February, 2014

This presentation questions Manitoba Hydro’s load forecast upon which its preferred development plan is absolutely reliant. It analyzes recent trends in both energy and peak load that reveal a flattening of growth in Manitoba load that began in 2005/06, well before the 2008 recession, trends which continue until today. It points to a similar flattening of demand in the region into which Manitoba seeks to export electricity and beyond.It proposes replacing Manitoba Hydro’s load forecast with a moderate forecast that is more reflective of these trends. It considers the risk of proceeding with the preferred development plan in terms of rates that escalate even more rapidly than projected. It even raises the spectre of the utility’s solvency coming into question, should the preferred development plan proceed. It proposes a pause in the implementation of any plan, a pause which would allow the utility to take advantage of the extended timeline that a more moderate load forecast would permit.

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