BC Hydro's plan for small power projects rejected

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BC Hydro's plan for small power projects rejected

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The Miller Creek project is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric station typical of many proposed independent power projects in BC Hydro's long-term plan.

The B.C. Utilities Commission has pulled the plug on BC Hydro's controversial plan to buy electricity from dozens of run-of-river and wind-power projects.

The utilities commission has determined the long-term acquisition scheme is not practical and not in the public interest.

The commission has directed the utility instead to continue using the gas-fired Burrard thermal plant.

The NDP says the decision is a major setback for Hydro and the Liberal government of Premier Gordon Campbell.

"It's a slap in the face to the B.C. Liberal energy plan," said B.C. NDP energy critic John Horgan. "The regulator has said we don't need this high-priced independent power at this time."

During the May provincial election campaign, environmental organizations were split on whether or not the small power projects were a good idea. And at least one environmentalist criticized the commission's decision. See: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/07/29/bc-utilities-commission-hydro-projects-decision.html

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