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BC Hydro testing Vancouver Island's green resources potential
1 July 2001
BC Hydro is seeking private sector partners for a planned 20 MW green energy demonstration project on Vancouver Island that could include as much as 10 MW of wind. The government owned utility wants to test the application of wind, micro hydro and wave energy technologies in British Columbia's diverse terrain. "This demonstration project will be an important first step in evaluating the most promising and viable green resources on Vancouver Island," says BC Hydro president and CEO Michael Costello. Brenda Goehring of the utility's green and alternative energy division, says BC Hydro expects to develop about 10 MW of wind, 7-8 MW of micro hydro and about 3 MW of wave power. The utility plans to issue requests for proposals shortly. Once potential partners have been selected and a business case for the green portfolio developed, Goehring says her team will to go BC Hydro's executive to seek approval to proceed with the demonstration project. "Phase two would involve moving very specifically on siting and development, permitting and all of that." Wrap-up of the first phase is scheduled for November. Vancouver Island was chosen because new energy and capacity additions are needed. Right now, generation facilities only meet 20% of demand. The rest is transported via submarine cables from the mainland, some of which need to be retired by 2007. Demand on Vancouver Island, and in BC as a whole, is also increasing. BC Hydro predicts sales will increase 1.7% a year for the next ten years and then 1.5% annually for the following decade. Last year, the utility announced that 10% of new energy supply would come from green sources.
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