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Premier: British Columbia to seriously consider 900-MW Site C

Premier Gordon Campbell says the government of British Columbia is ready to seriously consider a plan to develop 900-MW Peace River Site C.

Campbell told a meeting of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities that such power would be needed even though government-owned utility BC Hydro has issued a �clean� call for power to acquire up to 5,000 GWh per year (HNN 9/27/07), and plans a bio-energy power call in 2008.

�The fact remains we still need some new large-scale power production, and our options for clean, large-scale power are very limited,� Campbell told the group Sept. 28. �We are going to begin the process to seriously consider Site C.�

Campbell said the process would include extensive consultations with First Nations, the neighboring province of Alberta, and the public.

Earlier this year the province said it would initiate contacts with local stakeholders along the Peace River about potential development of Site C. The project is included in a new energy strategy for the province issued in February. (HNN 3/2/07)

BC Hydro has considered, and shelved, Site C several times over 25 years, at least partially due to environmentalist opposition. It is receiving another look because British Columbia's new energy plan commits the province to electricity self-sufficiency by 2016. The plan also includes targets for zero net greenhouse gas emissions.

Campbell said the government will introduce legislation in spring 2008 requiring 50 percent of all new incremental power needs to be offset through conservation by 2020. The government also will introduce legislation to support the new energy plan.

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