BC Hydro

BC Hydro ( British Columbia Hydro and Power really Authority) is a company for supplying power to the Canadian province of British Columbia. It provides claims to more than 1.7 million customers. Thus, it has a near monopoly in the province, because it supplies 95 % of households. The company is the Ministry of Energy, Mining and oil reserves (BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources ) accountable and subject to the governance mechanisms of the British Columbia Utilities Commission ( BCUC ).

The company manages 30 hydroelectric plants and three gas power plants. According to the rainfall and evaporation rates provides BC Hydro annually 43000-54000 gigawatt hours, probably to around four -fifths of hydropower plants on the Fraser River and the Peace River. More than 18,000 km on the power lines, to 55,000 km of domestic and industrial supply lines, belong to state-owned enterprises.


One of the roots of the company goes back to the Victoria of the year 1860, when the Victoria Gas Company was founded. In addition to the utilization of gas, the production of electricity is another root. It goes back to the year 1883 when Robert McMicking with some investors, the Victoria Electric Illuminating Company took over, and they were able to set up a first commercial street lighting in Victoria.

The first power plant was made possible by means of financier Robert Horne - Payne and later Lieutenant Governor Francis Stillman Barnard. It was 1898. 1928 the company was acquired by Montreal-based Power Corporation.

1945 numerous private energy companies were following preparation by the BC Power Commission, nationalized. This resulted in catch-up investments and a stronger supply of long-distance rural areas. 1961 were more than 200 municipalities power plants available, though they often no longer represented as a diesel generator.

The provincial government of WAC Bennett founded in 1961 BC Hydro, which was within a few years one of the largest energy producers in Canada. This is related to the Columbia Treaty ( Columbia River Treaty ), in which the company agreed with the United States for the supply of electricity from four dam construction projects. Larger dams occur on Peace and on the Columbia River (see Revelstoke Dam ), but also on the border between BC and Montana. To this end, bought the province in 1961 and BC Electric at. Already in the following year, this company merged with Power Commission under the direction of the province, as so-called Crown Corporation under the name British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, BC Hydro short.

With the Duncan Dam (1967, 8.76 km ³), the W. - A. - C. Bennett Dam (1967, 70.31 km ³), the Arrow Dam (1968, 8.63 km ³) - he later renamed the Hugh Keenleyside Dam - and the Mica Dam (1973, 14.8 km ³), the company not only met its contractual obligations, but also built the national drinking water and electricity reserve further. At first, they took neither to ecological interests, especially in view of the fish stocks, nor on ethnic issues, such as with regard to the destruction of archaeological sites, nor on property issues into consideration, because 2,300 landowners had to make way for the project. The establishment of the Columbia Basin Trust ( 1995) provides now for some compensation, even if the losses of archaeological sites so that can not be compensated.

During the 1960s and 1970s were marked by increasing capacity, subareas have been increasingly outsourced to the 1980s. Thus, the Westech Information Systems, and Powerex developed for testing and research purposes Powertech Labs, for computer services for the trading of electricity. In the late 1980s, the focus was more on increasing the efficiency, as further extensions.

In 2002 the company decided to sharp cost-cutting measures. At the same time, the service area has been on the customers ( Field Services ) and art ( Engineering Services ) expanded. Later that year, the province adopted the ambitious plan " Energy for Our Future: A Plan for BC". The new BC Transmission Corporation ( BCTC ) is to make the supply safer, the province out gains from electricity trade, and at the same time integrate the possibilities of independent power producers stronger.

2003 1.500 employees were outsourced to the partner company Accenture Business Services of British Columbia. She is responsible for staff management, customer relations, building management, financial and accounting services, and also for shopping. Total BC Hydro employs about 4,400 people.


A special feature of Canadian energy companies is that their power plants and transmission lines partially located on reserve areas of First Nations, as the Indians of Canada are designated under policy perspective. This is especially true for British Columbia, where about 1,700 reserves ( reserves ) are located. BC Hydro touched with his equipment over 500 of these reserves of 169 of the 197 First Nations in British Columbia. In the particular legal and cultural conditions that characterize the relations with these political, social and cultural groups, the company responded to five fields:

  • Business or Economic Development - Business Development
  • Communication - Communication
  • Education and training in intercultural relations - Cross- Cultural Training
  • Negotiation and consultation obligations - Negotiation & Consultation
  • Principles and Government Relations - Policy and Government Relations

This BC Hydro accepted by his own admission the following rights and title ( with the latter country claims are usually meant ):

Aboriginal rights refer to practices, traditions and customs ( " Activities") are an integral part of the distinct culture of the indigenous people ( aboriginals ) society, and that were exercised prior to contact with Europeans. Here is the signing of the Oregon Boundary Treaty of 1846, in which the boundary between the British British Columbia and the United States was drawn along the 49th parallel, seen as time- limit.

Other conditions are that these practices were for a substantial period in practice to have become an integral part. For this they must be central, defining element which is characteristic of the society itself. He must not unique, but his distinctive, therefore characteristic. In this case, all this is not enough, if not a fixed ratio exists for a resource. The importance of self therefore still not constitute a claim. According to the conservation principles, it must be a priority, so does not lead to an exclusive right. At the same time, the entity concerned must prove that the relationship to the land today is virulent. Here, this relationship may well be modified and further developed, but it must date back at least to 1846.

In addition, the rights may include the right to fish, picking berries, hunting and trapping, but only for the purpose of safeguarding life, but also to social and ceremonial purposes. This refers about the ceremonial use of trees ( cf. Culturally Modified Trees ) or on animal habitats.

In exceptional circumstances, be driven with the proceeds also trade when it is again these were an integral part of the culture at this trade and if these commercial " was operated at a level that best characterized as commercial" can be. Even when she began as a reaction to the appearance of Europeans, and this activity goes back to pre-European states, unless they did not exist before, they are recognized. However, this can not be roots that are characteristic of all societies, such as eating.

As a basis for legal peculiarity BC Hydro accepts the fact that the rights of indigenous people are older than the European immigrants, but also of the previous social organization and independent cultural ago.

The current negotiations are to translate the rights of indigenous people in modern terminology. It often goes to large compensations, which are reflected in legal proceedings and other disputes. Alone in the 2007 financial year, BC Hydro for this purpose 7 million, spent a total of 129 million dollars.