19 Facts About BC Hydro


British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, operating as BC Hydro, is a Canadian electric utility in the province of British Columbia.

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BC Hydro operates 32 hydroelectric facilities and three natural gas-fueled thermal power plants.

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BC Hydro continued to operate the transit system by funding it with a small levy on electricity bills, until the transit system was taken over by BC Transit in 1980.

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In 1988, BC Hydro sold its Gas Division which distributed natural gas in the lower mainland and Victoria to Inland Natural Gas.

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Between 1960 and 1980, BC Hydro completed six large hydro-electric generating projects.

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Under the terms of the Columbia River Treaty with the US, BC Hydro built a number of dams and hydro-electric generating stations including two large projects at Mica and Revelstoke on the Columbia River.

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Around the same time, BC Hydro initiated a project to develop a coal-fired thermal generating station at Hat Creek near Cache Creek, but abandoned the effort in 1981 due to strong environmental opposition.

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In 1989 the Power Smart and Resource Smart programs were initiated by BC Hydro to promote energy conservation as an alternative to the cost of creating new generating facilities.

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Since 2001, BC Hydro has focused on its conservation and energy efficiency programs, re-investing in its existing facilities, and purchasing clean, renewable energy from Independent Power Producers.

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Also in 2003, BC Hydro privatized the services provided by 1540 of its employees in its Customer Service, Westech IT Services, Network Computer Services, Human Resources, Financial Systems, Purchasing, and Building and Office Services groups.

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In 2004 the BC government's Energy Plan instructed BC Hydro to begin discussions with First Nations, the Province of Alberta and communities to discuss Site C as a future option.

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In 2013, BC Hydro had 127 Electricity Purchase Agreements in its supply portfolio, representing 22,200 gigawatt hours of annual energy and over 5,500 megawatts of capacity.

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BC Hydro belongs to a power sharing consortium which includes electric utilities in Alberta, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California.

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In 2013 British Columbia's minister of energy and mines, Bill Bennett spoke to why BC Hydro was agreeing to a $750 million settlement with California over claims Powerex manipulated electricity prices.

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BC Hydro is committed by the BC government's Energy Plan to achieve electric power self-sufficiency in the province by 2016, with all new generation plants having zero net greenhouse gas emissions by the same year.

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In 2013, BC Hydro released an Integrated Resource Plan which includes meeting at least 66 percent of the expected increase in electricity demand through increased energy efficiency.

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BC Hydro has entered into energy purchase contracts with a new category of company created by special legislation, Independent Power Producers to buy electricity generated from intermittent renewable sources, mainly from small capacity run of river hydro and more recently, wind power, wood residue energy, and energy from organic municipal waste.

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BC Hydro's profitability is affected by its large debt, estimated to reach five billion dollars by 2017.

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In 2013 BC Hydro offered the Meter Choices Program for $20 to $30 monthly.

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