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Region: British Columbia

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“Going Once, Going Twice” – BC Hydro Revises Available Energy Volumes under SOP and Micro-SOP

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

On February 21, 2017, BC Hydro released new figures for its Standing Offer Program (“SOP”) and Micro-Standing Offer Program (“Micro-SOP”) showing that it has assigned nearly all of the available annual volume for projects with target commercial operation dates (“Target CODs”) in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. BC Hydro had previously allocated up to 150 GWh/year of available energy volume for each of these Target COD years (under both the SOP and Micro-SOP), on a first-come, first-served basis. The newly-published figures show available energy volumes of zero, three, eight and zero GWh/year for projects … Continue Reading

Legal Challenges to Site C Dam by BC First Nations Dismissed by Federal Court of Appeal and BC Court of Appeal

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

Two separate court challenges of the federal and provincial environmental assessment approvals for the Site C hydropower project in British Columbia have recently been dismissed by the federal and BC appellate courts.  The two appellate courts separately upheld earlier decisions of the BC Supreme Court and the Federal Court which had dismissed applications for judicial review by the Prophet River First Nation and the West Moberly First Nation (the First Nations) of the provincial and federal environmental assessment decisions approving Site C.  The First Nations argued that the approvals infringed their treaty rights under Treaty 8 and that there was … Continue Reading

Target 2050: BC Releases Updated Climate Change Action Plan

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

The BC government released its long awaited Climate Leadership Plan (the Plan) on August 19, 2016. The Plan, which updates the province’s 2008 Climate Action Plan, contains 21 new actions to reduce emissions across the following sectors: (i) natural gas, (ii) transportation, (iii) forestry and agriculture, (iv) communities and built environment, and (v) public sector. The Plan follows the release of the Climate Leadership Team’s report in November 2015. The CLT, which was appointed by the BC government in May 2015 to provide advice for the development of the Plan, made 32 recommendations including, among others, the establishment of … Continue Reading

What Every Stakeholder Needs to Know About Lobbyist Registration

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Federal
AlbertaBritish ColumbiaOntarioQuébec

The following article published in our firm’s newsletter could be of interest to many readers active in the energy industry across Canada. It discusses the applicable rules for lobbyist registration in Ontario, Ontario municipalities, Québec, British Columbia, Alberta and at the federal level.… Continue Reading

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

First Phase of Water Sustainability Act Comes into Force

Posted in Water
British Columbia

The British Columbia Government has finally brought into effect portions of the long awaited Water Sustainability Act (WSA). The WSA, which was passed by the British Columbia Legislature in April 2014, came into effect on February 29, 2016. The WSA replaces many parts of the old Water Act and creates a new regulatory regime for water management within British Columbia.

The Province is taking a phased approach to the enactment of the WSA. While the majority of the WSA came into effect at the end of February, Section 18, which provides for quick licensing procedures, has yet to be brought … Continue Reading

B.C.’s LNG Export Industry: 2016 Kick-Off

Posted in Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

Anyone following the development of British Columbia’s nascent liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry will have a lot to watch out for in 2016. According to both government and industry-watchers, two major LNG projects – Pacific NorthWest LNG and LNG Canada – may reach final investment decisions (FID) in 2016.

In June 2015, Petronas-owned Pacific NorthWest LNG announced a positive FID on its proposed export facility on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C. subject to two conditions. The first condition, approval by the B.C. Legislature of the Project Development Agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG, was satisfied in July 2015. The … Continue Reading

BC’s Updated GHG Reporting Regulation Now in Force

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

BC’s Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (the Act) came into force on January 1, 2016. The Act was originally passed by the BC legislature in November 2014 and enables performance standards to be established for industrial facilities or sectors. The Act currently sets a greenhouse (GHG) emissions benchmark for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, along with an emissions benchmark for coal-based electricity generation operations. Performance standards for other industrial facilities and sectors will likely be added later on. The Act also streamlines several aspects of existing GHG legislation into a single legislative and regulatory system, including the GHG … Continue Reading

BC Hydro Site C Litigation Update – Appeals Pending

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
British Columbia

This post provides an update on the latest developments in the litigation proceedings involving BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C). Please see our earlier posts on July 21, August 14, and September 2 for additional background on the proceedings.

At the outset, we note that on November 25, 2015, BC Hydro and the BC Government announced the awarding of a $1.5 billion construction contract for Site C to Peace River Hydro Partners (which includes Petrowest Construction, ACCIONA Infrastructure Canada Inc. and Samsung C&T Canada Ltd.). There will be an emphasis on hiring local … Continue Reading

Policy Considerations when Carbon Taxes Meet Cap-and-Trade

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
British Columbia

As we recently reported, British Columbia’s (BC) Climate Leadership Team prepared a report setting out 32 recommendations for BC’s climate policy path forward.  Recommendation 29 states that: If the majority of Canadian provinces opt for carbon pricing via emissions trading to cover greenhouse gases from large final emitters, a review should be undertaken of mechanisms to integrate a carbon tax with a cap and trade framework for the BC context.

According to the World Bank, approximately 40 national and 20 sub-national jurisdictions have put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) using carbon taxes or cap-and-trade … Continue Reading

Climate Leadership Team Makes 32 Recommendations for Updating BC’s Climate Change Policies

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

As reported in our earlier blog, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark appointed a Climate Leadership Team in May 2015 to provide advice and recommendations to government for its new Climate Leadership Plan.  The Climate Leadership Team’s mandate was based on four cornerstone objectives: (i) achieving BC’s legislated GHG emission reduction targets; (ii) maintaining a strong economy; (iii) mitigating negative impacts on vulnerable populations; and (iv) maintaining BC’s reputation for world-leading climate policies.

Following extensive stakeholder consultations throughout the summer, the Climate Leadership Team prepared a report that was released by the BC government on November 27, 2015, in … Continue Reading

British Columbia Court of Appeal Adheres to “Polluter Pay” Principle

Posted in Climate Change
British Columbia

On November 20, 2015, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) demonstrated a steadfast adherence to the “polluter pays” principle underlying the Environmental Management Act (the “EMA”), by  dismissing the appeal in JI Properties Inc v PPG Architectural Coatings Canada Ltd, 2015 BCCA 472. The BCCA decision concerned the allocation of liability for the cost of the environmental remediation of a small island (the “Island”), located just off the Saanich peninsula that was the site of an explosives manufacturing plant for most of the 20th century. Portions of the Island were contaminated … 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

BC Environmental Appeal Board Revokes Horn River Basin Water Licence – Part 2 of 2

Posted in BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
British Columbia

On September 3, 2015, the British Columbia (BC) Environmental Appeal Board (the Board) delivered its decision in Chief Gale and the Fort Nelson First Nation v. Assistant Regional Water Manager & Nexen Inc et al (Decision No. 2012-WAT-013(c)), revoking a water licence issued to Nexen Inc. (Nexen) for the purpose of pumping water from Tsea Lake in BC’s Horn River Basin for storage and use in oilfield injection (the Licence).… Continue Reading

BC Environmental Appeal Board Revokes Horn River Basin Water Licence – Part 1 of 2

Posted in BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
British Columbia

On September 3, 2015, the British Columbia (BC) Environmental Appeal Board (the Board) delivered its decision in Chief Gale and the Fort Nelson First Nation v. Assistant Regional Water Manager & Nexen Inc et al (Decision No. 2012-WAT-013(c)), revoking a water licence issued to Nexen Inc. (Nexen) for the purpose of pumping water from Tsea Lake in BC’s Horn River Basin for storage and use in oilfield injection (the Licence).… Continue Reading

BC Hydro Site C Litigation Update – New petition filed by Treaty 8 First Nations, while injunctive relief denied; Federal Court dismisses two challenges to Site C

Posted in BC Hydro, Hydroelectric
British Columbia

This post provides an update on the latest developments in the litigation proceedings involving BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C), and a summary of the current status of each of the judicial review applications that have been filed to date. Please see our earlier posts on July 21st and August 14th for additional background on the judicial review proceedings filed in BC Supreme Court and Federal Court.… Continue Reading

BC Government Invites Comments on Proposed Water Sustainability Act Policies

Posted in Water
British Columbia

With British Columbia’s (BC) new Water Sustainability Act (WSA) expected to come into force in early 2016, the provincial government is in the process of designing the regulations and operational policies that will support the implementation of the WSA. As part of the BC government’s phased approach to implementation, it recently released four papers outlining proposed new policies which are expected to be incorporated into new WSA regulations. The papers are now available on the WSA blog for public comment until September 8, 2015.… Continue Reading

Site C Update – Federal Court judicial review proceedings to commence this week, following BC Hydro’s receipt of provincial authorizations to begin construction

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro
British Columbia

This article provides a consolidated overview of recent developments in the six judicial review proceedings challenging the governmental approvals of Site C. Please check our blog for future updates on key developments in the proceedings.… Continue Reading

BC Premier’s 2015/16 Mandate Letters Highlight Policy Priorities on LNG, Climate Change, Oil Spill Safety and Tailings Pond Management

Posted in Climate Change, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

On June 12, 2015, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark issued updated mandate letters to her provincial cabinet ministers. The annual mandate letter provides the government’s annual direction to the various provincial ministries and confirms each ministry’s priorities for the year.… Continue Reading

Federal Government Introduces Prince Rupert Port Authority Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities Regulations

Posted in Federal, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

On June 20, 2015, the federal Department of Transportation published the proposed Port of Prince Rupert Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities Regulations (Regulations) with respect to proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to be built at Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The Regulations are issued under federal authority by virtue of the Canada Marine Act, which regulates Canadian ports. At present, there are four proposals for LNG facilities to be located at Prince Rupert, two are to be located wholly on federal port lands and two are to be located largely on provincial lands, with small portions on federal port lands.… Continue Reading

New Climate Leadership Team Tasked with Updating BC Climate Action Plan

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy
British Columbia

On May 12, 2015, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark introduced a Climate Leadership Team that has been tasked with developing a Climate Leadership Plan, which will update and build on the province’s current Climate Action Plan. Chaired by Mike Bernier, Member of the BC Legislative Assembly, the Climate Leadership Team consists of 23 members who are drawn from a diverse range of academic, community, business, environmental, and Aboriginal groups. These groups include Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, several municipalities, the Council of Forest Industries, BC LNG Alliance, Clean Energy Canada, the Pembina Institute and … Continue Reading

B.C. Government Tables Amendments to LNG Tax Legislation

Posted in Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

In a previous blog entry,[1] we provided comprehensive commentary on the then-recently tabled Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act (the “Act”), the foundational piece of legislation in the B.C. Government’s proposed liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) taxation regime.

On November 27, 2014, the Act received royal assent and the Province has since been in the process of crafting associated regulations and amendments. The first of these, Bill 26 – Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Amendment Act, 2015 (the “Proposed Amendment”), was released on March 25, 2015, and proposes a number of amendments to the … Continue Reading