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BCUC Modifies Review Process for BC Hydro 2021 Integrated Resource Plan

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On July 25, 2023, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) issued Order G-200-23, revising the scope and timetable for its review of BC Hydro’s 2021 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to focus, for the immediate future, on the load forecast scenarios and near-term new energy acquisition proposals.

BC Hydro filed an update to its 2021 IRP (IRP Update) with the BCUC in June 2023. The IRP Update identifies that BC Hydro expects increased load and decreased supply, compared to its original IRP submission. Amongst other things, BC Hydro has indicated that it needs to acquire 3,000 GWh of new clean or renewable energy from new facilities in BC to begin operating in fiscal 2029, and an additional 700 GWh from existing facilities prior to 2029.

The BCUC has pivoted the proceeding timetable to focus, in the near term, on BC Hydro’s load forecast scenarios and planned energy acquisition to address the accelerated timeline that BC Hydro has indicated it needs to acquire new energy. It is expected that the BCUC’s review of these items will be completed in the first quarter of 2024. Following its review of these two matters, the BCUC will determine the appropriate review process for the remaining portions of BC Hydro’s 2021 IRP.

Parties involved in the 2021 IRP review are invited to comment on the regulatory process and timetable outlined in Order G-200-23 by Thursday, August 3, 2023.

To review BC Hydro’s IRP, IRP Update, or other documents related to the BCUC’s review, please visit the proceeding webpage on bcuc.com.

Background

BC Hydro filed its 2021 IRP with the BCUC on December 21, 2021. The BCUC established an open and transparent public proceeding to review BC Hydro’s 2021 IRP that, to date, has included participation from 25 registered interveners and letters of comment from 11 parties.

On June 15, 2023, BC Hydro filed its 2021 Integrated Resource Plan Signposts Update (IRP Update), which amongst other things, included increased load and decreased supply forecasts, and a need for BC Hydro to acquire 3,700 GWh of new clean or renewable energy.

An IRP, or long-term resource plan, examines a utility’s forecast energy demands, outlines the resources the utility needs to meet that demand, and establishes an action plan for the steps it plans to take to meet its customer’s energy needs. Long-term resource plans must remain flexible to accommodate the inevitable changes that occur in the energy industry over time, and as a result, the review process must also be flexible.

About the BCUC 

The BCUC is an independent regulatory body, responsible for regulating BC’s energy utilities, as well as its compulsory automobile insurance rates, and intra-provincial pipelines rates. It is the BCUC’s role to balance the interests of customers with the interests of the businesses it regulates. The BCUC carries out fair and transparent reviews of matters within its jurisdiction and considers public input where public interest is impacted. The BCUC is also responsible for administering BC’s Fuel Price Transparency Act.

CONTACT INFORMATION 

Krissy Van Loon
Manager, Communications  
Phone: 604.660.4727
Email: Krissy.VanLoon@bcuc.com  


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