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British Columbia keen to expand wind use
1 March 2001
British Columbia's prime minister, Ujjal Dosanjh, wants BC Hydro to expand its use of wind and other alternative energy technologies. Last year the provincially owned utility announced that 10% of new energy supply would come from green sources. It wants to have access to 65 MW of new renewable capacity by 2003 and to 100 MW by 2004. "I believe that goal is too modest," says Dosanjh. He says he will meet with Hydro officials to "make plans" to double the utility's renewable portfolio standard to 20%. Dosanjh points to rising natural gas prices and the recent electricity crisis in California to illustrate the need to develop a long-term energy strategy for BC. "It's imperative we conserve and find alternatives to traditional energy sources," he says. BC Hydro has already indicated that it is considering increasing its green energy quota. Power supply engineer Andrea Estergaard told October's Canadian Wind Energy Association conference that a new target of 20-30% might be possible. But to date no concrete plans have been announced. The utility has also shown a strong interest in wind power. It has erected a series of 13 monitoring towers at strategic points throughout the province and hopes to have its first utility scale wind energy demonstration project on-line by the end of 2002.
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