Program Development & 2010 Review
Standing Offer Program Development
BC Hydro launched the Standing Offer Program (“SOP”) on April 11, 2008 to encourage small project developers to sell electricity to BC Hydro. The 2007 BC Energy Plan and the 2010 Clean Energy Act provided direction to BC Hydro to establish a Standing Offer Program for small, clean or renewable or high efficiency cogeneration projects. The SOP involves a streamlined process, a simplified contract and decreased transaction costs, while remaining cost-effective for rate payers.
Two years after the initiation of the program BC Hydro conducted a review to determine if the SOP was meeting its objectives and to recommend improvements or modification to ensure future success. The revised Standing Offer Program was launched on January 25, 2011.
Stakeholder feedback and input has been key in developing and revising the SOP. BC Hydro sought input from potential developers, First Nations, customers and other stakeholders on the design of the Program. This consultation included a web-based feedback form on the draft Program Rules and Standard Form Electricity Purchase Agreement which garnered over 800 comments, as well as 11 information sessions across the province.
After the SOP was developed it was filed with the BC Utilities Commission ("BCUC") and a Negotiated Settlement Process took place to further define the program. This process involved 34 intervenors and BCUC staff. On March 19, 2008, the BCUC issued Order No. G-43-08 [PDF, 1.1 MB] approving the Negotiated Settlement Agreement and the expenditures required to implement the SOP for the next two years. The SOP was launched on April 11, 2008.
2010 Standing Offer Program Review
From October 2009 to July 2010, BC Hydro undertook a review of the Standing Offer Program ("SOP Review") to determine if the Program met its objectives in the first two years of operation, and to identify any improvements that could enhance its effectiveness and success. Through stakeholder engagement including dialogue sessions, a First Nations session, interviews with SOP applicants and responses to an online questionnaire, BC Hydro obtained input on what modifications could be made to improve the Program. Additionally, BC Hydro conducted jurisdictional reviews, which compared the SOP to similar programs in other parts of North America, as well as a review of several aspects of the program, including:
- Analysis of participation
- Application and interconnection processes
- The need for total or annual volume caps
- The maximum and minimum size of eligible projects
- Other eligibility rules
- The prices to be paid for new projects under the Standing Offer Program
BC Hydro has implemented the complete set of Standing Offer Program recommendations in the SOP Review Report [PDF, 2.9 MB] including maximum allowable project size, eligibility of non-proven technologies and the payment price offered for energy. Improvements have also been made to the application and interconnection processes.
BC Hydro redeveloped the Program Rules (including pricing), Standard Form EPA and supporting documents in the fall of 2010 with an official launch of the revised program on January 25, 2011.