He says as resource development moves into the northern half of the province, there’s the potential for some very substantial demand growth.
The plan lays out three key areas where Hydro sees future demand growth: liquefied natural gas terminals in the northwest, the gas fields of the northeast and the mining sector. It also shows how Hydro intends to meet that demand: with conservation measures, new capital projects, energy purchases from domestic renewable energy providers, and energy imports from outside the province.
According to the plan, if two LNG terminals at Kitimat go ahead, annual demand is expected to grow from 56,838 gigawatt hours this year, to 89,590 gigawatt hours by 2032. By way of comparison, Hydro’s Site C dam proposal would annually provide 5,100 gigawatt hours of energy.
The Hydro plan is still in the draft stage but is attracting a lot of interest from the renewable energy sector. Nicholas Heap, Regional Director for the Canadian Wind Energy Association, called the 50 per cent forecast quite conservative, adding, "There’s obviously a big challenge coming forward for electricity demand in the province."
B.C. Hydro is currently conducting open houses around the province, for feedback on its plans to deal with the growing demand.
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