Standing Offer Program

Program updates

August 31, 2018

On August 28th, 2018 the BCUC approved [PDF, 157 KB] BC Hydro's application for the temporary suspension of transmission and distribution generator interconnection processes as they relate to SOP projects pending the outcome of the comprehensive review of BC Hydro.

As a result of this order, interconnection work for SOP projects will be suspended, and the affected projects will maintain their queue position until the comprehensive review of BC Hydro is completed.

August 14, 2018

On August 14th, 2018 we submitted an application to the BCUC [PDF, 472 KB] requesting the Commission approve an interim moratorium on relevant Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) provisions to allow for the temporary suspension of interconnection work related to Standing Offer Program projects while the program is under review.

We’ve listened to the feedback we’ve received from some SOP developers, and we are responding to their request to provide relief around the completion schedules and timelines related to interconnection studies that are currently required by the Standard Generator Interconnection Procedures under the OATT.

We are submitting an application the BC Utilities Commission to allow for the temporary suspension of work related to these projects while maintaining their queue position until the comprehensive review is completed.

March 14, 2018

BC Hydro is pursuing Electricity Purchase Agreements for five clean energy projects that are part of Impact Benefit Agreements with BC Hydro and/or are mature projects that have significant First Nations involvement.

BC Hydro supports the government’s decision to take a closer look at energy procurement to ensure the best value for BC Hydro’s customers through their review of BC Hydro this year. As a result, there are no plans at this time to issue any additional electricity purchase agreements.

The Standing Offer and Micro-Standing Offer Programs will remain on hold until the review is complete. 

August 18, 2017

Update on the application process

Please note that BC Hydro is suspending accepting applications for the Standing Offer Program (SOP) until the review of the Program can be completed with government and Clean Energy BC input. The review of the SOP is taking longer than originally anticipated. BC Hydro is reminding applicants that spending during this existing Program uncertainty is at the applicant's own risk. At this time, it is not known when this review will be complete. More information on this is provided in the questions and answers below.

  • Is the program actually going to continue past 2019, or will it be cancelled?
    The Program is provincially mandated. Therefore, only the government can cancel the Program.

  • Why are you asking us not to invest any further in our projects now? What has changed?
    It has come to our attention that some SOP applicants may be continuing to spend funds despite the uncertainty of future volume and prices. BC Hydro feels that it is prudent at this time to remind SOP applicants that they are doing so at their own risk.

  • Is there any volume left for the Micro-SOP?
    The Micro-SOP falls under the same annual target volume as the SOP, which is currently full.

  • I have invested a significant amount in developing my project for the SOP. Is there any opportunity for my project?
    The SOP program exists by regulation. The review currently underway will determine what future opportunities exist. However, moving a project forward is at your own risk and is a commercial decision that developers will need to evaluate for their individual projects.

  • What kind of certainty can BC Hydro provide to developers in the queue?
    Is there any guarantee of an electricity purchase agreement (EPA)? Developers will be offered volume at the new price in priority sequence once the price and volume have been established. A queue position does not guarantee an EPA.

  • I have already submitted an application. Can I still get into the SOP queue for future volume beyond 2020?
    Applications already received will continue to be processed. If the key requirements are met, the applications will be placed in the SOP queue. However, having a queue position is not a guarantee of an EPA (see the question above) and any money invested in a project is at developer's risk.

March 31, 2017

We've updated our list of current accepted applications and the available energy volume under the target.

February 21, 2017

SOP Target Volume for 2020 and Beyond

We are making some changes to our Standing Offer Program (SOP) to ensure the price we pay for electricity reflects the current cost of new clean technologies, which has declined in recent years. All available annual volume for 2019 has been assigned, and the price and volume beyond 2019 are currently under review. We will not assign any additional volume for 2020 and beyond until we determine the future price and annual volume.

As we establish the new program price and volume, we will continue to receive and review applications. Once applications meet all the key requirements of the Program, applicants will be notified by BC Hydro and their applications will be placed in a priority queue. We will process applications in the order of the queue once the price and annual volume have been set.

Please note, as of the date of this notice, we are processing eight applications for queue positions.

Micro-SOP projects will continue to be accepted.

Standing Offer Program rules

The Standing Offer Program Rules [PDF, 1.5 MB] explain the eligibility requirements, the payment price we offer for projects reaching commercial operation through calendar year 2019, the interconnections requirements, and the application process.

For clean or renewable electricity projects over 100 kW up to and including 15 MW

Our Standing Offer Program encourages the development of small clean or renewable electricity projects throughout B.C., as guided by the principles and policies set out in the 2007 BC Energy Plan and the 2010 Clean Energy Act.