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BC Hydro wants your opinion on long-term clean energy planning

Customers and stakeholders are invited to help shape B.C.'s clean energy future by sharing their ideas with BC Hydro.

Twelve open houses at locations around the province start next week and continue through until mid-April, allowing the public to provide direct input on the future of electricity. The nearest meeting is in Castlegar, March 30 (6-9 p.m.) at the Castlegar and District Community Complex.

Those who are unable to attend the sessions can submit feedback online at www.bchydro.com/irp or by emailing integrated.resource.planning@bchydro.com.

The valuable customer, First Nations and stakeholder input will be collected and reviewed by BC Hydro as it develops its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – a 20-year, high-level outlook at how to fulfill the province's growing electricity demand.

While last week's capital plan announcement focused on BC Hydro's three-year infrastructure investments, the IRP will establish BC Hydro's long-term plan for conservation and set its course for acquiring sufficient generation and transmission resources to reliably and cost-effectively meet customers' anticipated future electricity needs over the coming decades.

People are invited to attend the open houses which will include discussions about potential resource options, including additional conservation and efficiency measures, new clean energy options and additional transmission to deliver new electricity loads to high-use areas.

Other topics will include electrification – switching from other fuel sources to electricity – which could further increase future demand for electricity, and export market potential.

BC Hydro will consider the input gained through the current consultation period as it prepares an initial draft IRP, and will seek further public comments on the draft plan this fall before the IRP is finalized and submitted to the Province in early December.

About the Integrated Resource Plan

BC Hydro's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is a 20-year plan that describes how the utility proposes to meet future growth in demand for electricity through energy conservation and clean energy generation.

Underpinning this plan is the long-standing electricity planning objective to ensure a reliable, cost-effective electricity supply, as well as important new objectives contained in B.C.'s Clean Energy Act related to clean energy, greenhouse gas reduction and achieving electricity self-sufficiency.

In addition to developing a 20-year plan to meet future domestic electricity requirements, the IRP will include an exploration of market opportunities to export clean electricity to support clean energy and economic development objectives, as well as an assessment of transmission requirements looking ahead 30 years.

BC Hydro regularly develops long-term electricity plans to identify how much electricity customers will need in the future, when it will be needed and how to best meet those needs.