Background & Development
To ensure that there is sufficient clean, renewable energy to meet forecasted electricity demand, BC Hydro issued the Clean Power Call Request for Proposals ("RFP") on June 11, 2008. The call aligned with the 2007 B.C. Energy Plan, which indicated that at least 90% of all electricity generated in the province must continue to come from clean or renewable sources.
The Clean Power Call was the result of comprehensive planning, design and engagement to ensure that the terms of the call resulted in the acquisition of cost effective new supply for BC Hydro's ratepayers. It was completed on August 3, 2010 with the award of 25 Electricity Purchase Agreements ("EPA").
Features Key features of the RFP included:
- The RFP was for "clean" power (excluding forest-based biomass) as defined by the province in its guidelines for clean and renewable resources from projects using proven technologies;
- The acquisition target was up to 5,000 GWh per year of seasonal and hourly firm electricity through a competitive process;
- The RFP was targeted to larger projects with extended in-service dates of 2016 or earlier;
- The RFP allowed limited negotiation regarding the terms of the EPA with the Proponents.
For more details on eligibility requirements and the RFP process please refer to the RFP documents.
From the summer of 2006 to December 2007 and prior to launching the Clean Power Call, BC Hydro sought input from independent power producers ("IPPs"), stakeholders and First Nations on call design, proposed terms and conditions, and process. Clean Power Call engagement efforts included nine dialogue sessions, two workshops, a First Nations-only session, and an information session on BC Hydro's system needs. In addition, BC Hydro received over 40 submissions with approximately 600 written comments on the draft terms. Input received through the engagement process informed the design of the Clean Power Call and resulted in several changes to the terms and conditions.
BC Hydro held two further sessions following the launch of the Clean Power Call RFP in June 2008. The first, held shortly after the call's issuance, provided potential participants with an overview of the revised RFP and EPA terms, the registration process and the timeline for the call, along with an overview of the transmission and distribution interconnection process. The second, held prior to the proposal submission deadline, provided registered proponents with the opportunity to review proposal requirements, EPA formulae and post-proposal processes.
In December 2008 and January 2009, BC Hydro filed with the British Columbia Utilities Commission ("BCUC") an evidentiary update to the 2008 Long Term Acquisition Plan ("LTAP) to address recent economic events and the resulting impacts on BC Hydro's load forecast and Demand Side Management Plan. BC Hydro sought a revised Order that would see the proposed electricity target revised to a pre-attrition level of 3,000 GWh per year up to the original target of 5,000 GWh per year. A final deadline of March 31, 2010 was established for the nomination of successful projects as network resources.
Proponents interested in submitting a proposal were required to register their interest by August 12, 2008. BC Hydro received registrations from 75 proponents for 168 projects for an estimated aggregate capacity of close to 18,000 MW and electricity of 50,000 to 60,000 GWh per year.
By the proposal submission deadline of November 25, 2008, BC Hydro received 68 proposals from 43 proponents, representing more than 17,000 GWh per year of firm electricity.
BC Hydro undertook a comprehensive evaluation process in which proposals were assessed based on the criteria described in the RFP. Proponents were strongly encouraged to submit proposals that conformed to the preferred terms and conditions provided in the Specimen EPA and to limit variations to substantive matters of significant importance or value (such as the inclusion of residual rights). To ensure fairness in the evaluation process, an Independent Observer was retained to monitor the evaluation of proposals and any subsequent discussions with proponents, particularly those who disclosed prior relationships with BC Hydro or any B.C. Government entity. The process was confirmed to be fair and transparent by the Independent Observer
In November 2009, BC Hydro announced its decision to proceed with discussions aimed at securing EPAs with the 13 most cost-effective proposals. BC Hydro contacted the proponents of 34 additional proposals to afford them the opportunity to make their respective proposals more cost-effective. BC Hydro eliminated the remaining 21 proposals due to proposal withdrawal, development risk, or the proposals did not meet the RFP eligibility requirements. From March 11 to August 3, 2010, BC Hydro selected 27 proposals from 18 proponents which resulted in 25 EPAs (for one proponent, three proposals were combined into a single EPA) accounting for 3,266 GWh per year of firm electricity and 1,168 MW of capacity. The successful proposals included 19 run-of-river projects, six wind projects, one storage hydro project and one waste heat project
Please see the Clean Power Call RFP Process Report [PDF, 1.2 MB] for a comprehensive summary of the call.