Premier Christy Clark announced in February that the definition of self-sufficiency under the Energy Act would be changed to require self-sufficiency in average water years instead of critical low water years. The self-sufficiency policy was the driving force behind the high-priced energy contracts that BC Hydro offered to Independent Power Producers (IPPs). Under the old policy, BC Hydro was required to have access to huge amounts of extra electricity at all times to guard against the worst-case scenario. The new policy allows BC Hydro to purchase electricity only when it is needed.

The outcome for our wild rivers is that no new contracts for independent “run of river” projects will be awarded for the foreseeable future. Since AXOR chose not to renew their contract with BC Hydro last fall, that means that the Glacier Howser proposal is effectively dead! Of course, we still have to maintain vigilance in case BC Hydro offers a new “open call,” and there are several IPPs  that have contracts in place, but in the meantime its time to celebrate!