BC Hydro is acquiring full ownership of a dam in the B.C. interior in an effort to keep electricity rates affordable for customers.
The company announced this week it would be purchasing the remaining two-thirds ownership interest in the Waneta Dam and Generation Station in Trail from Teck Resources Limited. BC Hydro already holds a one-third share, purchased for $825 million in 2010. The remaining shares will be purchased for $1.2 billion.
BC Hydro believes full ownership of the dam will help keep energy costs down. A 20-year lease agreement is in place with Teck to continue to supply power to the Teck smelter in Trail, with an option to extend the lease for an additional 10 years.
The BC NDP provincial government expressed their support of the sale but the transaction is pending approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission.
“Securing a long-term source of clean, reliable power at a cost-effective price to continue serving the Trail smelter is a great development for the entire province,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for Kootenay West. “At the same time, Kootenay jobs and economic investment will strengthen as a result of BC Hydro’s purchase of the Waneta Dam.”