Electricity supply options

wind turbines, clean energy

We’re updating our inventory of options

A key input into our long-term Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is our inventory of available resources to meet future customer demand. We're currently updating this inventory of options for planning purposes in preparation for the next IRP. We consider both demand-side management options and generation supply-side options.

Demand-side management options reduce energy and peak demand through conservation and include programs, codes and standards, and rate structures. The world is evolving with how electricity demand is managed, or can be managed, as efficiency standards take hold and connected devices help customers manage their energy use. For this update, we’ll review our latest study on the potential in B.C. for conservation savings, as well as build on our capacity focused demand-side management pilot projects. Find out more about conservation initiatives at BC Hydro.

Supply-side options include generation options such as new wind and solar; resource smart options that increase the capability of existing BC Hydro assets; and transmission options required to move electricity from the generating source to the customer. The following diagram shows the process and timing of updating our generation supply-side options data with cost, technology, and resource potential information. See below for information about the scope of our generation options update and how the focus is on understanding new technologies and trends, and for the latest available results.

Resource options update process diagram

Understanding new technologies and trends

The rate of technology change among generation supply-side options has been remarkable in recent years, and trends suggest some of these new technologies – for example new kinds of battery storage or solar technologies – are already causing major shifts in the electricity industry. We’re also seeing declining cost trends in other renewable technologies in our inventory, such as wind. For our generation supply-side options update, we’ll be taking a close look at these technologies, and broadening the scope to gather information on emerging technology trends. Well-known and already commercially operational technologies in B.C., such as run-of-river, and biomass, remain within our inventory have undergone targeted updates. 

Take a look at our work plan [PDF, 232 KB] to learn about all of the updates planned for each of the generation supply-side options..

Results of our update

From the fall of 2019 to the spring 2020, our technical staff collected and reviewed new data – with input from studies, consultants, and others with technical expertise – to ensure our inventory of information was informed by recent trends. As with our previous update, we also collaborated with FortisBC through the updating process, which results in a shared dataset for use in our respective long-term plans.

View our generation supply-side option update documents below. 

Description Date Document
DRAFT Results Summary – Generation Supply-Side Options  June 10, 2020 DRAFT Results Summary – Generation Supply-Side Options
[PDF, 1.5 MB]
Resource Options Update Session December 12, 2019

Session Presentation  
[PDF, 2.6 MB]   

Session Summary Notes
[PDF, 138 KB]

Resource Options Update Scope & Approach Session September 16, 2019

Session Presentation
[PDF, 236 KB]

Session Summary Notes
[PDF, 174 KB]

Technical Workstream: Solar Workshop November 12, 2019

Workshop Presentation
[PDF, 2.2 MB]

Workshop Summary Notes
[PDF, 163 KB]

Technical Workstream: Solar Workshop November 20, 2019

Workshop Presentation 
[PDF, 1.1 MB]

Workshop Summary Notes
[PDF, 165 KB]

Technical Workstream: Energy Storage Workshop  February 4, 2020

Workshop Presentation
[PDF, 1.5 MB]

Workshop Summary Notes
[PDF, 150 KB]

Technical Workstream: Wind Onshore Workshop March 5 and
April 3, 2020

Workshop Presentation
[PDF, 425 KB]

Workshop Summary Notes
[PDF, 249 KB]

For general inquiries about the electricity supply options update, please contact us here.