Next phase of BC Hydro review to focus on climate goals, new opportunities

BC Hydro sign outside of office.

To ensure BC Hydro is working for British Columbians, government is launching Phase 2 of the BC Hydro review. — Photo courtesy BC Hydro

To ensure BC Hydro is working for British Columbians, government is launching Phase 2 of the BC Hydro review, focusing on CleanBC electrification targets, new technologies, new roles for Indigenous Nations and examining future market opportunities.

Phase 2 of the BC Hydro review will leverage BC Hydro’s strengths and focus on:

  • BC Hydro’s role in supporting CleanBC and meeting British Columbia’s legislated 2030, 2040 and 2050 greenhouse gas reduction targets;
  • future opportunities or new roles for Indigenous Nations and for communities in the energy sector;
  • integrating new technologies and electricity market trends into BC Hydro’s structure, services and assets while keeping rates affordable; and
  • new opportunities for BC Hydro to expand its business in markets outside B.C. for the benefit of ratepayers.

The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources will work with energy industry experts with extensive experience in North American utility operation, regulation and electricity markets, BC Hydro and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to produce an interim report before the end of this year.

Indigenous peoples and organizations, and stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the interim report.

A final report with recommendations will be completed in early 2020.

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.

Quick Facts:

In December 2018, government released its CleanBC plan.

  • To achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets, the plan calls for increasing the use of B.C.’s renewable hydroelectricity and shifting away from a reliance on fossil fuels for transportation, industry and buildings.
  • About 98% of BC Hydro’s electricity generation comes from clean and renewable resources.

In February 2019, government announced the results of Phase 1 of the BC Hydro review, including:

  • a new rate forecast that, subject to final approval from the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC), will limit bill increases to 1.8% in 2019 and 0.7% in 2020, and keep cumulative increases 20% below the forecast rate of B.C. inflation for the next five years; and
  • regulatory and legislative changes to enhance the BCUC’s power to make decisions on rate increases, deferral accounts and capital projects, as well as other decisions that affect British Columbians.

Phase 2 of the BC Hydro review will support BC Hydro’s development of its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to be filed with the BCUC in early 2021. The IRP outlines how BC Hydro plans to safely provide reliable, affordable, clean electricity to meet customers’ needs now and into the future.

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