Alberta won't buy B.C. hydro-electricity 'if we can't get our resources to market'

Alberta's energy minister is putting the B.C. government on notice — its next-door neighbour won't be in the market for more hydro-electricity until Alberta has an easier time getting its petroleum products to market.

British Columbia wants to send more power eastward, but Alberta energy minister says her economy comes first

Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says the province would not consider buying more electricity from B.C. if that province's government stands in the way of Alberta's resources getting to market. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

Alberta's energy minister is putting the B.C. government on notice — its next-door neighbour won't be in the market for more hydro-electricity until Alberta has an easier time getting its petroleum products to market

In a written statement Friday, Marg McCuaig-Boyd says while Alberta would consider increased connectivity with B.C. as the province looks to boost its use of cleaner power, the interests of Alberta's economy will come first.

"We won't be buying more power if we can't get our resources to market," she said.

In January, B.C. Premier Christie Clark came out against the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

But at the same time, the B.C. leader says she wants to sell more electricity to the Alberta grid.

B.C. is planning to build an $8.8-billion hydro project in the province's northeast near Fort. St. John, and send the excess power to Alberta using a new power line between the two provinces.

McCuaig-Boyd notes that the NDP government wants to phase out coal-fired emissions by replacing the majority of Alberta's electricity supply with renewable electricity.

"While our focus is on meeting these targets with production here in Alberta, it makes sense to examine a wide range of options," she said.

"Any increased interconnection would need to carefully consider how it will support investment in new renewable and other forms of generation in Alberta's unique electricity market."​

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