BC Hydro awards 19 clean energy contracts
After many lengthy delays, BC Hydro has finally taken a long overdue step in their 2008 Clean Power Call (CPC) process and selected 19 clean energy projects for Electricity Purchase Agreements (EPA). Our congratulations to all of the successful green energy producers who were awarded EPAs last week.
The 19 clean energy projects selected by BC Hydro will reportedly supply 2,450 gigawatt-hours of firm energy per year from renewable wind and run-of-river energy sources. But it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the vast potential B.C. has for generating renewable green energy, and just half of the 5,000 gigawatt-hours of clean energy originally sought by BC Hydro under the CPC.
However, 28 projects are still under consideration by BC Hydro, and everyone will be watching to see which of these remaining projects will be awarded contracts. Hopefully BC Hydro will take steps to conclude the 2008 CPC process in a timely manner and find ways to improve the process in the future.
The lengthy delays in the CPC process, and the lack of an effective export policy, have clearly caused enormous frustration for B.C.’s independent green energy producers and threatened to drive clean energy investment and clean energy jobs away from the province altogether. This is not a good situation and something needs to change.
Improving the power call process, and streamlining the environmental and project approval processes, were featured prominently in the recent Throne Speech, and these are certainly a welcome and encouraging sign. So is the Throne Speech promise to put B.C.’s enormous untapped green energy potential in bioenergy, run-of-river, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave and solar energy to work for the B.C. economy to generate new wealth and new jobs in our communities.
But the province needs to put these words into action and go a lot further and a lot faster than they have in unlocking B.C.’s renewable green energy potential. The people of this province deserve to enjoy the financial, economic and environmental benefits our renewable energy resources could be providing us with.
And as we pointed out in our recently released research report entitled “A Triple Legacy for Future Generations: British Columbia’s Potential as a Renewable Green Energy Powerhouse,” unlocking B.C.’s renewable energy potential would generate substantial public revenue that could help us pay down and even eliminate our provincial debt and someday even replace the revenue currently generated by the PST.
Stay tuned to The Livewire for more information about BC Hydro’s CPC process as it moves toward completion.