Background & Development

Objectives

The Community-Based Biomass Power Call Request for Qualifications ("CBB RFQ") was intended to encourage innovative, community-level power supply solutions using carbon-neutral biomass fuel sources.

The call supported the Province’s 2007 BC Energy Plan and 2008 Bioenergy Strategy goals of electricity self-sufficiency and economic opportunities across the province. The CBB RFQ was launched on April 7, 2010 and completed on December 17, 2010 with six proposals selected for bilateral negotiations with the objective of concluding Electricity Purchase Agreements.

Features

Key features of the RFP included:

  • Any form of clean, carbon-neutral energy from biomass fuel sources was eligible, as long as it met the Province's Clean or Renewable Electricity Definitions;
  • Consistent with the community-level focus, projects were required to be new or existing facilities with a maximum 5 MW generating capacity;
  • Projects must provide cost-effective electricity with quantifiable, local or regional economic and electricity benefits such as improved reliability;
  • In order to minimize the transaction costs for RFQ respondents a streamlined interconnection and selection process was put in place;
  • Open-book approach was taken in the evaluation of the strength of each proposals;
  • Contract flexibility was provided to Respondents, allowing them to indicate which commercial terms from previous specimen Electricity Purchase Agreements (“EPAs”) they would prefer;
  • An opportunity for post-proposal interviews with respondents was provided.

For more details on eligibility requirements and the RFQ process please refer to the RFQ documents.

Development Process

BC Hydro launched the CBB RFQ on April 7, 2010 and encouraged the participation of. communities, First Nations, municipalities, independent power producers ("IPPs"), as well as other stakeholders.

BC Hydro sought to qualify at least two projects to engage in negotiations following the completion of the RFQ process. In addition, BC Hydro expected to learn from this RFQ as it explored how it may contribute to the development of distributed generation in the province.

Registration

Proponents interested in submitting a proposal were encouraged to register their interest by May 28, 2010. BC Hydro received registrations from 22 respondents for 46 projects.

Prior to submitting proposals, registered respondents participated in a workshop held in Vancouver on July 6, 2010 to help them better understand the proposal submission requirements.

Proposals

By the proposal submission deadline of September 15, 2010, BC Hydro received proposals for 11 projects from eight respondents.

Evaluation

BC Hydro undertook a comprehensive evaluation process in which proposals were reviewed and assessed based on the criteria described in the RFQ. These evaluation criteria included economic viability, development and operation risks, community and Aboriginal benefits, distribution system benefits, and First Nations consultation, amongst others. BC Hydro had the latitude to conduct post-proposal interviews with any respondents to explore their proposals in greater detail and seek clarification and information necessary to its evaluation.

Selection

The RFQ process culminated on December 17, 2010 with the selection of five qualified proposals on the integrated system from five respondents (representing approximately 85 GWh per year of new supply) and one additional proposal in the non-integrated Anahim Lake Service Area to proceed to EPA negotiations.