Updated BC IPP Supply Map

Earlier this week, BC Hydro released an update in respect of the independent power producers(IPPs) currently supplying electricity to BC Hydro and those projects with EPAs but still under development. 

Keep in mind that the projects BC Hydro lists as IPPs include: Rio Tinto Alcan's hydro project, various forestry company biomass projects and the Waneta Expansion (not your garden variety IPPs, but certainly, "independent" of BC Hydro).

For your information: 

1. BC Hydro IPP supply map;

2. List of IPPs currently supplying electricity to BC Hydro; and

3. List of IPPs with projects in development,

(each current to October, 2013).

Update: Bioenergy Phase 2 Call

Just a quick update on our previous post.  BC Hydro announced today that it received registrations from 14 proponents for 19 bioenergy projects in response to the May 31 Bioenergy Phase 2 Call request for proposals.  Names of the proponents or descriptions of the projects have not been released.

According to the release, BC Hydro estimates that the 19 projects represent approximately 500-650 MW of capacity or 3,500-5,000 GWh/year of energy.  BC Hydro is targeting 1,000 GWh/year of energy from the Call. Proposals must be submitted by October 28, 2010.

BC Hydro's Bioenergy Phase 2 Call

From my new colleague, Jenny Kirkpatrick

On May 31, 2010, BC Hydro issued a Request for Proposals in relation to the long term supply of clean or renewable biomass energy generated by new projects in British Columbia (the “Bioenergy Phase 2 Call”).  Those intending to submit a Proposal must first register with BC Hydro and the registration deadline is fast approaching - July 15, 2010 at 4pm.

With the recent announcement of the Clean Energy Act coming into force, it is worth noting that there is a direct effect on the Bioenergy Phase 2 Call insofar as the Utilities Commission Act  ("UCA") is concerned. It is anticipated that BC Hydro will post an Addendum and/or Notice(s) to the RFP website to address modifications to the RFP process required to accommodate all impacts of the Clean Energy Act, including exemptions from certain procedural requirements to which energy supply contracts in British Columbia are normally subject.

Specifically, section 7(1)(e) of the Clean Energy Act exempts, “a bio-energy phase 2 call to acquire up to 1,000 gigawatt hours per year of electricity” from sections 45 to 47 and 71 of the UCA. Those provisions essentially relate to the British Columbia Utilities Commission’s (“BCUC”) approval process for public utility plants or systems, or Section 71 Hearings (as they are known).  Pursuant to section 71 of the UCA, all energy supply contracts are subject to the scrutiny of the BCUC, which determines whether the subject energy supply contract is in the public interest. By being exempt from BCUC’s regulatory process, those intending to submit a proposal in response to the Bioenergy Phase 2 Call will not be burdened with having to file an energy supply contract, in this case the electricity purchase agreement, with the BCUC, nor required to participate in a public hearing convened by the BCUC. In addition, the Bioenergy Phase 2 Call is exempt from the requirement to obtain a “certificate of public convenience and necessity” prior to the construction, operation or extension of a public utility plant or system, as provided for in s. 45 of the UCA. Lastly, the procedural requirements set out in s. 46 and the provisions relating to cease work orders set out in s. 47 of the UCA, do not apply to the Bioenergy Phase 2 Call. As a result, proponents will not have to incur the (often significant) costs associated with meeting these procedural requirements.  Regulatory barriers aside, all of the proponents will have to comply with the RFP's procedural requirements.

Exempting the Bioenergy Phase 2 Call from sections 45 to 47 and 71 of the UCA will likely result in the development of clean energy projects in a more expeditious manner, which in turn will help the B.C. Government meet its objectives as set out in the Clean Energy Act. 

BC Government Direction on Burrard Thermal & Clean Power Call Update

Yesterday, the British Columbia government clarified to the BC Utilities Commission its intention to end BC Hydro's reliance on the Burrard Thermal Generating Facility for its energy needs. See the attached press release.

Here is the Order-in-Council (Special Direction No. 2).

Oct 30 Update: Here is the Vancouver Sun's story on the matter.

The announcement states that effective immediately Burrard Thermal will no longer be used for planning purposes for firm energy. It will only be used for up to 900 megawatts of emergency capacity.
 
The Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister also stated that “in providing this direction, BC Hydro will replace the firm energy supply from Burrard Thermal with clean, renewable and cost-effective energy”. [Read: Clean Power Call and future power calls]
 
The government also re-affirmed its commitment to clean and renewable energy as a cornerstone to the Province's climate action plan that will propel the green economy. Electricity self-sufficiency and clean and renewable power generation are integral components to the Province's effort to reduce its carbon footprint and fight global warming.
 
Key in all of this to the renewable energy industry is that the government's decision on Burrard Thermal will allow BC Hydro to acquire 6,000 GWh of cost-effective, clean and renewable power. This will include up to 5,000 GWh from the Clean Power Call and up to 1,000 GWh from the Phase 2 Bioenergy Call for Power.
 
This is some much needed clarity and good news from the BC government to the clean energy sector.  And just in time for next week's annual IPPBC Conference where the Premier and Minister Lekstrom are both scheduled to speak.  Based on this annoucement, there should be plenty to talk about.  I'll be there and will provide my report on Megawtt.
 
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BC Wind Power, Waneta Dam Hearings, Haida and NaiKun and Biomass EPA's Approved

Wind Turbines Are Spinning in BC (finally!)
 
British Columbia's first wind energy facility opened earlier this month in Dawson Creek. The Bear Mountain Wind Park, which is owned by AltaGas, when completed will consist of 34 turbines and generate enough electricity to power 38,000, homes. The project has an EPA with BC Hydro under the 2006 Power Call and will receive up to $20.5 million from the the Government of Canada's ecoENERGY For Renewables Program. This marks a significant milestone on the Canadian renewable energy landscape. Now each of Canada's 10 Provinces can claim to be generating electrons to their respective electricity grids from the power of the wind. A monumental moment indeed. Those in British Columbia can purchase electricity from the Bear Mountain Wind Park, through Bullfrog Power.
 
BC Hydro's Purchase of 1/3 of Waneta Dam before BC Utilities Commission
 
This week marks the start of the public hearing stage for BC Hydro's proposed purchase of a 1/3 interest in Teck Metals Ltd.'s Waneta Dam in Trail, BC . BC Hydro is seeking an order from the BCUC under s. 44.2(1) of the BC Utilities Commission Act that the proposed for $825 million purchase is in the public interest. In its submission to the BCUC, BC Hydro characterizes the Waneta Dam as a significant hydro electric generating facility that has produced safe, reliable power for Teck for over 50 years. If the purchase completes, BC Hydro believes it would gain access to 167MW of capacity and 890 GWh/year of energy. This is an interesting proposal for BC Hydro.  In BC there are only a handful of privately owned dams, and rarely, if ever, are these dams available for purchase. So, BC Hydro buying an existing asset which can supply base load power to the grid and storage capacity, seems to follow quite well with the Province's energy self-sufficiency objectives. The hearing process which will take place over the course of the fall, will examine, among many other things, the cost to acquire the interest in the dam and aboriginal consultation and/or accommodation. This will be very interesting to follow.  Here is the link to the BCUC's webpage on the BC Hydro Waneta Transaction.
 
NaiKun and the Haida Nation sign Investment MOU
 
Last week, NaiKun Wind Energy and the Haida Nation signed a memorandum of understanding which could give the Haida nation a 30% ownership stake in NaiKun's proposed $2 billion wind power project off the coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands. NaiKun currently has a proposal into BC Hydro as part of the Clean Power Call. Kudos to NaiKun and the Haida Nation who continue to show tremendous leadership on the business relationship between first nations and independent power producers. Here's the Vancouver Sun's story on the deal.
 
EPA's for Four Bioenergy Projects Accepted By BCUC
 
Following up on my earlier blog posts (here and here) on Phase I of BC Hydro's Bioenergy Call for Power, electricity purchase agreements between BC Hydro and the four successful projects have now been accepted by the BCUC. They are: Canfor Pulp Ltd. Partnership's project in Prince George, PG Interior Waste to Energy Ltd.'s project also in Prince George, Domtar Pulp and Paper Products Inc.'s project in Kamloops, and Zellstoff Celgar Ltd. Partnership's project in Castlegar. Together, the four projects will generate a total of 579 GWh/year of electricity, or enough to power more than 52,000 homes. Here is BC Hydro's press release. Biomass energy is certainly a welcome boon to BC's forest industry. Great to see BC Hydro buying more of it. Here is the latest information on the Phase II of the Bioenergy Call.
 
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The BC Energy Plan: Report on Progress

Last week, the BC Government released a report on progress of its 2007 BC Energy Plan.  The report shows just how far the Province has come in a little over 2 years since the introduction of the BC Energy Plan and demonstrates the Province's environmental leadership and many initiatives in the clean energy sector.

Some of the renewable energy specific highlights in the report include:

The Province should be properly recognized for doing many of the right things to encourage the development of a green economy on many different fronts throughout British Columbia. While there is much work still to be done, the foundation has been laid and businesses have stepped up and invested millions of dollars, and created thousands of jobs as a result of the Energy Plan. So, yes, a green focused economy works very well for British Columbia.

BC Hydro Bioenergy Call - Phase II Announced (1,000 GW/h)

Today, BC Hydro announced its much anticipated Phase II to its Bioenergy Call for Power.  You can read the BC Hydro news release here and you can check out the Bioenergy Call website for more information, or you can continue reading.... 

Under Phase II, BC Hydro will conduct a two-stream call process. The first stream is a competitive call for larger-scale biomass projects. Any form of biomass will be eligible and it will include wood waste sourced from new forest tenure enabled through provincial legislation in May 2008. The target is to acquire 1,000 GW/h per year of energy through this stream.  Good news for all of that roadside debris.

The second stream will focus on innovative, community-level electricity supply solutions using biomass. Through a request for qualifications (RFQ), BC Hydro will seek to identify at least two such projects that can provide cost-effective electricity for ratepayers, as well as other quantifiable, local benefits such as improved reliability.

BC Hydro also listed some new Q&A's which are typically updated by BC Hydro throughout the Call period. Here are some of the highlights:

Eligibility? Criteria for each stream are currently under development. More details will be provided by BC Hydro before the end of March 2009.

Timeline? More details on both streams will be released by BC Hydro by the end of March 2009. Draft documents for the first stream are expected to be issued in May 2009, while a schedule for the second stream is expected to be released by April 2009.

You can see our report on the results of the Phase I of the Bioenergy Call where four projects were successful.

BC Hydro's Report on Bioenergy Call Phase I

As part of the 2008 LTAP Hearing, BC Hydro released a document entitled "Report on Bioenergy Call Phase I" (caution: it's a large document). The report is a very interesting read about BC Hydro's recent Bioenergy Call Phase I awards, where four EPA's were issued to proponents.

In the Report, Chapter 1 provides the context of the Phase 1 RFP by reviewing and describing how the Phase 1 RFP aligns with the BC Government's 2007 Energy Plan and Special Direction No. 10 to the BCUC.

Chapter 2 provides a summary of the Phase 1 RFP implementation, including an overview of the evaluation of proposals, selection of optimal portfolios and the Phase 1 RFP award.

Chapter 3 includes a brief overview of the First Nations, stakeholder and proponent engagement process.

Chapter 4 sets out the justification for the volume of energy awarded in the Phase 1 RFP.

Chapter 5 demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of the Phase 1 RFP awards. 

BC Bioenergy Call for Power - Phase One Results

BC Hydro today released the results of phase one of its Bioenergy Call for Power.  The first phase of the Call was for projects that are immediately viable and do not need new tenure from the Ministry of Forests and Range. The results stem from proposals submitted pursuant to an RFP issued February 6, 2008 by BC Hydro. 

In all, 4 bioenergy facilities will use forest-based biomass, including sawmill residue, logging debris, trees killed by mountain pine beetle, and other residual wood, to generate electricity. The four projects will generate a combined total of 579 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, or enough to power more than 52,000 homes. It's about time that these projects got off the ground.  As I've blogged before, renewable energy projects will definitely help the forest industry in the Province of British Columbia and by turning what would otherwise be waste into valuable electricity, the industry is doing its part in contributing to the Province's electricity self-sufficiency goals, while at the same time creating rural area jobs.

The four projects are:

  1. Canfor Pulp Ltd. Partnership's PGP Bio Energy Project in Prince George, BC;
  2. PG Interior Waste to Energy Ltd.'s proposal also in Prince George, BC;
  3. Domtar Pulp and Paper Products' Kamloops Green Energy Project in Kamloops, BC an
  4. Zellstoff Celgar Ltd. Partnership’s Celgar Green Energy Project in Castlegar, BC

Phase II of the Call is still in the development stage as BC Hydro is continuing to work with the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources as well as the Ministry of Forests and Range in designing the next phase of the Call.  BC Hydro will continue to provide updates as more information is developed. You can check the BC Hydro website for more information. Here's the link for Phase II.

IPPBC Annual Conference in Vancouver

The Independent Power Producers Association of British Columbia kicks off its 2008 Annual Conference tomorrow in Vancouver, BC.  As the independent power sector ramps up for the 2008 Clean Power Call with proposal submissions due to BC Hydro on November 25, 2008, you can be certain that the Clean Power Call will be the hot topic of conversation among the 500 plus delegates attending the 2 day conference.  But there are 3 other power calls from BC Hydro that will also garner some attention: the Bioenergy Call, the Standing Offer Program and the Remote Community Electrification Program.

The IPPBC 2008 Conference, attended by industry leaders, First Nations representatives, government officials and alternative energy entrepreneurs, will focus on two general areas: Calls and Context, and Bidding.  Day one of the conference will include panels addressing electricity, transmission and public policy, and project permitting.  Day two will focus on matters relating to bidding on, and construction, of IPP projects, First Nations and IPP's, project finance and a very interesting panel discussion on future electricity, such as electric vehicles, big batteries, ocean energy and renewable markets. 

With its vast river systems, geothermal fields, wind capacity, miles of coastline, developed forest and agricultural industries, British Columbia has significant natural resources to be a world leader in producing power from green sources.  With the recent calls to power, independent power producers are stepping up in great numbers to meet the increasing demand for alternative energy with tremendous determination and innovation. 

We will be attending the IPPBC Annual Conference and you can read our report about it on Megawatt later in the week.