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Burned out. No sign of energy projects

THE IDEA of turning wood into electricity has so far failed two catch on in the northwest.

No proposed projects west of Burns Lake have made it past a screening mechanism put in place by BC Hydro which would purchase the power.

And it’s not even known if there were any project proposals in the first place because BC Hydro doesn’t release that kind of information.

Burning wood or its by-products to fire boilers to generate electricity from steam-driven turbines is one of the key aspects of the provincial government’s plan to boost electricity production.

It also plays into the Liberal government’s philosophy that power production should rest with the private sector.

As a result BC Hydro and the forests ministry have worked closely to set up two scenarios – proposals from companies who already have wood under some kind of tenure or licence and proposals from companies who would use wood now considered as waste such as roadside debris or leftover residue from logging sites.

BC Hydro is now negotiating with companies fronting eight proposals to use waste wood. That’s down from 13 initial proposals submitted.

The closest one to the northwest is in Burns Lake involving a company called Ditni Yoh Green Energy a joint venture between area First Nations and Pristine Power of Calgary which is now a subsidiary of a company called Veresen Power based in Calgary.

As for projects involving companies who already have wood under licence, four have been accepted for development by BC Hydro. Two are in Prince George, one is in Kamloops and the other in Castlegar.

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