“There are a few (electricity purchase) contracts to renew and these companies are very concerned that BC Hydro could not renew the contract,” Whyte said. He said California produced a lot of solar energy during the day. And as it often goes beyond what is needed, it can be purchased at much lower prices than BC Hydro is required to pay B.C. producers under power purchase contracts. But it locked BC Hydro into long-term power purchase contracts, which the Horgan government says, costs B.C. Ratepay too. Last week, the Horgan Bill 17 government introduced the Clean Energy Amendment Act. Swift Power Corp. – an independent hydroelectric company based in Vancouver, B.C – received a long-term power purchase contract (EPA) from BC Hydro for the Dasque Cluster hydroelectric plant. Increased clean energy trade with the United States could allow private electricity producers to sell their power to the United States via Powerex, but it is not clear whether they have access to this market via Powerex. “I understand that`s not an option,” Whyte said. “There are a few long-term contracts, but some of them are about to be renewed,” said Laureen Whyte, new CEO of Clean Energy BC, at Business in Vancouver. “And there are others who were in the queue when they put the program on hold.” The 20 MW project is located 25 km southwest of Terrace, B.C.
and is expected to be operational by the end of 2012 (until necessary regulatory approvals and funding are granted). “We look forward to helping the province achieve its climate goals and energy self-sufficiency mandate by producing reliable, clean energy from the dasque cluster Facility,” said Alexi Zawadzki, President and CEO of Swift Power. There are about 120 independent generators in B.C., Whyte said. As soon as the contracts expire, independent electricity producers who have built wind farms and running water projects will be able to be without customers because they may not be able to compete with clean U.S. electricity producers. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mining and Petroleum Resources, defended the amendment.