BC Hydro has announced the launch of second phase of its two-phase bioenergy call for power to provide the province with additional sources of clean electricity, while helping to diversify rural economies. In Phase Two, BC Hydro will conduct a two-stream call process. The first stream is a competitive call for larger-scale biomass projects. Any form of biomass will be eligible and it will include wood waste sourced from new forest tenure enabled through provincial legislation in May 2008.

The first phase of BC Hydro’s Bioenergy Call for Power, conducted in 2008, resulted in the selection of four biomass projects in Prince George, Kamloops and Castlegar.

The target is to acquire 1,000 gigawatt-hours per year of energy through this stream.

The second stream will focus on innovative, community-level electricity supply solutions using biomass. Through a request for qualifications, BC Hydro will seek to identify at least two such projects that can provide cost-effective electricity for ratepayers, as well as other quantifiable, local benefits such as improved reliability.

The Bioenergy Call is part of an effort to transform the future of forestry in B.C. while moving us another step forward on the road to achieving electricity self-sufficiency by 2016, said Blair Lekstrom, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources. The call creates opportunities for new jobs, new revenue streams and new electricity generation in communities around the province, while creating new uses for wood and agricultural waste products.

Bioenergy is a real opportunity to convert underutilized forest biomass to clean, carbon-neutral electricity, said Pat Bell, minister of forests and range. Not only will these innovative electricity solutions help diversify our forest industry and forest-dependent communities, it can also help improve overall reliability of the power grid for all British Columbians.

We are now looking to expand the call to further develop this unique energy source. Bioenergy projects have the significant benefit of providing firm, reliable power while increasing the diversity of energy options available to BC Hydro, said BC Hydro president and chief executive officer, Bob Elton.