Until 2010 BC Hydro included Burrard Thermal in their list of available resources at a annual rated capacity of 6,000 gigawatt hours per year. In actual fact, Burrard Thermal seldom produced electricity since it was almost always less expensive to buy the needed power from the market, either at Mid-C or other North American market hubs.
With the implementation of the Clean Energy Act in 2010 BC Hydro was prohibited from supplying their customers from the market. Further, under the terms of the act, 93% of the power they supplied had to be renewable and must be purchased from independent suppliers (BC Hydro was prohibited from constructing any generating facilities other than Site C). So BC Hydro was forced to contract for the 6,000 gigawatt hours from Independent Power Producers at a price that is at least $100 per megawatt hour higher than the power available on the market. That additional price times the needed quantity equals $600 million per year. BC Hydro justifies shutting down Burrard because the construction of additional power lines to the lower mainland means it no longer needs the back-up security Burrard provides and it costs $40 million per year to maintain Burrard.
So the net loss from shutting down Burrard, in the effort to achieve “self sufficiency” as required by the Liberal Clean Air Act is costing ratepayers $560 million per year. Doesn’t it feel great to be self sufficient?