BC proposes renewable energy Standing Offer

Vancouver, Canada – BC Hydro has released the proposed terms for a Standing Offer Program which would offer clean electricity projects of up to 10 megawatts a set tariff for energy generated back to the grid.

The plan will support the province’s recently adopted energy strategy, which aims to achieve electricity self-sufficiency by 2016 with clean or renewable electricity generation accounting for at least 90 per cent of total generation. As well, all new electricity projects developed in B.C. will be required to have zero net greenhouse gas emissions.

The provincial utility has issued several calls for clean energy from independent power producers and will continue to solicit larger projects in the future, while the new program will allow smaller ventures to be established.

Projects eligible for the Standing Offer Program must:

  • Utilize proven technologies, i.e., those already available on the market for at least three years;

  • Generate 10 megawatts or less; and

  • Provide either clean, renewable or cogeneration energy with an overall efficiency greater than 80 per cent.

The price for power sold to the grid will be established by the base price for electricity generation in each region and adjusted based on the day and time the power is provided. It will be reviewed on an annual basis. Projects that receive environmental certification will also receive an extra payment.

According to BC Hydro, a 10-megawatt hydro project typically provides 40 GWh per year of energy, or enough electricity to power 4,000 households.

BC Hydro is seeking feedback on the proposed terms and conditions of the Standing Offer Program from potential developers, First Nations, customers and other stakeholders. BC Hydro is inviting written comments on the program’s draft documents as well as planning to hold regional meetings during July and early August to get further input on the design of the program.

Following the consultation, BC Hydro will file an application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for approval to implement the program.

The draft documents for the Standing Offer Program along with a list of regional stakeholder sessions can be found here.

The BC Hydro Standing Offer Program is similar to the Ontario Power Authority’s Standard Offer Program, which initially covered renewable energy such as solar, wind, biomass and small hydro. Ontario recently announced the development of a new ‘clean energy’ program for energy sources such as combined heat and power (CHP) projects and industrial byproduct energy.

The program, which has been instrumental in developing new renewable energy in the province, is expected to add 1,000 megawatts of clean energy to the grid over the next 10 years. So far, 36 Renewable Energy SOP contracts have been signed for a total of 238 MW of new capacity.

For More Information: BC Hydro

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