Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Plutonic CEO calls for energy export plan

Blair Lekstrom, the new minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources, told delegates at a B.C. Power conference this week that President Obama's push for green energy would open up opportunities in British Columbia.

"Anytime that you have markets that are looking for a product that you can develop, I think that is a good thing."

He made the statements Tuesday before a group of delegates from the renewable-energy sector.

One of the sector's biggest players – Donald McInnes, CEO of Plutonic Power – indicated it was time to create clearer policy directives around export. Currently, BC Hydro's policy is a goal of energy self-sufficiency, with the potential to export electricity the province doesn't need.

"You'd have to be in a coma to not see where the B.C. government is going," McInnes said. "Now, we need consistency of policy and certainty of timelines.

"An export plan is an obvious place for us to go."

Late last year, BC Hydro scaled back its 2008 call for clean power -- a move that frustrated some power developers.

At the conference, Steve Davis, president of the Independent Power Producers Association of B.C. said simply: "We'd rather things go up than down." He pointed out that BC Hydro's current load forecast does not include things like fuel switching -- big industries moving from gas to electricity -- and the addition of plug-in electric vehicles to the grid.

McInnes said the appointment of David Emerson -- who has served as minister of industry and of international trade -- as executive director of the BC Transmission Corporation is a sign that the province is already building for an export policy.

The Tyee requested a response from Minister Lekstrom on the question of whether his ministry was currently working on an energy export plan or if it intended to do so in the future.

Jake Jacobs, the ministry's public affairs officer, responded with an email stating:

"As we move to electricity self-sufficiency. . . where there is a benefit for British Columbians, we will also look at the potential to export clean, renewable power to neighbouring jurisdictions to displace more carbon-intensive power generation."

Colleen Kimmett writes on environmental and sustainability issues for The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus