Industrial connections

Do you need a large industrial service connection?

You may need an industrial connection if you:

  • Require a connected load of 5,000 kW or more
  • Have one or more large pieces of equipment in your facility at or over 2,000 HP
  • Build, own, operate and maintain your own electrical substation and transmission line connected to BC Hydro's transmission system
  • Require a unique or specialized distribution system connection.

Large industrial connections can either be:

You can review each section for more information on transmission and distribution services rates, technical requirements and an overview of the connection process.

Large industrial connections can take years to plan, design and construct. We recommend that you contact us as early as possible in the planning and design phase of your project so that you will understand the potential timeline for your connection.

If you don't know whether a transmission or distribution connection is right for your project, send us an email at large.industrial.connections@bchydro.com with some basics about your project including the location, power requirement (in MW) and target in-service date. We will help you make the best decision to meet your needs.

Large Industrial Connections (Transmission Service)

I would like to connect to the transmission system. Where do I start?

If you have decided that you would like to connect your large industrial project to the transmission system, first we recommend that you review to the transmission system map [PDF, 2.2 MB] to get an idea of your preferred connection point and voltage.

Next you should send us an email at large.industrial.connections@bchydro.com with a completed Transmission Voltage Customer – Connection Data Form [PDF, 114 KB].

Once your request has been received, we will review the application to ensure all required information has been provided. It is important that you provide accurate information and data related to your connection request in a timely manner throughout the connection process.  Any changes in your request could change the BC Hydro study assumptions and may impact the result of the studies, cost estimate and timelines.

Transmission load connection request management

BC Hydro enters all transmission load connection requests in the connection queue in the order of requests received. You are required to progress through the connection process to remain in the connection queue. A lack of progress or changes in your request may result in a change to your queue position. BC Hydro's transmission load connection queue management practices [PDF, 1.0 MB] are available for you to review.

Transmission connection process

The optional feasibility study and conceptual review are available to you to provide an opportunity for engagement without entering the connection queue.

Once you are in the connection process, we will then conduct a series of studies to investigate the impact of connecting your load to the BC Hydro's transmission system and identify the leading connection option as well as any work required to mitigate the adverse impacts:

BC Hydro provides high level comments on the availability of transmission capacity, methods to connect to the BC Hydro system, and potential system modifications and upgrades involved. Cost estimate for methods of connection and potential system changes/upgrades or comments on timelines will not be provided as part of the Conceptual Review.

Upon your confirmation to proceed, BC Hydro will prepare a proposal for the System Impact Study that will include an estimated cost, scope and schedule.

Agreement required? No.

Cost: No cost.

Typical timeline: 4 to 6 weeks.

BC Hydro provides a high level limited technical assessment of potential impacts and required system modifications and upgrades for the proposed load interconnections. Feasibility Study is a useful alternative to System Impact Study, if you have multiple load scenarios or multiple site locations, and you need to narrow down your options before you are ready to commit to the System Impact Study. The scope of Feasibility Study can be customized based on your needs. Good faith estimate (+100/-50% accuracy) of the facilities identified based on limited study scope and unit cost could be provided upon your request.

Agreement required? Yes – Feasibility Study Agreement. This agreement must be signed before any study work can begin.

Cost: Before BC Hydro starts your Feasibility Study, we will send you a cost estimate that must be paid before any work can begin.

Typical timeline: Depends on the study scope.

The System Impact Study identifies facilities required, the order of magnitude cost estimate (+100/-35%) of these facilities, and may include high-level comments on timelines for those economically feasible connection options. BC Hydro may also conduct a high-level risk assessment, constructability review, First Nations engagement, and other types of reviews as required.

The scope of System Impact Study varies depending on the strength of the system and where you are looking to connect, complexity of system modifications and upgrades required, the number of economically feasible connection options to be investigated, and the potential risks involved in implementing the project.

At the end of the System Impact Study, BC Hydro will inform you on how you will need to commit financially for the Implementation costs if you proceed through to the end of the interconnection process. Specifically, BC Hydro identifies how the Implementation costs are treated according to the Electric Tariff Supplement #6 [PDF, 1.4 MB] and whether the Implementation costs will be treated as Basic Transmission Extension (BTE), System Reinforcement (SR) or a combination of both.

After you review and accept the System Impact Study report and you confirm that you would like to proceed to a Facilities Study, we will prepare a proposal for the Facilities Study, which we call the System Impact Study to Facilities Study transition. During this transition, we also conduct a high-level project risk assessment and other desktop assessments required to develop a plan and cost estimate to complete the Facilities Study.

Agreement required? Yes – System Impact Study Agreement. This agreement must be signed before any study work can begin.

Cost: Before BC Hydro starts your System Impact Study, we will send you a cost estimate that must be paid before any work can begin.

You are responsible for actual costs of the study and an invoice or refund will be issued to you at the conclusion of this study phase for the difference between the pre-payment amount and the actual costs.

Typical timeline: Approximately 6 to 9 months for the System Impact Study report and approximately 3 to 4 months for the System Impact Study to Facilities Study transition – depending on the complexity of the project and resource availability.

The Facilities Study confirms the preferred interconnection option, and identifies more detailed technical requirements for the preferred interconnection option. BC Hydro will initiate feasibility design and conduct more detailed risk assessment, First Nations engagement, environmental studies, and other types of studies or activities as required.

At the completion of the Facilities Study, BC Hydro will provide you with a project plan which includes a refined Implementation cost estimate, typically in the order-of +15/-10%.

BC Hydro identifies how the implementation costs are treated according to the Electric Tariff Supplement #6 [PDF, 1.4 MB] and whether the implementation costs will be treated as Basic Transmission Extension (BTE), System Reinforcement (SR) or a combination of both.

Upon your review and acceptance of the Facilities Study report, BC Hydro will initiate the Implementation of the Project Plan.

Agreement required? Yes – Facilities Study Agreement. This agreement must be signed before any study work can begin.

Cost: Before BC Hydro starts your Facilities Study, we will send you a cost estimate that must be paid before any work can begin.

You are responsible for actual costs of the study and an invoice or refund will be issued to you at the conclusion of this study phase for the difference between the pre-payment amount and the actual costs.

Timeline: Average 6 to 9 months, depending on the complexity of the project and resource availability.

BC Hydro implements the interconnection work as defined in the Project Plan. This includes detailed design and engineering, procurement for major equipment, construction and commissioning of facilities. BC Hydro may also conduct First Nations engagement, property acquisition, and activities to obtain necessary regulatory permits.

Prior to the in-service date, you will be set up with a new billing account and the following will have to be completed by you:

a) Install BC Hydro revenue metering equipment.

b) Execute the Electricity Supply Agreement (Tariff Supplement #5) [PDF, 2.5 MB].

Agreement required? Yes – Facilities Agreement (Tariff Supplement #6) [PDF, 1.4 MB]. This agreement must be signed before any implementation work can begin.

Cost: Full financial commitment for the estimated Basic Transmission Extension (BTE) and System Reinforcement (SR) is required before implementation work can begin.

Actual Implementation costs will be reconciled following the completion of the project and financial commitments for BTE and SR costs will be adjusted as required. Once your plant is energized, the security collected for SR will be released on annual basis as per Electric Tariff Supplement #6 [PDF, 1.4 MB]. You can read the How is the security on BC Hydro System Reinforcement work released after my plant is in operation? [PDF 66 KB] for more information.

Timeline: As determined by the Facilities Study/Project Plan.

Transmission service rates

BC Hydro Transmission customers are typically served under Tariff schedule 1823 of the Electric Tariff [PDF, 4.5 MB].

Transmission connection requirements

Connection customers must meet a set of general technical requirements in order to connect to the transmission system. Refer to the Guide and Requirements for Service at 69,000 to 287,000 Volts [PDF, 2.0 MB] for general technical requirements. These requirements do not apply where the customer's facilities contain a generator that could operate in parallel to the BC Hydro system at any time. If you have generation facilities that could operate in parallel to the BC Hydro system, please refer to the requirements of the 60kV to 500kV Technical Interconnection Requirements for Power Generators [PDF, 619 KB].

In addition to the general requirements outlined in the guide, you will also need to meet the specific connection requirements identified during the connection studies.

Large Industrial Connections (Distribution Service)

I would like to connect to the distribution system. Where do I start?

If you have decided that you would like to connect your project to the distribution system, send us an email at large.industrial.connections@bchydro.com with a completed Major Distribution Load Connection Form [PDF, 108 KB].

Once your request has been received, we will review the application to ensure all required information has been provided. It is important that you provide accurate information and data related to your connection request in a timely manner throughout the connection process. Any changes in your request could change the BC Hydro study assumptions and may impact the result of the studies, cost estimate and timelines.

Distribution connection process overview

Once you have initiated your request, BC Hydro's Large Industrial Connections group will take the following steps:

In this phase, the connections manager will contact you to determine the site location, service requirements, requested in-service date and key contacts for the project.

After this information is received, the connections manager will develop a high-level servicing proposal including a preliminary estimate in accordance with the Electric Tariff, and a high-level project timeline.

If you wish to proceed, the connections manager will request a design advance payment to move the project into detailed design.

Cost: No cost.

Timeline: 4 to 6 weeks.

In this phase, BC Hydro will complete the detailed design and engineering for the project and you will be asked to submit all documents required for a formal connection application. At the end of this phase, you will be presented with a letter outlining the construction costs and detailed project deliverables for review and acceptance.

Cost: The amount of the requested design advance will vary with the scope of the project and must be paid in full to initiate this phase.

Timeline: Approximately four months to one year, depending on the complexity of project and resource availability.

Once you make the appropriate payment to initiate this phase, procurement for major equipment and the scheduling of construction resources will take place. This phase includes construction, commissioning, the installation of BC Hydro's revenue metering equipment, completing all required customer documentation including the Electricity Supply Agreement (ESA) and setting up the customer's billing account.

The amount requested to initiate construction will vary with the scope of the project and must be paid in full to initiate this phase.

Cost: The amount requested in the quotation letter provided at the end of the Detailed Design Phase must be paid in full to initiate this phase. You may also be requested to provide a Revenue Guarantee in advance of implementation.

Timeline: Approximately three months to two years, depending on the complexity of project and resource availability.

Distribution service rates

Large BC Hydro distribution customers are served under Tariff schedules 1600, 1601, 1610, and 1611 of the Electric Tariff manual [PDF, 3.5 MB].

Distribution connection requirements

As a connection customer, you must meet a set of general technical requirements to connect to the distribution system.

In addition to the general requirements outlined here, you must also meet the specific connection requirements that are identified during connection studies.

You can review the Distribution Technical Standards and Guides webpage for helpful documents, including the requirements for customer-owned primary services supplied at 4 kV to 35 kV primary guide [PDF, 6.1 MB].