BC Government Delays Submission of Integrated Resource Plan

The BC government announced on November 2, 2012 that it will delay the submission of BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to Cabinet until August 3, 2013 – three months after the next provincial election. The most recent delay is due to uncertainty of electricity requirements for prospective liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in northern British Columbia. The potential LNG-related electricity load in the region would be substantial if proponents build plants that rely on BC Hydro to satisfy their power requirements.  Currently, the existing electricity service to the region is insufficient to meet the potential demand of the prospective projects. According to the announcement, the BC government, BC Hydro and the LNG proponents are currently negotiating electricity purchase agreements. The government believes that the delay of the IRP submission will provide all parties the flexibility to conclude the agreements and ensure the IRP is a realistic plan.

The IRP is intended to provide a 20-year outlook of how BC Hydro expects to reliably and cost-effectively meet the anticipated future electricity needs of the province through conservation and acquisition of sufficient generation and transmission resources. The Clean Energy Act (the Act), which was introduced in 2010, obligated BC Hydro to submit an IRP by December 2, 2011 or within 18 months of the Act coming into force. The BC government first extended the due date for the IRP in May 2011 to allow BC Hydro to incorporate findings from a government review.

Clean Energy Act Integrated Resource Plan liquefied natural gas LNG Purchase Agreement

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