Integrating Wind Power into British Columbia's Hydro Electric System
Synapse examined three interrelated British Columbia wind power issues for a group of BC environmental organizations and provided expert witness testimony. We analyzed BC Hydro's $3/MWh "firming" premium used at the evaluation stage of their 2006 RFP for energy resources. Synapse also reviewed the liquidated damages (LD) provisions of BC Hydro's standard contract for wind energy providers and summarized existing wind integration operational cost studies. Synapse concluded that the firming premium is not supported as the storage and ramping capability of BC Hydro's hydroelectric resource base is more than sufficient to allow for monthly rather than hourly scheduling. Synapse also concluded that the LD provisions could cause wind projects to appear more expensive than they actually are. Lastly, Synapse recommended detailed technical analyses be conducted to analyze the impact of varying levels of wind penetration on BC Hydro's operational costs. The BC Commission order (May 2007) did direct BC Hydro to look carefully at wind capacity projections.