While E-Drive LNG plants would offer their host communities a number of tangible, measurable benefits—as outlined below—flexibility is the technology’s greatest asset.
This is because while a D-Drive LNG plant will always be powered with natural gas, the power needs of an E-Drive facility can be served with progressively cleaner sources of electricity as such options become available. For example, an efficient combined-cycle natural-gas generator can power an E-Drive LNG plant today, and tomorrow renewable energy installations can do the same job, once they are permitted and constructed. After that point, the gas generators can serve as firm on-demand power to back up the variable-output renewables.
Abundant renewable energy resources exist in the general vicinity of Kitimat and Prince Rupert. Various power developers such as NaiKun Wind Energy, Alterra Power, Sea Breeze Power, and Innergex Renewable Energy have proposals in with the provincial government to develop renewable resources in the North Coast region. Such generation facilities would connect to either Prince Rupert or Kitimat via transmission lines to service the region’s proposed LNG projects.
Making E-Drives compulsory for British Columbia LNG developers would not only offer critical future flexibility, but would spur the creation of a significant renewable energy legacy for future generations of British Columbians—long after today’s natural gas boom fades.