Following up from our earlier blog post on the Section 5 Transmission Inquiry, after almost four months of workshops and procedural conferences, the BCUC continues to narrow the scope of the issues for the Inquiry. Stakeholder consultation is on-going and the two principal utility participants are holding workshops and inviting comments from participants on specific issues (BC Hydro on resource option potential and BCTC on its scenario development process and the export study) before September 18 when the first draft "evidence" is submitted by BC Hydro and BCTC.
Two weeks ago, after an uncomfortably long but ultimately productive oral hearing on the scope of issues for the Inquiry, the BCUC released its preliminary determinations on the scope and scale for the next steps in the long-term analysis of the transmission system. The issues addressed in the BCUC's July 10 letter on preliminary determinations focused mainly on the following issues:
- provincial generation potential
- domestic electricity demand
- interjurisdictional trade (import and export of electricity)
- analysis of the transmission system
- areas inappropriate for development
- integration of generation, demand and transmission requirement
With over 105 registered participants, the Section 5 Transmission Inquiry is certainly one of the most followed hearings ever before the BCUC, and one of the more interesting, especially with respect to the future development of renewable energy resources in this Province.
By way of background, the BCUC, based on Terms of Reference established by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, is to make determinations with respect to BC's electrical transmission and capacity needs for a 30-year period, commencing April 2009. See also the BCUC's Section 5 webpage.
Public participation is a key component of the Inquiry and is open to interested individuals and organizations. If you wish to participate, you can register on the BCUC's website, as an intervenor (active participant) or interested party (receive notice of final orders).