North Coast B.C. Expression of Interest
Connect to BC Hydro's system in the North Coast of B.C.
We’re assessing the need for new transmission infrastructure to bring more clean, reliable, low-cost electricity to the North Coast of B.C.
To inform our plans and ensure they reflect the demand in the region, we're engaging with industry to assess interest in connecting to our electricity system.
Expression of Interest now open
If you're a current or potential industrial customer and would like to electrify your current or proposed operations, we'd like to hear from you through our non-binding North Coast Expression of Interest (EOI) process. The EOI is open from February 15 to April 11, 2023.
On this page:
- Benefits of connecting to our system
- How it works
- Documents and forms
- Notices and supporting materials
- Register for updates
- Questions and answers
Benefits of connecting to our system
Connecting to our transmission system in the North Coast of B.C. offers many benefits:
- Our stable electricity rates are among the lowest in North America, reducing your operating costs.
- Using our clean electricity to power industrial operations lowers greenhouse gas emissions, creates low-carbon products, reduces carbon taxes, and improves on Environmental Social Governance.
- Our system reliability in the region meets industry standards and will improve further with the proposed transmission system reinforcements, which bring additional redundancy to the region.
If you participate in the EOI process, we can:
- Take your electricity needs into consideration early in our planning process and look for opportunities to optimize new transmission infrastructure.
- Include your project’s electricity requirements in an aggregate transmission capacity reservation in our transmission load interconnection queue.
- Seek funding and develop more effective programs to reduce the cost of connecting to the transmission system.
How it works
Through the EOI process, current and potential industrial customers can indicate their interest in electrifying their operations in the North Coast region. We'll use the submissions to determine overall industry electrification interest, needs, and locations, which will inform our infrastructure plans in the region.
We request that you participate in the EOI if:
- You’re a current or potential transmission-service load customer (service at greater than 35 kV),
- You’re seeking to connect to our system west of Williston Substation in Prince George, and
- You’re not in our transmission load interconnection queue as of February 15, 2023, or you’re in the queue but you would require some of the proposed new infrastructure to be in place to receive service (we'll notify these customers by February 15).
To participate, complete the following by the closing date:
- Review the North Coast B.C. Expression of Interest document.
- Complete and submit the fillable Expression of Interest form.
- Submit a Letter of Interest (see Appendix B in the North Coast B.C. Expression of Interest document).
As plans for expanding our electricity system in the area advance, we may ask prospective customers to:
- Submit a transmission service request or complete interconnection studies.
- Confirm their service request by posting security for the design and construction of transmission infrastructure and interconnection facilities.
The EOI process doesn't commit BC Hydro to proceeding with the proposed transmission infrastructure or interconnecting prospective customers.
Documents and forms
- Review the North Coast B.C. Expression of Interest [PDF, 459 KB] (dated February 15, 2023)
- Download the fillable Expression of Interest form [PDF, 603 KB] (dated February 15, 2023)
- Download the Confidentiality Agreement [PDF, 486 KB] (dated February 15, 2023)
Notices and supporting materials
- Overview of industrial electrification incentives in B.C. [PDF, 682 KB]
- CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund
- Transmission rates
- Business practice for load interconnection queue management [PDF, 307 KB]
- Tariff Supplement 5 – Electricity Supply Agreement [PDF, 2.5 MB]
- Tariff Supplement 6 – Facilities Agreement [PDF, 1.4 MB]
|February 15, 2023||North Coast B.C. Expression of Interest opens|
|April 11, 2023 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time||North Coast B.C. Expression of Interest closes|
|May 31, 2023||Submission review and follow-up completed|
Schedule is subject to change.
Register for email updates
If you'd like to receive email updates about this EOI process and information about the proposed transmission infrastructure, please register.
Q&A and information meetings
Registered prospective customers can email us with questions or to request a meeting to discuss the EOI, your electrification needs and the proposed transmission infrastructure in the North Coast of B.C. Answers to questions that are applicable to other prospective customers will be posted here with confidential customer information removed.
Expression of Interest process
Demand for electricity in this region comes from a wide range of industries, including mines, ports, and LNG. We expect customers requiring transmission-voltage service from a range of sectors to respond to the EOI.
If potential customers respond to the EOI, will they be guaranteed power from the new transmission infrastructure?
The EOI will inform our plans for new transmission infrastructure in the region and subsequent steps to confirm customer commitment, but it doesn’t commit us to proceed with the transmission system reinforcements or interconnect prospective customers.
If the available capacity of the proposed new infrastructure is over-subscribed, we may consider additional system reinforcements.
Companies that did not participate in the EOI may participate in any subsequent steps, including submitting an interconnection request.
The information received from companies participating in the EOI process is considered commercially sensitive and will be kept confidential.
Some aggregate information may be made public (e.g. total amount of electricity requested, number of responses, etc.).
The objective of the EOI process is to identify potential electricity needs earlier in the planning process, potentially before a customer may be ready to submit an interconnection request.
The EOI process does not replace the interconnection process. Customers are still required to submit an interconnection request when ready and proceed through the interconnection process to address customer-specific interconnection requirements, including local transmission system reinforcements to connect to our transmission system.
What is the benefit of the EOI approach versus the traditional interconnection approach under Tariff Supplement 6?
The benefits include:
- Information about customer electricity needs is received earlier and will be used to inform transmission system planning in the region.
- Transmission line reinforcements can be optimized based on customer demand and location.
- In subsequent steps, security for project development costs may be distributed across multiple customers rather than a single customer, reducing a barrier to initiating transmission line expansions, increasing project certainty, and in turn facilitating engagement with Indigenous Nations.
Yes, the transmission service rates applicable to other industrial customers in the province will apply to customers participating in the EOI.
What BC Hydro or government programs are available for projects planning to connect in the North Coast region?
An overview of current BC Hydro and government programs is available in the notices and supporting materials section.
All programs are subject to funding availability and eligibility is not guaranteed.
The EOI process will help determine when the transmission lines are needed. We anticipate that it could take about eight to 10 years to complete the new lines. Learn more about North Coast B.C. electrification plans.
Building transmission lines is a major undertaking. Before construction begins, we have a project management process that we must complete to ensure we are minimizing the risks and delivering the best value for our customers.
Consultation is also an essential part of the process – both with Indigenous Nations and the communities that are impacted.
Large projects like this can also be subject to multi-year regulatory review processes.
We cannot comment on the position of First Nations relative to the EOI.
We’ve notified Indigenous Nations of our intent to launch the EOI and will continue to share information about the EOI. We have also initiated discussions with First Nations regarding potential co-ownership opportunities relative to the infrastructure and those discussions are ongoing.
If you have questions, please email the North Coast Expression of Interest administrator.