BC Hydro launches clean electricity Expression of Interest on North Coast
VANCOUVER: BC Hydro launched an Expression of Interest today to help determine the need for new transmission infrastructure on the North Coast of B.C., which is experiencing significant industrial growth.
New transmission capacity is needed within this growing region of the province, and BC Hydro has been studying alternatives to provide more clean, reliable power. The decision to issue the Expression of Interest will assist in determining overall electricity demand and where potential customers plan to locate their operations. The launch of the Expression of Interest is an important step in helping BC Hydro decide how to advance the transmission infrastructure needed to best serve the North Coast.
About 98 per cent of the power BC Hydro generates comes from clean or renewable resources and most of that is powered by water. This makes BC Hydro the leader in clean electricity generation in western North America. Helping industries – like ports, mining and clean tech – make the switch to using more clean electricity to power their operations is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to meet government’s CleanBC targets. The industrial sector contributes about 40 per cent of B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions and represents the greatest opportunity for electrification.
BC Hydro is already taking steps to expand its infrastructure on the North Coast. It is currently constructing the Prince George to Terrace Capacitors project that will help increase the transmission capacity in the region by about 500 megawatts – or about a 60 per cent increase. However, this project will only meet the short-term demand and may not address the additional potential loads in the region.
“We know the North Coast has the potential for significant growth, and we are taking a different approach to better understand the regional demand for clean electricity through the Expression of Interest,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s President & CEO. “This approach provides us with the benefit of receiving information about our customers’ electricity needs earlier to help plan and optimize transmission upgrades and speed up interconnections.”
The Expression of Interest will also help inform First Nations and community engagement. BC Hydro has initiated discussions with First Nations in the region to explore potential transmission infrastructure co-ownership opportunities and discussions are ongoing. By taking new approaches to partnering with First Nations, new infrastructure projects can facilitate economic development and positively contribute to Indigenous communities.
BC Hydro is committed to working with industrial customers who are interested in using its clean electricity to power their operations and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It is taking the necessary steps to move plans for potential new transmission infrastructure forward, while respecting the engagement that needs to take place in the region.
The Expression of Interest will be open from February 15 to April 11. More information can be found at bchydro.com/northcoast.
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468