A new BC Business Magazine article on two more proposed northeast BC electrification power projects quotes Energy Minister Bill Bennett saying of their proponents, “They just don’t feel they can wait for a long BCUC process.”
The magazine notes the two projects would provide hydro power to natural gas companies, and the Minister fears they could lose interest if there’s a lengthy approval process involved.
It reportedly could take about a year or more to complete, but the article also says the Peace River Regional District objects to the projects being excluded from BC Utilities Commission review.
In this case, the magazine quotes Electoral Area B director, Karen Goodings as saying, “Our concern, of course, is once again the avoidance of going through the process that is in place to examine these things,” and adding, “It’s almost as though this is another excuse for building Site-C.”
The companies backing the new projects are said to believe they’d reduce carbon dioxide emissions and also provide new industrial power customers for BC Hydro at a time when its industrial customer electricity sales have been falling.
The North Montney Power Supply project is a joint venture between Atco Electric — an Alberta power company — and Progress Energy — which has natural gas assets in the Montney that would supply gas to the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG plant.
It would have a capacity of 100 megawatts and would feature 40 kilometres of transmission line and 65 kilometres of distribution lines built by Atco and running to the Pink Mountain area from the W.A.C. Bennett Dam.
The other proposal, a Hydro initiative, is called the Peace Region Electricity Supply and it would provide up to 230 megawatts of power for gas sector industrial customers across the Peace Region.
It would be an extension of the recently completed Dawson Creek-Chetwynd Area Transmission line — which was subject to BCUC review—and would power the 860 million dollar gas processing plant Veresen Midstream recently announced it wants to build near Dawson Creek.