It is no secret that beneath the surface of the northeast
section of the province of British Columbia lies very large natural
gas reserves. Last week, the Provincial Government announced that
it believes the province has an astounding
3.93 quadrillion cubic feetof natural gas potential, of which 449
trillion cubic feet are estimated in the Montney gas field alone, roughly a 150 year
supply (presumably based on current Canadian use).
Energy intensive natural gas processing and piping from the
wellhead to the processing plants can be done using natural gas or
electricity. In B.C., electricity from the BC Hydro grid is
about 93% renewable. Given the expected long life
span of the drilling activity in the Montney, it makes
economic sense to electrify operations in this
region. Any fear of stranded investment in electricity
infrastructure is virtually eliminated.
The business case for electrifying the Montney gas fields
including processing in B.C. is compelling. That it can be paid for
is of course critical, but there are many more reasons:
The Montney is located relatively close to the
B.C. Hydro transmission grid and much of the new generation
that would be required (wind and small hydro projects with thermal
Here in B.C., the Northwest Transmission Line is being built to
support future mining development in the northwest sector of the
province. The electrification opportunity in the natural gas fields
and processing plants is greater and even more certain that the
The time for expansion of the B.C. transmission grid to support
electrification is now. British Columbia has no shortage of renewable energy resources and developers keen
to supply the electricity requirements of the natural gas
industry. Using clean renewable electricity to support large
scale industrial development is a hallmark of this province. There
are many good reasons to support electrification including
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It is time to get on with
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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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