Background & Development

Objectives

The Bioenergy Call Phase I and 2 supported the Province’s 2007 B.C. Energy Plan and 2008 Bioenergy Strategy to help mitigate impacts from the provincial mountain pine beetle infestation. The Phase 2 Call Request for Proposals ("RFP") focused on larger-scale biomass projects and was launched on May 31, 2010 and completed with the award of four Electricity Purchase Agreements ("EPAs") on August 4, 2011.

Features

Key features of the RFP included:

  • Any form of biomass was eligible, as long as it met the Province's Clean or Renewable Electricity Definitions [PDF, 38 KB];
  • A streamlined interconnection and selection process, with the goal of minimizing transaction costs for RFP proponents;
  • Projects were required to be new facilities with a minimum 5 MW generating capacity;
  • A stated maximum adjusted price;
  • Biomass fuel price risk was non-transferrable to BC Hydro under awarded EPAs; 
  • Opportunity for pre-proposal submission presentations and meetings between proponents and BC Hydro was provided.

For more details on eligibility requirements and the RFP process please refer to the RFP documents.

Development Process

BC Hydro launched the Bioenergy Phase 2 Call RFP for larger-scale biomass projects on May 31, 2010 and employed a competitive RFP process that allowed proponents to modify BC Hydro’s proposed terms and enter into direct negotiations with BC Hydro on price and terms.

The Ministry of Forests and Range ("MOFR") estimated that projects in certain designated areas were most likely to facilitate access to forest-based biomass fuel and to diminish the impact on existing usage of forest-based biomass. These areas included Smithers, the Fort St. James corridor, Mackenzie, Northeast B.C., Central and Northern Vancouver Island, Cariboo-Chilcotin, and Northwest B.C. including Terrace. Proponents with projects located outside of these areas were still able to participate in the RFP, provided they met the eligibility requirements. The designated areas are outlined on the Designated Areas Map [PDF, 120 KB].

Registration

Proponents interested in submitting a proposal were required to register their interest by July 15, 2010. BC Hydro received registrations from 14 proponents for 19 projects for an estimated aggregate capacity of 500 to 600 MW and electricity of 3,500 to 5,000 GWh per year.

Prior to submitting proposals, registered proponents were given the opportunity to make a one-on-one presentation to BC Hydro regarding their project, the capabilities and experience of the Proponent’s team and to discuss the RFP.

Proposals

By the proposal submission deadline of October 28, 2010, BC Hydro received proposals for 13 projects from 10 proponents representing over 3,300 GWh per year of firm electricity. Nine of these proposals were within four of the six Designated Areas: the Smithers/Fort St. James corridor, Northeast B.C., Central and Northern Vancouver Island and the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

Evaluation

BC Hydro undertook a comprehensive evaluation process in which proposals were reviewed and assessed based on the criteria described in the RFP. These evaluation criteria included cost, biomass supply, experience, First Nations consultation, and development and delivery risk, amongst others. BC Hydro had the latitude to conduct further one-on-one meetings with any proponents to explore their proposals in greater detail and seek clarification and information necessary to its evaluation. The evaluation process was conducted in two phases and designed to avoid unnecessary studies and associated costs by limiting them to those required for projects proposed by preferred proponents.

Selection

The first phase of the evaluation culminated on January 20, 2011 with the selection of 8 projects from five preferred proponents (representing approximately 1,600 GWh per year of new supply) to proceed to EPA negotiations and more detailed interconnection studies. The final phase of the evaluation resulted with the four projects selected to receive an EPA and representing approximately 754 GWh per year of contractually firm electricity.

Please see the report on Bioenergy Phase 2 Call RFP process [PDF, 1.3 MB] for a comprehensive summary of the call.