Atlantic Power has signed a 10-year energy purchase agreement (EPA) with Canadian electric utility firm BC Hydro for its Williams Lake biomass plant. The biomass plant in British Columbia, Canada, had been operating under a short-term EPA since 2 April 2018 which expired on 30 September 2019. The new EPA is effective from 1 October.
Under the new agreement, the Williams Lake plant will receive a fixed price per megawatt-hour for energy produced. Conditions in the British Columbia timber market have been adversely affected in the last couple of years, according to the company, which has presented some operational challenges at Williams Lake. With a long-term EPA now in place, Atlantic Power is evaluating fuel supply options and plans to provide earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) guidance for the Williams Lake plant in due course. Atlantic Power also plans to undertake several maintenance projects at the plant in 2020.
“As we have highlighted previously, biomass plants provide benefits beyond the generation of electricity, including support for the local economy and timber industry, and environmental benefits including forest management,” said Joe Cofelice, executive vice-president of commercial development at Atlantic Power.
“We are very pleased to be extending our longstanding relationship with our customer BC Hydro at Williams Lake in order to serve the interests of consumers, the environment and the local community. We thank all those in the local community who supported our efforts to obtain a new long-term contract for this plant.”