SOP: Program background

We launched our Standing Offer Program (SOP) on April 11, 2008.

Since launching the program, we've conducted two reviews – one in 2010 and the other in 2014 – to determine if the SOP is meeting its objectives and to recommend improvements or modifications to ensure future success.

2008 development process

Stakeholder feedback and input was key in developing the SOP. We 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 (EPA), 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 program review

From October 2009 to July 2010, we hosted several dialogue sessions, a First Nations session, interviews with SOP applicants and received responses to an online questionnaire. Additionally, we conducted jurisdictional reviews, which compared the SOP to similar programs in other parts of North America.

Considering this feedback, we redeveloped the Program Rules (including pricing), Standard Form Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) and supporting documents in the fall of 2010 with an official launch of the revised program on January 25, 2011.

2014 program review

We hosted a series of First Nations and stakeholder meetings across B.C. in early April 2014. Over 80 First Nations representatives and 100 stakeholders participated in these meetings and provided feedback on the Standing Offer Program Engagement Guide [PDF, 3.1 MB]. A summary of key themes from this feedback is available in the Engagement Summary and Meeting Notes [PDF, 2.2 MB].

Subsequent to the April 2014 engagement, we held focus group discussions with representatives from the First Nations Energy Mining Council, First Nations Clean Energy Working Group, Clean Energy BC, CANWEA and various Independent Power Producers.

The feedback received and the outcomes of the focus groups were considered, along with technical and financial considerations in the revised Standing Offer Program Rules and Standard Form Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) released in March 2016.