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The Best Place on Earth


For Immediate Release

October 28, 2009

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources





VICTORIA – As part of its commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and become a clean energy powerhouse, the Province has clarified its intention to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to end BC Hydro’s reliance on the Burrard Thermal Generating Facility for energy needs. The decision was announced today by Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.


            “We’ve been committed since 2001 to ending BC Hydro’s reliance on Burrard and to only using it for emergency back-up capacity,” said Lekstrom. “In B.C, we have the opportunity to develop clean, renewable, cost-effective electricity with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions. That will also improve air quality in the Lower Mainland.”


BC Hydro has been planning to reduce its reliance on Burrard, as proposed in its recent Long Term Acquisition Plan, to help meet the legislative target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by six per cent by 2012, 18 per cent by 2016, and 33 per cent by 2020.  Today’s direction is consistent with the government’s Climate Action Plan, BC Energy Plan, and the Utilities Commission Act.


Effective immediately Burrard will no longer be used for planning purposes for firm energy. It will only be used for up to 900 megawatts of emergency capacity. 


“In providing this direction, BC Hydro will replace the firm energy supply from Burrard Thermal with clean, renewable and cost-effective energy,” said Lekstrom. “Ending our reliance on energy from Burrard Thermal for planning purposes is also a critical component of B.C.'s greenhouse gas reduction strategy.”


Burrard will no longer be relied upon for energy but will continue to be available to provide emergency back-up power in the event of generation or transmission outages, which is a benefit to British Columbians. Typically, Burrard’s actual operation is less than 10 per cent of what it is capable of generating per year.


Clean and renewable energy continues to be a cornerstone of British Columbia’s climate action plan that will create jobs, support families and generate new economic activity throughout British Columbia. BC Hydro has been upholding that plan. Electricity self-sufficiency and clean and renewable power generation are integral to B.C.’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint and fight global warming.


This decision will also allow BC Hydro to continue to acquire 6,000 GWh of cost-effective, clean and renewable power. This includes up to 5,000 GWh from the Clean Call and up to 1,000 GWh from Phase 2 Bioenergy Call for Power.







Jake Jacobs

Public Affairs Officer

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

250 952-0628

250 213-6934 (cell)




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