BC Hydro to pay $750 million to settle California claims
BC Hydro will pay $750 million to settle claims that it drove up the price of electricity in California during the state's energy crisis in 2000 to 2001. According to the BC government, this settlement protects British Columbians from a potential $3.5 billion liability.
Powerex CEO Theresa Conway said that the settlement will allow the company to move forward from the legal dispute and continue marketing BC's clean energy to clients.
According to a testimony submitted by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, BC Hydro's unit Powerex, took part in market "gaming" by purchasing and exporting to Canada huge quantities of electricity California needed and then selling it back to California at higher prices.
"This was a tough but necessary decision to protect taxpayers," said Energy Minister Bill Bennett. "We have learned that the U.S. court system can be unpredictable. When you weigh this settlement versus a potential $3.2 billion legal liability, we determined it was in the best interest of taxpayers to settle and put this long standing dispute behind us."