BC Hydro says it will issue a series of open calls to the private sector to acquire as much as 2000 GWh of new energy over the next two years, the first phase of an effort to make British Columbia self-sufficient in electricity. The utility expects to issue the requests in spring 2005 and fall 2006. The calls will be open to all technologies, but projects that have low environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions will be awarded some type of price credit during the evaluation process. BC Hydro also plans to offset emissions from any fossil fuel projects that are successful, says the utility's Bev Van Ruyven, "in line with our goal of no new net incremental environmental impacts." The calls will also include a streamlined process and contract for smaller proposals. Projects must be online by 2010. The utility was going to issue a request for proposals for 400 GWh of electricity this fall, but shifted its approach after determining "we require more energy to meet demand much sooner than we planned," says Van Ruyven. Announcing its plans now will help provide more certainty for independent power producers, she says. "We believe setting a timeline for these acquisitions will encourage competition and active participation from those projects who are the most ready."
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