News Release

Help shape B.C.'s energy future: BC Hydro seeks public feedback on long-term power plan

Vancouver – BC Hydro has developed a draft plan to meet provincial electricity demand forecasted to grow by 50 per cent over the next 20 years as a result of economic expansion and population growth. The Integrated Resource Plan looks at the most cost-effective mix of conservation, generation and transmission resources to ensure customers continue to enjoy clean, safe and reliable electricity at affordable prices.

Recommendations in the draft plan include:

  • Conserving more electricity through voluntary programs, incentives, codes and standards –increasing the energy savings target to 9,800 gigawatt hours per year (the equivalent of close to 891,000 homes). 
  • Building more power generation, including the Site C dam currently in the environmental and regulatory review stage, and reinvesting in existing infrastructure – for example, adding a sixth generating unit at Revelstoke.
  • Buying more electricity from clean energy producers, including wind and run-of-river.

Given the long lead time necessary to plan and construct new power infrastructure, BC Hydro has to look well into the future. Fifty years ago, that meant having the foresight to build large hydro generating facilities to meet the energy needs of baby boomers’ growing families and the province’s forestry-driven economy.

Today, BC Hydro energy planners use sophisticated modelling techniques to calculate customers’ future needs, taking into account everything from economic forecasts to population projections. Having electricity ready when it’s needed is essential to supporting new economic development– whether it’s new homes, new mines, the high-tech industry or natural gas companies looking to hook up to our clean electricity grid.

In 2011, BC Hydro conducted province-wide consultation to gather input into development of the Integrated Resource Plan, and from now until July 6, BC Hydro is asking for public feedback on the draft plan. A separate consultation process for First Nations is also underway, involving regional workshops this summer.

Here’s how you can get involved:

1. Read the draft plan and Integrated Resource Plan discussion guide at www.bchydro.com/irp
2. Provide feedback through an online feedback form
3. Register for a hosted webinar on June 25 and 26.
4. Attend an open house: 

  • Prince George (Ramada Prince George, June 5, 6-9 pm), 
  • Fort St. John (Quality Inn Northern Grand, June 6, 6-9 pm), 
  • Vancouver (SFU Harbour Centre, June 12, 6-9 pm) 
  • Terrace (Terrace Best Western, June 14, 6-9 pm)
  • Victoria (Victoria Hotel Grand Pacific, June 20, 6-9 pm).

5. Or send written comments to integrated.resource.planning@bchydro.com, or by mail to:
• Integrated Resource Planning
P.O. Box 2850
Vancouver, BC
V6B 3X2

Feedback received through the consultation process will help shape the final Integrated Resource Plan to be completed by the end of 2012.

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For more information, please contact:
BC Hydro, Media Relations
604.928.6468
bchydro.com/media