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Independent power projects: letter from the Government of B.C., BC Hydro and Clean Energy BC

The Government of B.C., BC Hydro and Clean Energy BC would like to address recent comments by the Opposition, mischaracterizing the clean energy sector and IPP contracts.

It is our joint responsibility to make sure cost-effective, reliable power is there for you when you need it. That's why we build and operate hydro facilities throughout the province and secure renewable power from clean energy producers in different regions using different technology. The supply of power will fluctuate from year to year because of factors like water inflows and the need for power will also vary depending on daily and seasonal factors like how cold our winters are.

Thanks to our long-standing agreements with biomass facilities – some in place since the 1990s – we have a provision to not buy power if we don't need it while they remain ready to generate electricity when we do. We pay for the fixed costs of the plant, but don't pay the variable costs of the fuel, like biomass or natural gas. This provision saved our customers over $8 million last year when we had high water inflows and a mild winter.

B.C. is a model for how the public and private sector electricity systems are cost-effective and complementary to each other. That's good planning and a good deal for BC Hydro customers.

We are working together to continue providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity to customers and felt it was necessary to set the record straight.

– Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, Jessica McDonald, President and CEO of BC Hydro, and Paul Kariya, Executive Director of the Clean Energy Association of B.C.