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B.C. demand for renewable power could boom


Scott Simpson, Vancouver Sun, April 30, 2013

KPMG report sees LNG, population and industry growth as catalysts for new wave of IPPs

Wind power development could boom in British Columbia as the province scrambles to support a potential LNG export industry, according to a study.

Accounting and consulting firm KPMG speculates in a review of Canada’s energy sector that B.C. will be the nation’s “new growth market” for clean energy development.

New generation sources would include large and small hydro, wind and even gas-fired turbines — which the province qualified last year as clean power.

Electricity demand from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters, a 50-per-cent larger population by 2032, and industrial development in the north are expected to drive the trend.

“The LNG facilities’ power needs are material, but even if none of them were built, you would still have significant power demand growth in British Columbia,” according to a vice-president with Alterra Power, an independent power producer (IPP), who was consulted for the study.

Another, Innergex chief investment officer Jean Trudel, said “the development of LNG terminals is very positive for the renewable energy industry. A good portion of that power will have to be procured from new hydro or wind facilities.”

The study says BC Hydro could potentially meet the new demand with in-house projects — but warns that its Site C megaproject would not be operational before 2021, too late to meet projected start-up dates for at least one LNG project.

“As a result BC Hydro is considering programs to produce 22,000 GWh (gigawatt hours) of renewable energy capacity from IPPs that have projects that come online in the 2016-2018 time frame,” KPMG said.

“If more than two LNG terminals are developed then this (IPP) procurement program could significantly exceed 2,000 GWh.”

ssimpson@vancouversun.com

Twitter.com/ScottSimpsun

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