BC community to reduce GHG emissions with Hydrogen Assisted Renewable Power System (HARP)

    VANCOUVER, June 1 /CNW/ - The town of Bella Coola, British Columbia, will
soon be the site of a state-of-the-art energy system that will demonstrate a
clean power solution for remote communities. The HARP project is a partnership
between BC Hydro, General Electric (GE), and Powertech. The Project is
supported by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a
not-for-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada.
    "The HARP project will address two challenges," said Blair Lekstrom,
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. "It will reduce Bella
Coola's annual diesel consumption by 200,000 litres - lowering greenhouse gas
emissions by 600 tonnes annually, and provide storage for run-of-river power,
so the electricity can be used when the community needs it most."
    Bella Coola, which is 439 kilometres north of Vancouver, is not connected
to BC Hydro's grid. Currently, the town is powered by diesel generators, which
emit greenhouse gases, and by a run-of-river facility which, while clean, is
not capable of storing energy.
    This peak power shaving system works by converting electricity from a
renewable source (run-of-river), in off peak periods, into hydrogen through an
electrolyzer, and subsequently into electricity through a fuel cell for power
during periods of peak demand.
    "Powertech is a leader in providing clean energy consulting, testing, and
system solutions such as this HARP project," said Mossadiq S. Umedaly,
Powertech Executive Chairman. "This project demonstrates how the integration
of renewable power and clean fuel cell technology can displace diesel
generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
    The benefits will be optimized through the use of a microgrid system
which will wirelessly monitor and react to changes in supply and demand. A
Microgrid Controller will find the most economically efficient way to manage
energy for the community.
    "By bringing together our innovation and global research capability to
develop solutions such as the Microgrid Controller, GE is in a unique position
to assist remote communities, such as Bella Coola, in solving one of their
toughest energy challenges," states Larry Sollecito, President and CEO, GE
Digital Energy. "This technology can be used by remote communities around the
    "This project is a concrete example of how clean technologies can have a
real impact on the lives of Canadians," said SDTC President and CEO Vicky J.
Sharpe." By combining renewable power with microgrid technology, the Bella
Coola project can improve the quality of life of people living in remote
communities while reducing the environmental impacts of power generation."
    Testing of the system is now underway at Powertech. Once testing is
complete, BC Hydro will move the equipment to Bella Coola and construct the
project. It will begin operating later in 2009.

                 For more information visit www.bchydro.com

    About BC Hydro

    A crown corporation, BC Hydro reports to the B.C. Ministry of Energy,
Mines and Petroleum Resources. It is the third largest electric utility in
Canada and serves customers in an area containing over 94 per cent of British
Columbia's population. BC Hydro endeavours to provide energy solutions to its
customers in an environmentally and socially responsible way by balancing
British Columbians' energy needs with the concerns of the environment.

    About Powertech:

    Powertech, BC Hydro's subsidiary that specializes in clean energy
consulting, testing, and power solutions, has been serving electrical, oil and
gas companies, automotive and electrical equipment manufacturers since 1989 by
meeting the complex and changing needs of our customers around the world.

    About GE:

    GE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that
is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and
health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than
100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. GE is
Imagination at Work.

    About SDTC:

    Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm's-length
foundation which has received $1.05 billion from the Government of Canada as
part of its commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of
life for all Canadians. SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and
demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $550 million SD Tech
FundTM supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean
water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund(TM) supports the
establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the
production of next-generation renewable fuels. SDTC operates as a
not-for-profit corporation and has been working with the public and private
sector including industry, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs),
the financial community and all levels of government to achieve this mandate.

For further information:

For further information: Dag Sharman, BC Hydro Media Relations, Phone:
(604) 623-4022; Donna Mirandola, GE Digital Energy, Phone: (905) 201-2407;
Patrice Breton, SDTC Communications, Phone: (613) 234-6313 ext. 295

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