Vancouver, B.C. ? BC Hydro announced today the results of the 2006 Open Call for Power, awarding 38 contracts to independent power producers throughout the province. The new projects, once developed, will help to meet B.C.?s growing demand for electricity by adding more than 7,000 gigawatt hours per year to BC Hydro?s system ? enough power to meet the needs of over 700,000 homes. The announcement was made today by Richard Neufeld, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and BC Hydro President and CEO, Bob Elton.
?Secure, reliable electricity has been key to British Columbia?s economic prosperity and our quality of life for generations. But, as our province continues to grow, the gap between electricity supply and demand is expected to increase,? said Minister Neufeld. ?The contracts awarded today will help to close that gap by bringing new supply online by 2010 and also help us achieve our goal of leading the world in sustainable environmental management.?
The contracts include 29 hydro, three wind, two biomass, two waste heat and two coal/iomass projects. The awards represent long term purchase agreements with an average term of 30 years. Ranging in size from under one megawatt to approximately 200 megawatts in capacity, the projects are located throughout the province and are expected to generate $3.6 billion in private sector investment. 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.
?We are extremely pleased with the response to BC Hydro?s Open Call,? said Bob Elton. ?Purchases from independent power producers represent one of the ways that we are working to secure our long term electricity needs as outlined in the Integrated Electricity Plan filed with the BCUC in March of this year. The diversity of energy resources awarded today will help meet demand growth and clean energy target while keeping BC?s electricity rates amongst the lowest in North America.?
The 2006 Open Call Process was initiated in December 2005. Fifty-three separate projects bid into the process and were evaluated against publicly disclosed criteria including availability and reliability of the resource, proven technology and competitive pricing. As a result of a parallel tender process, BC Hydro also awarded a contract to the Brilliant Expansion Power Corporation, an affiliate of the Columbia Power Corporation.
Once BC Hydro and successful bidders have signed the electricity purchase agreements, the agreements must be filed with the British Columbia Utilities Commission.