VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC Hydro’s export division plans to appeal an American ruling that could cost this province hundreds of millions of dollars.

A US judge has found energy prices in California were manipulated.

This is the latest development in a longstanding complaint by California, which accuses a number of companies of raising prices more than a decade ago when it struggled with power outages.

BC Hydro’s export division Powerex has consistently denied it, and plans to appeal.

“We see this latest decision involving 16 energy sellers including Powerex, as another step in a legal process that has been underway for over a decade and may go on for years before we reach resolution,” says Powerex Chief Legal Officer John Irving.

“This is an initial decision that has no force or effect. We will file an appeal of this decision to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and will continue to participate in the U.S. legal process,” he continues.

BC’s Energy Critic John Horgan, whose NDP were in power back then, supports Powerex.

“It’s very rare that (Energy Minister) Rich Coleman and I agree on something, but we both agree that BC Hydro provided energy to California in their hour of need.”

Americans are seeking as much as $1.6 billion in refunds from Powerex and several other companies.