On September 23, 2013, British Columbia's Ministry of Energy
and Mines (MEM) directed BC Hydro to release its draft Integrated
Resource Plan (the IRP) to the public and carry out another round
of public consultation with the public, stakeholders and First
Nation from September 3 to October 18 with the goal of re-submiting
the plan to government by November 15,
The requirement for BC Hydro to submit an IRP arose pursuant to
the Clean Energy Act upon its coming into force on June 3,
2010. In early 2011, the provincial government extended the
IRP's submission deadline of December 2, 2011. In May 2012, BC
Hydro released a preliminary draft of the IRP for public
consultation. However, to allow more time to assess and
determine the electricity requirements of British Columbia's
growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, the provincial
government delayed the submission of the IRP until August 3, 2013.
BC Hydro recently submitted the revised draft IRP to the MEM on
August 2, 2013.
The IRP in its current draft provides a 20 year plan for BC
Hydro to meet forecasted electricity needs of British Columbia via
energy conservation and clean energy generation. To achieve the
IRP's goals, BC Hydro outlines a strategy in which it plans to
maintain a commitment to clean energy, greenhouse gas reduction and
electricity self-sufficiency while ensuring the British Columbia
retains a reliable, cost-effective electricity supply.
The draft IRP includes a list of 17 recommended actions to meet
the anticipated increase in the province's electricity demand
over the next 20 years while maintaining affordable rates. For
example, the IRP recommends that BC Hydro focus on resource
management by optimizing the current portfolio of independent power
project resources according to the key principle of reducing
near-term costs while maintaining cost-effective options for
long-term needs. Several recommended actions in the IRP focus on
supporting the Province's burgeoning LNG industry, such as the
exploration of clean energy supply options should LNG demand exceed
available resources. Also recommended is the reinforcement of the
existing 500 kV transmission line from Prince George to Terrace to
better enable BC Hydro in its ability to supply the Province's
LNG industry in the north. The IRP further recommends that BC Hydro
continue its advancement of a plan to construct the Site C
hydroelectric project, which is intended to add 5,100 GWh/year of
annual energy and 1,100 MW of dependable capacity to the system in
British Columbia with a potential in-service date of 2024.
Each recommended action in the IRP can be reviewed on BC
Hydro's IRP website. BC Hydro plans to review all
written comments it receives between September 3 and October 18 to
shape the final IRP that will be submitted to the provincial
government for approval by November 15, 2013. Comments can be
emailed directly to email@example.com.
Alternatively, BC Hydro has created an online IRP comments form
that can be completed online.
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