The Mayor of Williams Lake is hoping to be able to take his concerns on the need to renew Atlantic Power’s long-term electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro straight to Victoria next month.
Walt Cobb said there were more than 1,100 people including himself taking part in last weeks Natural Resources Forum in Prince George, and that he had a brief meeting Premier John Horgan.
“Sounds like if things work out we’ll be down the first part of February around the 10th or the 11th whenever the house goes back in session,” he said.
“I think the throne speech is on the 12th so probably around that time somewhere is when he [Horgran] indicated that he will be available. I have also asked Willie Sellars [Chief of the Williams Lake Indian Band] and Paul French [USW 1-2017 1st Vice President] to go with me because they both have interests in Atlantic Power.”
Atlantic Power’s long term-electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro expires on June 30, 2019.
“APWL had a long-term Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) with BC Hydro that expired on April 1, 2018,” the company states on its website.
“In December 2017, APWL and BC Hydro agreed to amend and extend the EPA to June 30, 2019, with an option for BC Hydro to extend it to September 30, 2019, while BC Hydro completes its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) update, which will consider the future role of biomass in the utility’s mix of generation resources.”
“Depending on the outcome of the IRP proceeding, expected in 2019, APWL and BC Hydro could discuss a longer-term extension of the EPA at that time. The short-term extension of the EPA is subject to regulatory approval of the BC Utilities Commission, which is pending.”
In a letter to Minister of Energy and Petroleum Resources, Michelle Mungall, Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett wrote that without a contract the risk of Atlantic Power closing its facility in the very near future, she fears will become a reality.
The 66 MW biomass-fired generating facility commenced operations in Williams Lake in 1993.
“Of course if we’ve got time, and they [Sellars and French] have other issues we’ll certainly let them be aware of them,” Cobb said of the potential upcoming meeting in Victoria.
“The caribou issue is another topic but we learned there at the Forum with the Ministers apparently the group from up north that has the first impact of the caribou issue have had a meeting with the two or three ministers and they’ve agreed to consult with local governments so I guess it’s just a matter of now waiting to see when that timeframe is going to happen.”