BC Hydro simplifies purchasing from clean small projects

Small power projects would be able to sell to BC Hydro at a fixed price and with standard contract terms and conditions under a new Standing Offer Program for clean electricity projects of up to 10 MW.

The province-owned utility released draft terms and conditions of the program June 20, in support of British Columbia’s Energy Plan. The Standing Offer program is subject to the review and approval of B.C.’s Utilities Commission.

The B.C. Energy Plan established three general design principles for the new program: simplify the process, contract terms, and conditions for small power projects; offer competitive pricing for the projects relative to other supply sources; and ensure cost-effectiveness, transparency, and fairness. (HNN 3/2/07)

The government intends for the Standing Offer to encourage independent power developers to develop clean energy projects throughout British Columbia. The program is limited to proven non-nuclear generation technologies and projects with a nameplate capacity greater than 50 kW but no more than 10 MW. Proven technologies are to have been on the market for at least three years.

�We’re offering a standard contract with set prices and a straightforward administrative process, and this will give smaller-scale projects the opportunity to contribute to B.C.’s supply of clean electricity,� BC Hydro President Bob Elton said.

Draft program rules state projects and their electricity must be clean and renewable, or high efficiency cogeneration. Projects also must have an overall efficiency greater than 80 percent. �Clean� and �renewable� are defined by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

BC Hydro seeks comments by Aug. 3 on the program’s proposed terms and conditions from developers, First Nations, customers, and other stakeholders. The utility also plans to hold regional meetings in July and August for input on program design. Draft rules and related documents are on BC Hydro’s Standing Offer program Internet site: www.bchydro.com/standingoffer.

It is expected to complement planned calls for power from larger projects. In 2006, BC Hydro reached power purchase agreements with 38 power projects offering 1,400 MW, including 29 hydro plants. (HNN 9/28/06)

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