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Overcharging allegations directed at BC Hydro

A report by California’s Independent System Operator (ISO) has said that BC Hydro, a Canadian provincially-owned utility, made US$176M in ‘excessive’ profits by selling high priced power to Californian utilities.

Cal-ISO studied utility pricing for 20 large suppliers of power between May and November 1999 and filed the report with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, DC.

BC Hydro sells power to the US through its export subsidiary, Powerex Corporation. The state of California has complained to FERC about the high prices suppliers charge for power on the spot market. While the governor of California, Gray Davis, has also requested FERC to consider capping power prices for two years to stabilise the market.

BC hydro has denied the allegations, stating that the prices charged by Powerex were in line with market conditions.