Canadian Energy Perspectives Developments in Energy and Power Law
Canadian Energy Perspectives

BC Hydro Releases Long-Anticipated Updates to Standing Offer Program and Introduces Micro-Standing Offer Program

Posted in BC Hydro, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Independent Producers, Procurement, Purchase Agreements
British Columbia

Updates to the Standing Offer Program (SOP)

On March 4, 2016, BC Hydro released a new version (Version 3.1) of its SOP Rules to address feedback it received during First Nation and stakeholder consultation meetings and focus group discussions conducted over the last few years. The SOP offers small-scale, clean energy projects in British Columbia with capacities between 100 kW and 15 MW the opportunity to enter into energy purchase agreements (EPAs) with BC Hydro. An EPA requires the project developer to sell all energy from the project to BC Hydro for a term of 20 to 40 … Continue Reading

Province Signs Memorandum of Understanding with BC Hydro and Clean Energy BC

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Electricity, Independent Producers, Power, Utilities
British Columbia

On October 21, 2015, the government of British Columbia announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (the “MOU”) with BC Hydro and the Clean Energy Association of British Columbia (“CEBC”). A copy of the MOU is available here. CEBC has served as the main industry representative for BC’s independent power producers for the past 25 years.

The MOU is intended to provide a framework to facilitate collaboration between the three parties to promote the goals of fostering a robust independent clean energy sector in BC, promoting partnerships with First Nations and local communities, and ensuring the delivery … Continue Reading

B.C. Government to Exempt Two Projects from BCUC Review in Response to Load Growth from Upstream Natural Gas Operations in the Peace Region

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, BC Utilities Commission, Electricity, Natural Gas, Transmission, Utilities
British Columbia

Following a stakeholder consultation this summer, the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines is planning to exercise its authority under the Utilities Commission Act (British Columbia) (the “UCA”) to exempt two transmission projects, the North Montney Power Supply (“NMPS”) project (proposed by Alberta-based ATCO) and the Peace Region Electricity Supply (“PRES”) project (proposed by BC Hydro), from review by the BC Utilities Commission (the “BCUC”) under Part 3 of the UCA. Among other things, this exemption would relieve BC Hydro and ATCO from the requirement under section 45 of the UCA to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity … Continue Reading

New Tax Incentive for the LNG Industry

Posted in Federal, Liquefied Natural Gas

The federal government announced on February 19, 2015 that accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) treatment would apply to certain property used in liquefaction facilities for the domestic and export liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets and for LNG storage. The new measure signals the federal government’s support for Canada’s emerging LNG industry, and follows a concerted lobbying effort by LNG project proponents and industry associations.… Continue Reading

BC Hydro Discloses Available Yearly Target Energy Volume Information under Standing Offer Program

Posted in BC Hydro, Biomass, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Hydroelectric, Power, Purchase Agreements, Solar, Wind
British Columbia

On February 10, 2015, BC Hydro announced that it is making available yearly target energy volume information to help developers with project planning under its Standing Offer Program (SOP). As part of the “Clean Energy Strategy” included in BC Hydro’s 2013 Integrated Resource Plan, the SOP’s annual target energy volume was increased from 50 GWh/year to 150 GWh/year.… Continue Reading

B.C. Government Releases Independent Report Providing Recommendations to Increase BCUC’s Effectiveness and Efficiency

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, BC Utilities Commission, Electricity, Regulation
British Columbia

On February 4, 2015, the B.C. government released the final report of an independent review of the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), the independent governmental regulatory agency that regulates British Columbia’s natural gas and electricity utilities, intra-provincial pipelines and universal compulsory automobile insurance.… Continue Reading

B.C. Government Approves Site C Clean Energy Project

Posted in BC Hydro, Electricity, Hydroelectric
British Columbia

On December 16, 2014, the B.C. government approved BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C), concluding that the 1,100-megawatt hydroelectric project represents the province’s most affordable and reliable long-term source of clean power, saving ratepayers an average of $650 to $900 million each year over the first 50 years of its project life compared to a portfolio of independent power projects backed up by natural gas-fired generation.

A copy of the B.C. government’s press release, which includes links to relevant background materials, is available here.… Continue Reading

BC Hydro Amends Standing Offer Program Rules to Exclude Existing Generators

Posted in BC Hydro, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
British Columbia

On November 26, 2014, BC Hydro announced that it has amended its Standing Offer Program (SOP) rules to make existing generation no longer eligible for participation in the SOP.  BC Hydro states that the amendment is in line with BC Hydro’s 2013 Clean Energy Strategy contained in its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which is focused on providing opportunities to the clean energy sector for new project development.  It also specifically noted that the changes are in consideration of the fact that the SOP’s pricing is intended to reflect the costs associated with new, rather than existing, clean energy projects. … Continue Reading

Minister Bennett Addresses Opening of Clean Energy BC Conference; Sees Continued Opportunities for Renewable Energy even as Province Nears Final Investment Decision on Site C

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Independent Producers, Power
British Columbia

British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett addressed the province’s independent power producers at the opening of Clean Energy BC’s annual conference in Vancouver on October 16, 2014.  Speaking in the wake of the announcement earlier in the week that the Site C clean energy project (Site C) has received environmental approvals from the B.C. and federal governments, Minister Bennett confirmed that the B.C. government has not yet made a final investment decision with respect to Site C and is in the final stages of a “due diligence” process that includes comparisons to other potential alternatives, including a … Continue Reading

Site C Project Granted Environmental Approvals by B.C. and Federal Governments

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Electricity, Hydroelectric
British Columbia

The B.C. and federal governments have granted environmental approvals to BC Hydro for its Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C).  B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak announced on October 14, 2014 the issuance of an environmental assessment certificate (EA Certificate) for Site C, concluding that the project is in the public interest and that its benefits outweigh the risks of significant adverse environmental, social and heritage effects.  In addition, federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq issued a decision statement (Decision Statement) approving Site C, declaring that the significant adverse environmental effects that Site C is likely to cause are justified in … Continue Reading

Joint Review Panel Releases Report on Site C Clean Energy Project

Posted in BC Hydro, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
British Columbia

Today, the report of the joint federal-provincial panel (the Joint Review Panel) appointed to review BC Hydro’s proposed Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C) was publicly released, following its submission to the federal and BC governments on May 1, 2014.  A copy of the full report is available here; a copy of the report summary and list of recommendations is available here.

The Joint Review Panel was mandated by Canada’s Minister of the Environment and BC’s Minister of Environment to assess Site C’s potential environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects.… Continue Reading

Update on LNG-Related Activity in British Columbia: Regulatory and Contracting Advances

Posted in Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Liquefied Natural Gas, Regulation
British Columbia

British Columbia’s new liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector was particularly lively in the weeks since our mid-December update.  To keep our readers up-to-date, we have prepared the following brief summary of recent notable LNG sector activity.… Continue Reading

BC Hydro Releases Final Integrated Resource Plan; Includes New Clean Energy Strategy to Support Renewables Sector and Promote Opportunities for First Nations

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

On November 26, 2013, the BC government confirmed its approval of BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The IRP provides a 20-year outlook of how BC Hydro expects to reliably and cost-effectively meet the anticipated future electricity needs of the province through conservation and acquisition of sufficient generation and transmission resources.… Continue Reading

BC Government Releases 10 Year Plan for BC Hydro; New Rates to Fund Reinvestment and Debt Reduction

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, BC Utilities Commission
British Columbia

The BC government has announced a 10 Year Plan for BC Hydro in which the province aims to minimize rate increases while allowing BC Hydro to reinvest in its aging assets and infrastructure.  As we noted in a prior blog post, Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review, previously indicated that BC Hydro rate increases were imminent in view of the ongoing refurbishment of BC Hydro’s heritage generation facilities.… Continue Reading

New Report Doubles Previous Estimates of Montney Formation Natural Gas Reserves in British Columbia and Alberta

Posted in BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Natural Gas
AlbertaBritish Columbia

A new federal-provincial study has concluded that naturas gas reserves contained in the Montney Formation that straddes British Columbia and Alberta are more than double than previously estimated, equivalent to 145 years of supply at Canada’s current consumption levels.

Prepared jointly by Canada’s National Energy Board, the Alberta Energy Regulator, B.C.’s newly-created Ministry of Natural Gas Development and the B.C. Oil & Gas Commission, the study assesses for the first time the unconventional petroleum resource potential of the Montney Formation. The study’s findings include the following:

  • the ultimate potential for unconventional petroleum in the Montney Formation is estimated at 12,719
Continue Reading

Business Council of British Columbia’s Energy Policy White Paper Calls for Greater Focus on LNG and Natural Gas Resources

Posted in BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Natural Gas
British Columbia

On October 16, 2013, the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) released its white paper on energy policy in BC (White Paper).  The White Paper provides an overview of BC’s energy development history and highlights the implications of three key shifts which drive the requirement for further policy reform:

  1. the shale gas revolution, which has altered continental natural gas pricing and created a new export opportunity to feed Asian demand.
  2. climate change, which requires coordinated approaches to energy development.
  3. electricity marketplace change, which requires a new understanding of how future electricity needs will be met when upgrades of existing assets
Continue Reading

Minister Bennett Addresses Opening of Clean Energy BC Conference

Confirms Resubmitted IRP Will Contain "Clean Energy Strategy"

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Independent Producers, Natural Gas, Policy, Power, Regulation, Water
British Columbia

British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett addressed the province’s independent power producers at the opening of Clean Energy BC’s annual conference in Vancouver on October 28, 2013. While confirming that there are currently no plans for a power call in the province, Minister Bennett acknowledged that his ministerial mandate specifically contemplates working with the clean energy sector to ensure that there remain significant opportunities for renewable energy companies to provide power to British Columbia, and made a number of observations, including:

  • policymaking continues to occur in a fluid and dynamic economic environment;
  • electricity rates will need to
Continue Reading

BC Hydro Working Group Forecasts Rate Increases

Posted in BC Hydro
British Columbia

An internal BC Hydro Rates Working Group document leaked to the press suggests that residential, small business and industrial electricity users may face a 26.4% increase in their rates from 2014-2016.  The document, dated August 23, 2013, attributes the required rate increase to a rise in BC Hydro’s revenue requirement from an estimated $3.8 billion in 2014 to $4.8 billion in 2016.  … Continue Reading

BC Hydro Integrated Resource Plan Updates Province’s Demand Forecast

Posted in BC Hydro, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

 As noted in our earlier blog post, BC Hydro recently released its revised draft Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”) for public comment.

In reviewing the revised IRP, we noted that BC Hydro had updated its forecasts regarding provincial energy demand over the coming years.

Shown below is a comparison chart of the annual energy and peak demand forecasts from the August 2013 IRP as compared to the May 2012 IRP.  Note that the comparison periods do not match precisely because the May 2012 IRP referenced five-year milestones starting in F2016 and ending on F2032, whereas the August 2013 IRP references … Continue Reading

BC Government Presents Throne Speech and Updated 2013 Budget

Posted in BC Hydro, Carbon Tax, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Hydroelectric, Liquefied Natural Gas, Power, Regulation, Transmission, Wind
British Columbia

 The recently re-elected BC Liberal government presented its Throne Speech on June 26, 2013, and followed up with its June 2013 Budget Update on June 27, 2013. Although it was first presented in February 2013, the budget did not pass before the provincial election was called and required updating once the Legislature re-convened.

Not surprisingly, the Throne Speech focused on the energy sector and highlighted the economic opportunities surrounding the government’s plan to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry focused on exports to Asia. To this end, the BC government has created a new Ministry of Natural Gas Development, … Continue Reading

BC Government Releases Update to Liquefied Natural Gas Strategy

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

  In its recent throne speech, the BC government predicted that the LNG industry could add $1 trillion to the provincial GDP over the next 30 years. The Province intends to launch a new “Prosperity Fund” that would accumulate over $100 billion in LNG royalties during this timeframe.  Such funds would be used to pay down the $56 billion in provincial debt, and perhaps eliminate the provincial sales tax and invest in education, social services and infrastructure.

The BC government also released a one-year update to its 2012 LNG strategy in the days preceding the throne speech. According to the update, Continue Reading

US Fiscal Cliff Legislation Extends Production and Investment Tax Credits for Renewable Energy

Posted in Biomass, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Hydroelectric, Solar, Wind

 On January 1, 2013, the Senate and the House of Representatives approved H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the Bill) by a vote of 89-8 and 257-167, respectively. The Bill is the long-awaited and much negotiated response to the numerous expiring tax cuts and automatic reductions to federal expenditures, known as the “fiscal cliff”, which were set to go into effect at the beginning of the year.

Among the Bill’s various amendments to the US Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code), is section 407 of the Bill, which extends the production tax credit under section 45 Continue Reading

Quality Wind Commences Commercial Operation

Posted in BC Hydro, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Wind
British Columbia

 On November 8, 2012, Capital Power L.P. (Capital Power) began commercial operations of its Quality Wind project (Quality Wind). Quality Wind is Capital Power’s first wind project to come online, giving BC a total of three operating wind farms.

Quality Wind is located approximately 10 km northeast of the District of Tumbler Ridge in the Peace River Region of BC. Quality Wind is the second-largest wind project in BC in terms of capacity (142 megawatts) and the largest with respect to the number of turbines (79).
Quality Wind is a product of BC Hydro’s Clean Power Call Request For Continue Reading