BC Hydro to proceed with 5 First Nations’ clean energy projects

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The role of electricity in the world economy is expanding and investment decisions are becoming more complex (Photograph: Getty Images)

Micro Standing Offer program requires projects have significant First Nations ownership and active participation

BC Hydro says it plans to pursue negotiations for electricity purchase agreements with five First Nations’ clean energy projects through its Standing Offer and Micro Standing Offer programs, according to a press release.

“Moving forward with the development of these energy projects is a step in the right direction in creating opportunities for First Nations in the province, while also contributing to B.C.’s clean energy future,” said Honorable Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

BC Hydro will be pursuing electricity purchase agreement negotiations with the following small or micro projects:

  • Tsilhqot’in Solar – a one megawatt solar power project led by Tsilhqot’in National Government near Hanceville.
  • Siwash Creek– a 500 kilowatt hydroelectric project in partnership with Kanaka Bar Indian Band near Boston Bar.
  • Sarita River – a five megawatt hydroelectric project led by Huu-ay-aht First Nation near Bamfield.
  • Sukunka Wind – a 15 megawatt wind power project led by Saulteau First Nations near Chetwynd.
  • Zonnebeke Wind – a 15 megawatt wind power project with West Moberly First Nations near Chetwynd.

These five projects were selected because they are part of Impact Benefit Agreements with BC Hydro and/or mature projects that have significant First Nations involvement.

“Through the Standing Offer and Micro Standing Offer program, we’ve seen the development of small-scale renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, and biomass throughout the province. These projects contributed over 300 gigawatt hours of clean energy to BC Hydro’s system in 2016,” said Chris O’Riley, president and COO, BC Hydro.

“The five latest projects demonstrate our commitment to creating opportunities for Indigenous groups in B.C.”

The Standing Offer program is a non-competitive, streamlined process with set pricing for small, clean energy generation projects.

The Micro Standing Offer program requires the project have significant First Nations ownership and active participation.

BC Hydro supports the government’s decision to take a closer look at energy procurement to ensure it provides the best value for its customers through their review of BC Hydro this year, the crown corporation said in the release, which added that there are no plans at this time to issue any additional electricity purchase agreements until the review is complete.

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