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BC Hydro purchases clean power from Celgar pulp mill green energy project

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BC Hydro purchases clean power from Celgar pulp mill green energy project

November 16, 2010 - 07:32
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CASTLEGAR, BC, Nov. 12, 2010 (Press Release) -BC Hydro is pleased to announce that it is now purchasing clean electricity from the Zellstoff Celgar's Green Energy Project as a result of a series of upgrades that allow the pulp mill to direct more steam to energy production. A new 48-megawatt condensing turbine is now generating electricity for use in the BC Hydro power grid. Once the turbine is fully optimized, the pulp mill will produce enough surplus electricity to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes in B.C.

The Zellstoff Celgar mill's cogeneration facility will produce 238 gigawatt hours of electricity annually for sale to BC Hydro under the terms of a 10-year electricity purchase agreement that was completed as part of BC Hydro's Phase 1 Bioenergy Call. The new clean energy generating capacity at the Zellstoff Celgar mill was made possible through a series of upgrades funded by $40 million from Natural Resources Canada's Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program and $17 million from Mercer International, Zellstoff Celgar's parent company.

"Because of Zellstoff Celgar's creative thinking and programs like this offered by BC Hydro, workers in the West Kootenay will continue to have jobs and a mill that will support the local economy," said Minister of Energy Bill Bennett. "I believe that renewable energy like this, its generation and the technology and knowledge around it, is a key to a prosperous future for British Columbia."

The investments at the mill include upgrading the wood waste boiler and installing a new condensing turbine and other steam-saving equipment to allow the mill to generate energy surplus to its own needs that it can sell to BC Hydro. The mill generates the steam it uses for its operations by burning wood waste and black liquor, a byproduct of the pulp-making process.

"At BC Hydro, we are committed to powering B.C. with clean, reliable electricity and projects like Zellstoff Celgar's will help us deliver on our goals for generations," said BC Hydro President and CEO Dave Cobb. "Clean energy projects also support economic development opportunities throughout B.C. and we commend Zellstoff Celgar on their upgrades which support both business viability and the local community."

Bioenergy is energy that can be generated using wood waste, forest-based biomass and organic material in regions all across the province, helping to diversify rural economies. In total, BC Hydro's Phase 1 Bioenergy Call will enable BC Hydro to purchase approximately 579 gigawatt hours annually - enough to power more than 52,000 homes - from four projects. In addition to the electricity purchase agreement with Zellstoff Celgar, BC Hydro has agreements with Canfor Pulp Ltd. Partnership in Prince George; PG Interior to Waste to Energy Ltd. in Prince George; and Domtar Pulp and Paper Product Inc. in Kamloops.