BC’s Electricity Conundrum – Politics, Profits, and Potential Partnerships

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:07 pm by Administrator

The electricity generation situation in British Columbia, Canada is both simple and complex. The simplicity arises from an abundance of hydro-electric generating capacity. The complexity comes from a somewhat disjointed ownership of generating assets compounded by government policies that have been confusing to both generators and rate-payers.

Starting in 2002 BC Government policy mandated that BC Hydro (the publicly owned near-monopoly) change the way it added new generation capacity. Updates to existing hydro facilities and development of new large-scale hydro facilities would remain with BC Hydro. However, integration of new renewable and small-scale hydro generation would have to be through long-term purchase contracts with Independent Power Producers (IPPs). The rationale provided for this decision was the desire to transfer the risk of investments in new generation to the private sector.


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