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BC Hydro’s draft Integrated Resource Plan released for consultation

News Release, BC Hydro, August 23 2013

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister responsible for Core Review, is directing BC Hydro to release its draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and undertake a final round of consultation with First Nations, key stakeholders and the public.

The draft IRP includes BC Hydro’s recommended actions to meet an expected 40 per cent increase in the province’s electricity demand over the next 20 years while keeping rates affordable.

For more information, please refer to the Province’s news release.

Backgrounder

BC Hydro’s draft 2013 Integrated Resource Plan

BC Hydro’s draft Integrated Resource plan (IRP) provides a long-term look at how BC Hydro will meet British Columbia’s electricity needs.

BC Hydro submitted the draft plan to the minister of energy and mines and minister responsible for core review on Aug. 2. The Clean Energy Act requires a plan be submitted at least once every five years.

The draft plan includes recommended actions to cost-effectively meet the forecasted electricity needs of the province over the next 20 years, including supporting the development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

The draft plan was developed through consultation with the public, stakeholders and First Nations in 2011 and 2012. BC Hydro gathered input through in-person meetings, open houses, workshops and feedback forms.

After reviewing the current draft of the plan, the minister of energy and mines and minister responsible for core review has asked BC Hydro to consult further on the content. BC Hydro will seek additional input from First Nations, key stakeholders and the public from Sept. 3 to Oct. 18 and re-submit the plan to government by Nov. 15.

The plan recommends:

  • A continued focus on electricity conservation. The draft plan provides a strategy on how BC Hydro can save 7,800 gigawatt hours per year by 2021 – that’s the equivalent of reducing new electricity demand by approximately 75 per cent. The IRP also supports a range of programs and incentives that will give customers the ability to reduce their electricity bills by using less electricity.
  • Planning for the future by building Site C. The draft plan recognizes that Site C – a third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River – would meet the long-term energy needs of customers with cost-effective, reliable and renewable electricity.
  • Supporting LNG. The draft plan demonstrates that BC Hydro has adequate energy supply to meet the initial electricity requirements of LNG facilities – about 3,000 gigawatt hours a year – through to the 2021 fiscal year, and is prepared to serve additional LNG requirements as they emerge.
  • Taking variables into account. Forecasting electricity demand is challenging, and contingency plans need to be in place in case demand grows faster than expected or if planned resources don’t become available when expected. There are many variables that can impact the growth of demand, such as changing customer behaviour, technology shifts, global-energy markets, economic trends and climate change.

Electricity demand is expected to grow by 40 per cent over the next 20 years prior to electricity conservation efforts.

  • Twenty years ago, B.C.’s population was 3.5 million people. At that time, total electricity use in the province was 46,000 gigawatt hours a year.
  • Today, B.C.’s population is 4.6 million people and total electricity use in the province is 57,000 gigawatt hours a year.
  • Twenty years from now, the population is expected to grow to 5.7 million people and total electricity use, without conservation measures, is expected to increase to 80,000 gigawatt hours a year.

More information about the Integrated Resource plan and the consultation process can be found at: http://www.bchydro.com/energy-in-bc/meeting_demand_growth/irp.html

Media Contact:
Jake Jacobs
Media Relations
Ministry of Energy and Mines and Responsible for Core Review
250 952-0628

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