Vancouver, British Columbia [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] BC Hydro announced the results of the 2006 Open Call for Power, awarding 38 contracts throughout the province to independent power producers for projects that, once developed, will help meet B.C.’s growing demand for electricity by adding more than 7,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year to BC Hydro’s system — enough power to meet the needs of more than 700,000 homes.The announcement was made jointly by Richard Neufeld, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and BC Hydro President and CEO, Bob Elton. “Secure, reliable electricity has been key to British Columbia’s economic prosperity and our quality of life for generations. But, as our province continues to grow, the gap between electricity supply and demand is expected to increase,” said Minister Neufeld. “The contracts awarded today will help to close that gap by bringing new supply online by 2010 and also help us achieve our goal of leading the world in sustainable environmental management.” The contracts include 29 hydro, three wind, two biomass, two waste heat and two coal/biomass projects. The awards represent long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with an average term of 30 years. Ranging in size from less than one megawatt (MW) to approximately 200 MW in capacity, the projects are expected to generate $3.6 billion in private sector investment. Of the successful bidders, 23 are already developing projects for BC Hydro resulting from previous calls, and three include First Nations as developers or partners. The objective of BC Hydro’s 2006 Open Call for Power was to acquire, through a competitive process, at least 2,500 GWh per year of firm, reliable, energy to be online by the year 2010. This is BC Hydro’s sixth request to independent power producers for power project proposals in the last six years. There are currently 57 contracts in place, of which 38 are now online delivering 7,000 GWh per year.