Province of BC and and BC Hydro to Reduce Rates and Lower Costs of Connecting to Electricity GridTuesday, February 9, 2021
Province of BC and and BC Hydro to Reduce Rates and Lower Costs of Connecting to Electricity Grid to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Attract New Clean Tech Industries
Vancouver, BC, February 8, 2021--(T-Net)--The Province of BC and BC Hydro, in partnership with the Government of Canada, announced that they will be reducing rates and lowering the costs of connecting to the electricity grid to help industries, public transportation agencies and neighbourhood energy systems reduce greenhouse gas emissions and attract new clean tech industries to British Columbia.
"From the shock of a global pandemic to the threat of a changing climate, the challenges we face today also present opportunities as we build a brighter future after COVID-19," said Premier John Horgan. "Today we are announcing plans to make it more affordable for industries to power up with clean B.C. electricity — helping spur new investment and job creation while reducing carbon pollution."
BC Hydro will provide new CleanBC industrial electrification rates that will offer a discount on BC Hydro's standard industrial rates to:
In addition, the Province has directed $84.4 million from the Government of Canada's Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) to create a new CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund that will provide support to customers to reduce the costs of connecting to the electricity grid or upgrading their connections to use more electricity and reduce air pollution.
"We're making it easier and more affordable for mines, clean technology companies and other sectors to use more of B.C.'s clean, reliable hydroelectricity instead of fossil fuels," said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. "Fast-tracking electrification across our economy will support economic recovery and cleaner public transportation, create jobs for British Columbians and attract new investment to our province."
By creating the new industrial rates and supporting the construction of transmission lines, transformers and other system upgrades, the Province is encouraging existing and new BC Hydro customers to electrify their operations by connecting to the grid, helping to keep rates affordable for everyone.
"These are generational investments to create jobs, lower emissions, increase competitiveness, and make clean energy technology more accessible for Canadians." stated Seamus O'Regan, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
"We're committed to working with industrial customers who are interested in using clean electricity to power their operations. That's why we're offering a 20% discount from our standard industrial electricity rates for eligible new and existing customers looking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and their use of fossil fuels." said Chris O'Riley, president and CEO, BC Hydro.
"Hydrogen BC, a branch of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA), applauds the new CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund and the new clean industry power rate. The discounted power rate will enable the production in B.C. of cost-effective, clean hydrogen, which is essential for the decarbonization of challenging sectors of the B.C. economy, including heating, industrial processing and transportation applications, such as trucks, buses, trains, marine and aviation. The new fund and rate will support Hydrogen BC and its member companies as they work to develop new hydrogen production facilities and hydrogen application hubs throughout B.C." stated Mark Kirby, president and CEO, Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association.
"BC Hydro's new rates for low-carbon fuel producers will further strengthen B.C.'s leadership in clean fuel development. This program complements stable, effective policies such as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and with it, B.C. will see more investment inflow into the low carbon fuel sector and continued positive impact on jobs in communities across the province." concluded Ian Thompson, president, Advanced Biofuels Canada.
For more information on the CleanBC Industrial Electrification Rates, visit: https://app.bchydro.com/accounts-billing/rates-energy-use/electricity-rates/electrification-rates.html
For more information on the CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund, visit: bchydro.com/electrificationfund
To learn more about the CleanBC climate action plan, visit: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/
For information on the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program - British Columbia, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/funding-engagement-permits/funding-grants/investing-in-canada-infrastructure-program
CleanBC and industrial electricity rates
Electrification supports clean economic recovery, growth
COVID-19 has created an unprecedented level of economic uncertainty in the industrial sector, particularly for natural resources industries like oil and gas and mining, which have been greatly affected by exposure to global commodity demand and prices.
B.C.'s clean, abundant and reliable hydroelectricity can be used to stimulate economic recovery, growth and innovation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the industrial, public transportation and other sectors. However, the cost of using electricity has to be competitive with other power sources before energy-intensive operations will consider switching from natural gas, gas or diesel fuel to run their facilities.
The following measures will make it more economically viable for industries to use more clean electricity in place of fossil fuels to power their operations by offering reduced electricity rates, and by lowering the costs for industries to connect to the electric grid or upgrade their interconnections to use more electricity.
CleanBC Industrial Electrification Rates:
BC Hydro will offer a 20% discount from its current, standard industrial electricity rate for customers that switch from fossil fuels to electricity to power their operations, and for new clean industry customers.
The fuel-switching rate would be available to:
The clean industry and innovation rate would be available to eligible customers that build new facilities or expand existing facilities that:
The discounted rate will be available to an approved customer for a period of five years, with a gradual transition back to the standard industrial rate by year eight.
The rate will not be available to the downstream oil and gas sectors: for example methanol, oil transportation lines, oil refineries or natural gas liquefaction (LNG) facilities.
BC Hydro will bring the new rate design forward to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for review and comment . To assure the timely approval of the rate to help stimulate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and advance industrial electrification to achieve climate targets in CleanBC, government has issued a direction to the BCUC.
CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund (CBCFEF):
The Government of British Columbia will allocate $84.4 million of federal funding committed to B.C. under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) to help reduce the costs for BC Hydro customers to connect to the electric grid.
While BC Hydro pays the costs of expanding its electrical transmission system around the province, transmission service customers are responsible for the costs of building transmission lines from their facility to BC Hydro's system, and for the costs of any upgrades to BC Hydro's system that are required to connect them to the grid and supply the new load. These costs can be significant, and present a barrier for industrial customers to further electrify their facilities and equipment.
The funding would be available to eligible BC Hydro customers like mines, companies producing renewable fuels, natural gas processing facilities, public transportation companies including transit agencies and ferries, and other large institutional customers and local governments, such as neighbourhood district energy systems.
Under the CBCFEF:
The CBFEF reduces the costs of connecting to the BC Hydro system for customers who want to increase their use of electricity, and builds upon the August 2019 memorandum of understanding between British Columbia and Canada under which the parties agreed to jointly support the electrification of the natural gas sector in B.C. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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