Dudley Thompson’s opinion piece raises excellent points regarding community-based renewable energy. When developed into community-distributed energy resources, such as is spreading through the U.S. and other countries, an essential backup is provided when disaster causes widespread electric blackouts.

Dealing with the aging transmission infrastructure of Manitoba Hydro was put on hold while the follies of the extra- expensive development of Wuskwatim and Keeyask generating stations and Bipole III deepened Hydro’s debt. The provincial government benefited enormously as its levies on debt, water rentals and capital taxes doubled.

How, then, can Manitoba Hydro upgrade its much-needed transmission and distribution infrastructure?

With Mother Nature becoming angrier, we members of the Manitoba Energy Council fear a major failure of transmission and distribution resulting in a wide area and prolonged blackout. Our fundamental needs for power — to heat our homes and keep the lights on — are particularly crucial with our harsh winter climate. Where weather disasters have caused prolonged loss of electricity, local community-based energy resources must be the way forward, in order to avoid catastrophic impact from prolonged wide-area power outages.

Dennis Woodford