Our Energy Resources
In our early years, Powerex’ trade activity centered on the sale of surplus energy from the BC Hydro system. Recently, as BC Hydro’s domestic needs grew and its surplus energy decreased, we’ve had to focus increasingly on supply from outside B.C for our trade efforts. Today we have access to a wide portfolio of market resources to support our trade activities and almost all the energy we sell is energy we purchase from the marketplace.
Since the early 2000s, we have also been buying energy to help support BC Hydro’s domestic needs. In fact, in recent years, BC Hydro, through Powerex, has been a net importer of electricity for domestic use.
BC Hydro System Capability
Powerex has access to the flexibility of BC Hydro’s world-class integrated hydroelectric system of close to 11,500 MW of generating capacity - over 10,000 of which are hydroelectric. This system is interconnected with the western U.S. by two 500 kilovolt transmission lines on the west coast between B.C. and Washington, one 230 kilovolt line connecting B.C. and Washington on the east side, and a 500 kilovolt line to the east, connecting B.C. with Alberta.
The surplus capability of the BC Hydro generating system and its transmission interconnections enable us to buy, sell and shape power deliveries to customers across the Western Electric Coordinating Council (WECC) region, east into the U.S. mid-west and south as far as Mexico.
Powerex is responsible for marketing the highly reliable Canadian Entitlement power on behalf of the B.C. government. The Canadian Entitlement is Canada's one-half share of the additional power produced on the Columbia River in the western United States as a result of the Canada/U.S. Columbia River Treaty
. For the first 30 years the Entitlement was sold to U.S. entities, but it's now returning to B.C. Entitlement power amounts to approximately 1, 300 MW of capacity.