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SOP and Micro-SOP: Available energy volume

Available Energy Volume (as of March 31, 2017)

Target Cod Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 and beyond
Available energy volume (GWh) 3 0 0 TBD

Note that we're not assigning any volume for 2020 and beyond until we complete a review of the current SOP price and volume. Please refer to the Standing Offer Program for details on the price and volume review. Moving a project forward in the absence of price and volume certainty is a commercial risk that each developer will need to evaluate for themselves.

The above table is for informational purposes only and is updated when the available energy volume under the target has changed. All current SOP applications and Micro-SOP applications are included.

Common questions

Why has BC Hydro created an energy volume Target Management System for the SOP and Micro-SOP?

There was no cap or quota on participation until the November 2013 Integrated Resource Plan, when an energy volume target of 150 GWh/year was introduced.

How did BC Hydro design the energy volume Target Management System?

We designed an initial version of the system, and then sought input from interested parties through the 2014 SOP review process. The final product is a result of focus group meetings and discussions.

How should a developer choose its Target commercial operation date (COD)?

Ideally, developers should have had input from us – either in the form of information on our website, via one or more pre-application meetings, or directly from the program team – before deciding on a Target COD. The Target COD should accommodate the time it takes to review the application and proceed through the generator interconnection process (from studies to implementation of network upgrades). As per SOP Rule 2.9, and Micro-SOP Rule 2.10, the Target COD must be within three years after signing the Electricity Purchase Agreement.

When should developers who have projects intended for the SOP apply for an Interconnection System Impact Study (SIS)?

We recommend that developers apply for an Interconnection SIS at or just after they submit an application to the SOP, and begin the SIS once their Target COD has been registered into the appropriate COD year early in the application review process.

How does BC Hydro register a project's Target COD?

  • We'll review each application in the order received for completeness and will conduct an initial eligibility review to ensure the project meets the key eligibility requirements to register its Target COD. Key eligibility requirements are listed in section 2 of the Program Rules.
  • Applications that haven't met the key eligibility requirements upon submission will be rejected. We won’t register or hold a project's Target COD under the target volume if its application is rejected or withdrawn for any reason.
  • Once the application has been deemed to have met the key eligibility requirements, we'll check the Target COD to see if there's available energy in the requested year. If so, we’ll register the developer’s project into that year and let the developer know in writing. If not, we'll suggest the next available COD year for the developer.
  • We'll update the available volume on our webpage so other developers have timely insight into the remaining volume.

Where does BC Hydro get the energy value that it registers in the energy volume Target Management System?

We look at Section 2.1.g of the SOP Application Form – the total average monthly energy output proposed for a project or Section 2.1.g of the Micro-SOP Application Form.

What if the proposed amount of energy that a project generates is underestimated in the application?

As part of the application review, we'll also conduct a reasonableness test of the estimated energy volume and the calculations submitted with the application. Any energy volume that seems out of the range of technical feasibility will be subject to further inquiry

If I get my Target COD registered, does it mean I'm guaranteed an EPA?

No. Registration of a Target COD after the initial eligibility review doesn't guarantee that a project application will be approved, or that the developer will be offered an EPA with BC Hydro.

What if I get my Target COD registered, then my project development timeline changes and I need to change my COD? What if there isn't any available energy volume in the year I'm looking at?

A Target COD will only be registered once under the Target Volume Management System, meaning that a change in a Target COD after it has been registered will not affect the Target Volume. A registered Target COD can be deferred but cannot be brought forward. A reasonableness test will be done when developers request to defer Target COD to ensure there's a legitimate reason for deferral.

Will unused volume from one year be carried forward to the next?

No. Due to a desire to keep costs low and protect our ratepayers' interests, we've decided not to carry forward unused volume.

What if a project with a registered Target COD is rejected, terminated or withdrawn from the program? Will that volume become available for other developers?

No. Due to a desire to keep costs low and protect our ratepayers' interests, any volume that has been freed up by a withdrawn application won't be available for other developers. 

Will BC Hydro ever accept more than 150 GWh in a given year?

We may, at our discretion, elect to exceed the Target Volume in a given year. If we do make this decision, we'll ensure the following:

  • The majority of a project's energy (60%) must be available in its Target COD year;
  • A 15 GWh cap will be set on the amount of energy that is allowed to exceed the Target Volume of the project’s Target COD year; and
  • The excess energy will be applied against the Target Volume of the year immediately following the project's Target COD year, provided enough energy volume is available.

Will BC Hydro pro-rate a project's volume based on the proposed month of COD?

No, there must be room in a given year for the project's annual energy volume.