BC Hydro awards power contracts

Vancouver, Canada (BC Hydro) - BC Hydro has announced the results of its 2006 Open Call for Power, awarding 38 contracts for power development in the province. The contracts, consisting mainly of hydroelectric projects with some wind and biomass energy, will add more than 7,000 gigawatt hours per year to the provincial electricity grid.

BC Hydro received 53 proposals in response to its call, with run-of-river hydro, wind, solar and biomass making up the majority. The provincial utility was seeking at least 2,500 GWh of firm power to reduce the need for energy imports.

The contracts include 29 hydro, three wind, two biomass, two waste heat and two coal/biomass projects. Seventy-three percent of the energy to be generated from the Call represents “clean energy” as defined in the BC Clean Electricity Guidelines, says BC Hydro.

A full list of projects can be found here. Ranging in size from 0.8 megawatts (MW) for a small hydro project to 196 MW for a large river facility, the successful projects are expected to generate $3.6 billion in private sector investment, says BC Hydro.

Of the successful bidders, 23 are already developing projects for BC Hydro resulting from previous calls, and three include First Nations as developers or partners. The Hupacasath First Nation is planning a run-of-river hydro project near Port Alberni, and several First Nations groups are involved in two Plutonic Power Corp. river hydro projects near Powell River.

A bid from Hillsbrough Resources was accepted for the 184 MW AESWapiti coal/biomass facilities to be located in Tumbler Ridge in northeastern BC. The plant will be located at Hillsborough’s Wapiti thermal coal property, using coal from that mine as a principal fuel source, supplemented with bio-mass fuel from the local forestry industry.

Another project chosen for the northeastern region of the province is the 180 MW Dokie Wind Project, to be constructed near Chetwynd. The site is located along pre-existing transmission lines from the W.A.C. Bennet hydroelectric dam in the Peace River Region and is one of the largest wind energy projects under development in Canada. A bid for a 120 MW wind farm near Dawson Creek was also accepted.

Several biomass proposals were chosen, including a 90 MW biomass fuel power project in the old Bowater Pulp Mill at Gold River, put forth by Green Island Energy Ltd.

Power purchase agreements will now be signed by BC Hydro and the successful bidders, after which they will be filed with the British Columbia Utilities Commission.

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