Province OKs BC Hydro buys from 38 projects, including 29 hydros

The British Columbia Utilities Commission has approved BC Hydro’s submission of power purchase agreements with 38 power projects, including 29 hydro plants.

BCUC issued an order Sept. 21 accepting the agreements resulting from BC Hydro’s 2006 call for power. The projects are to supply BC Hydro 1,400 MW of capacity and 7,125 gigawatt-hours of energy annually, including 5,725 GWh of firm energy, under contracts averaging 30 years.

The regulator did express concern that acquisition of contract volumes exceeding BC Hydro’s load requirements would result in foregone opportunities from future calls for power. The utility originally set target volumes for the 2006 call for power of 2,500 GWh annually of firm energy and 200 GWh of non-firm energy.

The commission granted BC Hydro’s request that the energy purchase agreements and summary information on bid prices by project be kept confidential due to “commercial sensitivity.�

BC Hydro received 61 tenders in April from 37 bidders offering 53 projects. The tenders totaled 1,800 MW and 6,500 GWh annually of firm energy. They included large and small projects, representing five fuel sources and technologies. From a group of 48 projects that passed evaluation, BC Hydro chose 38, including 29 hydro projects proposed by 23 independent power producers. (HNN 7/28/06)

Under a parallel process, BC Hydro previously contracted with Brilliant Expansion Power Corp. for 226 GWh annually of firm energy from the 120-MW Brilliant Expansion hydro project. It also renegotiated a long-term power purchase agreement with Alcan Inc. The Brilliant agreement is not subject to utilities commission approval, while the Alcan agreement will be handled in another proceeding, as part of BC Hydro’s amended long-term acquisition plan.

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