complete will be closer to $10 billion. As a part of the long term cost projections the “Opportunity Cost” of that capitalization must be a part of that calculation. That is to say…… the recurring Net Present Value of the $10 billion multiplied by the cost of cash (5% per annum compounded at current rates) or $500 million per year. All this for a project that decreases Ontario’s gross energy production by 400 megawatts during operation. (Sufficient energy to power 400,000 homes)

Secondly, the long term practical solution to Ontario’s ever increasing energy demands is “not” to build an additional nuclear generation facilities. Such  facilities would have the same restrictions as Bruce Power in their abilities to be “turned down” during non-peak periods. Given Ontario’s natural resources, a series of hydro-electric dams in the untapped James Bay watershed would provide reliable, green, cost effective energy to replace the Pickering facility and to fulfill the increasing demands of charging EV’s and replacing domestic gas powered furnaces with electric ones.  Hydro-electric generation can be easily varied to accommodate high and low peak energy demands. To give you an example, the most recent hydro-electric facility I was principally involved in designing and building was “Gibe III” in Ethiopia. Generating capacity of 1,900 megawatts for $2.75 billion USD. completed 2014.

If the Ontario Government was committed to a greener energy utilization, why would they continue to operate the GO commuter train system with diesel fuel? The government burns millions of litres of diesel fuel each year on this system where all other rail systems by every other country were electrified 50 years ago. Do not take any claims or “green stewardship” by TCE or Queens Park seriously.

Meaford PSP is another huge mistake in the making. It is not in harmony with Ontario’s energy demands, a blatant waste of nuclear generated electricity and a violation of the principles of prudent fiscal investment and utilization. Additionally, it’s promotion by those who will profit from it’s construction, should be viewed as a willful disregard for public resources. Engineering and management staff at TCE are well aware of the project’s shortfalls. Their deliberate omissions of published data and their refusal to respond to inquiry of the same, is testimony to these claims.

I hope you find this commentary useful. I have no objection if you wish to share this.”

The Meaford Independent has published multiple letters from Mr. Carr.

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