British Columbia's Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett
addressed the province's independent power producers at the
opening of Clean Energy BC's annual conference in Vancouver on
October 28, 2013. While confirming that there are currently no
plans for a power call in the province, Minister Bennett
acknowledged that his ministerial mandate specifically contemplates
working with the clean energy sector to ensure that there remain
significant opportunities for renewable energy companies to provide
power to British Columbia, and made a number of observations,
policymaking continues to occur in a fluid and dynamic economic
electricity rates will need to rise in order to fund critical
infrastructure upgrades being undertaken by BC Hydro;
the load-resource balance embodied in the Integrated Resource
Plan (IRP) to be submitted to Cabinet is predicated on three
"ground rule" changes:
the change in 2012 from planning for "critical water"
conditions to "average water" conditions in meeting
self-sufficiency requirements mandated by the Clean Energy Act,
which reduced BC Hydro's annual forecast demand for new firm
energy by approximately 4,500 GWh per year; and
the related removal of BC Hydro's requirement to plan for
an additional 3,000 GWh of "insurance" energy; and
the government's decision to allow liquefied natural gas
(LNG) producers to self-generate, though direct drive or
"inside-the-fence" gas-fired electricity generation, to
meet compression loads associated with gas liquefaction;
the provision of power for ancillary, non-compression loads of
LNG producers remains a "major" opportunity for the
renewable energy industry; and
the IRP points to several potential sources of future
opportunity for renewable energy in British Columbia, including
forecasted increases in electricity demand, significant population
growth, LNG project development and increased mining activity.
Minister Bennett closed by noting that the IRP is expected to be
resubmitted to Cabinet in early November. Confirming earlier press reports, Minister Bennett noted
that the final IRP will include a "clean energy strategy"
that specifically addresses future prospects for renewable energy
in the province, with a focus on balancing the need for a diversity
of power sources with the need for competitive electricity pricing
that minimizes impacts on ratepayers.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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