Next up at the British Columbia Utilities Commission, is the "Section 5 Transmission Inquiry" on electricity transmission in the Province. Section 5 of the Utilities Commission Act directs the BCUC to conduct an inquiry to make determinations with respect to BC's long-term (30 Year)infrastructure requirements for electricity transmission.
As suggested by the Section 5 Transmission Inquiry Terms of Reference, the general purpose of the Inquiry is assess the future electricity demand in BC and the region, examine BC's renewable energy potential, assess the economic benefits that would occur from that infrastructure development, determine the potential future market opportunities to export clean and renewable electricity to other jurisdictions and then determine the transmission infrastructure necessary to access BC's clean, renewable and low-carbon electricity supply.
The BCUC has scheduled two initial pre-Inquiry meetings at the BCUC Hearing Room (12th Floor, 1125 Howe Street, Vancouver), as follows: a preliminary workshop on Friday, April 17, 2009 and a procedural conference on Monday, April 27, 2009. Both events are open to all who are interested, but you must first register with the BCUC.
Also, if you are interested in participating as an intervenor in the Inquiry itself you are asked to register by May 1, 2009. This can be done online via the BCUC's registration webpage. For further information, here is the BCUC's Filing Protocol for Intervenors and Interested Parties.
You can visit the Section 5 Inquiry webpage for more information now and during the course of Inquiry. You will find that the BCUC does a great job of updating its website on a timely basis with materials from the various hearings.
Given the current discourse on power generation in this Province, the Section 5 Inquiry does not come at a better time. Here is a forum that will allow the many stakeholders to voice their various issues on the future of BC power generation and transmission in a public and controlled environment. Green energy and its related transmission requirements are two of the most important issues facing the Province today. So you can be sure the BCUC is going to be very busy over the next year. A draft report must be issued by the BCUC to the Government by June 2010.