Snow not just for skiing

Accumulated snow can contribute to energy generated by hydroelectricity

Dear Editor:

Winter has decided to arrive early this year, and the early snow bodes well for skiers and snowboarders and other winter enthusiasts. The Canadian Avalanche Center even issued its earliest ever special avalanche warning due to the amount of snow already accumulated on B.C. mountains. They say it’s more typical of what B.C. usually sees in late December and January.

But the best part is yet to come, because once we’ve had our fill of skiing, snowboarding and cold weather, the accumulated snow on our mountains can be used to generate clean electricity as it melts away. Snow is the ultimate storage medium for green energy. It’s Mother Nature’s battery, and as it melts it flows into the reservoirs behind the province’s hydroelectric dams and through smaller run-of-river projects that light up our homes and businesses.

Having more snow means we’ll also have more electricity. And having more electricity means the province can wheel and deal with other jurisdictions that need energy but don’t have the hydroelectric capability and natural energy storage advantages B.C. has. Energy trading is very lucrative for B.C. and perhaps we should be measuring snowfall and rainfall in Kilowatt/Hours instead of inches.

Charles Davis

White Rock