British Columbia (BC) state utility BC Hydro has launched its long-anticipated request for proposals (RFP) for up to 5000 GWh a year of firm energy from clean or renewable energy projects. The utility is looking for projects using proven technologies and coming on line between November 2010 and November 2016. It will also buy the associated non-firm energy generation. Bids are due November 25, with winning projects to be announced in June 2009. Steve Davis of the Independent Power Producers Association of BC predicts that wind and run-of-river projects will dominate the competition. About 1600 MW of wind capacity could supply 5000 GWh, but the Canadian Wind Energy Association's Robert Hornung anticipates wind bids representing significantly more power than that. "Despite the fact that British Columbia is only now starting construction of its first wind energy projects, the province has some of the best conditions in North America for viable wind energy facilities," he says. The RFP is likely to attract a bid from an offshore project, marking a first for Canadian wind. Vancouver-based NaiKun Wind Energy Group wants to build a 320 MW wind farm in Hecate Strait off the coast of British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands, the first of five phases of an eventual 1750 MW facility.
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