Electricity Supply in British Columbia
B.C. is fortunate to have an abundant and varied supply of clean, affordable and renewable electricity. Electricity is vital to the continued health of B.C.’s economy, communities and resource industries. At the same time, to minimize impact on the environment, B.C. must carefully manage its electricity system as it adapts to meet growing demand.
British Columbians will likely use a lot more electricity over the next 20 years. To understand how much electricity we will need in the future, electric utilities make forecasts that consider the following:
- Weather patterns
- Population growth
- Economic growth
- Changes in technology (increased use of electronic devices)
There are over 100 facilities that provide electricity to homes and businesses across the province, but it still takes many years to plan and build new transmission and generation resources. Projects like BC Hydro’s proposed Site C will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of about 450,000 homes per year.
B.C. can also trade power when it benefits ratepayers to do so, by trading on the open market just like currencies, agricultural products and financial stocks. Companies like Powerex, BC Hydro’s trading subsidiary, sell power to the United States and Alberta when prices are high and buy when prices are low.
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