Powering a low-carbon future (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Jimmy Smith

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Media Relations
250 953-3834

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

Media Relations
250 208-6183

BC Hydro

Media Relations
604 928 6468


What people are saying about building B.C.’s electrical grid

Kwatuuma Cole Sayers, executive director, Clean Energy BC (CEBC)  

“Clean Energy BC is excited to see this announcement as it’s another example that the Government of British Columbia recognizes the need to invest in accelerated electrification, including new renewable power generation under the upcoming call for power. This increased funding will support the province’s climate goals, attract clean investment, and create jobs for people in an innovative sector of the economy. CEBC members look forward to continuing our work with government and BC Hydro to grow B.C.’s renewable energy sector, while advancing reconciliation across the province. This includes collaboration on future calls for renewable power and the build-out of transmission infrastructure in partnership with First Nations.”

Julie Bonamy, CEO, Saint-Gobain Canada

“Speed and efficiency are critical for businesses like ours as we make decisions about major investments in British Columbia. It’s great to see the Province and BC Hydro working together to make it easier for the private sector to move to a clean-energy future even faster.”

Ronan Chester, director, climate action and sustainability leadership, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority –

“The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest and most diversified port handling over $300 billion in cargo, annually. Port operations will need to transition a significant portion of energy use to low-carbon electricity to enable achievement of Canada’s climate commitments and trade objectives. Strategic leadership and collaboration between BC Hydro and the Province on advancing electricity infrastructure is critical to supporting this energy transition and the economic prosperity trade delivers.”

Cody Gatzke, business manager, Local 258 IBEW

“IBEW is the right choice to answer the BC Hydro Call for Power and to provide the skilled workforce required to undertake the electrification of British Columbia. We pride ourselves on being the best, and IBEW offers the highest quality electrical apprenticeships. By prioritizing B.C.-based contractors in partnership with local communities, we not only ensure top-notch expertise but also provide well-paying union jobs for British Columbians.”

Colleen Giroux-Schmidt, vice-president, corporate relations and environment, Innergex Renewable Energy

“We are at a moment when significant investment in our energy infrastructure is critical to the Province thriving in the years ahead, while meeting our climate commitments, advancing reconciliation and growing our economy. As an established generator of emission-free energy in B.C., Innergex applauds the investment in our electricity grid and looks forward to working with our valued Indigenous partners to ensure reliable, emission free, cost-effective and safe energy is available for customers.”

Tristan Goodman, president and CEO, The Explorers and Producers Association of Canada

“This plan to proceed with an unprecedented level of capital planning and construction to rapidly grow British Columbia’s electricity system demonstrates leadership from the B.C. government to support clean growth and attract investment by making clean, affordable electricity available across the province. Enabling further electrification of the natural-resource sector across B.C., from the Lower Mainland to the far North, opens up real opportunities to grow the sector, while significantly reducing emissions. We are also pleased to see the implementation of streamlined approvals for CleanBC Industry Fund projects to increase speed and certainty.”

Michael Goehring, president and CEO, Mining Association of BC

“New investment in transmission lines and supporting infrastructure is an important step that will enable the development and electrification of new critical mineral mines in British Columbia, while ensuring our province’s mining sector continues to have among the lowest GHG emissions in the world. Clean and reliable electricity is key to positioning B.C. as a leading global supplier of responsibly produced critical minerals essential to clean technologies and climate action.”

Scott Goodmanson, mayor, Langford

“BC Hydro’s investment in upgrading the electrical grid is a crucial step toward a sustainable future. By modernizing the infrastructure, it contributes to a cleaner environment, addressing climate change and ensuring a greener, more resilient community for generations.”

Walt Halipchuk, director, sustainable business development (Copper Mountain Mine), Hudbay Minerals Inc.

“The CleanBC Industry program has been a major catalyst in accelerating our decarbonization work at Hudbay Minerals’ Princeton operation. By returning a portion of the carbon tax we’ve paid, CleanBC has supported and incentivized us to implement the mine’s GHG reduction strategy, which has included the award-winning project that brought North America’s only operating electric haul truck-trolley assist system, an electric mining loading shovel, and an electric rotary blast-hole drill to B.C. Without the CleanBC incentives, these industry-leading projects would not be possible, and a new, streamlined approval process with BC Hydro will only help companies like ours move to clean energy faster.”

Mike Hurley, mayor, City of Burnaby

“Reducing the impacts of climate change requires action from all of us, and that means investing in clean electricity to power the homes and businesses in our community. The City of Burnaby is growing and these critical investments in our provincial electricity grid will help ensure expanding communities like ours can support the increasing construction of net-zero buildings, retrofitting of homes and businesses, and more electric vehicles on our roads.”

Graeme Hutchison, president, MoveUP (The Movement of United Professionals)

"Expanding publicly owned power generation is essential for B.C. and provides stable and affordable electricity for people in B.C. for generations to come. This unparalleled expansion is forward thinking and is the leadership that is essential for B.C. to power communities, support workers, and grow B.C.’s clean economy."

Matthew Klippenstein, executive director, Hydrogen BC

“Hydrogen BC and its members welcome this announcement. The updated capital plan will position British Columbia strongly in the clean-energy economy and the one-window approval process will help our members develop clean hydrogen projects faster, growing jobs while shrinking emissions.”

Al Phillips, president, BC Building Trades Council

“The Premier’s plan to significantly expand Hydro infrastructure is a good one. It will allow us to build and upgrade the energy infrastructure British Columbians need, while providing thousands of family-sustaining union jobs for workers across the province.”

Evan Pivnick, clean energy program manager, Clean Energy Canada

“As more British Columbians plug in their cars and home heating, and businesses look to electrify and cut emissions, the province faces a future of greater demand for clean electricity. Today’s announcement is an important step forward in preparing for this reality. Affordable, clean power is a big draw for industries looking to set up shop where they can lower their costs and their carbon footprint. And it's vital for British Columbians who will perhaps benefit most from clean, reliable, low-cost electricity.”

Merran Smith, president, New Economy Canada

“Increasing the supply and resilience of clean and affordable electricity, and the infrastructure to move it to where it’s needed, are critical to attracting investment in emerging climate-aligned industries, while simultaneously helping existing industries electrify and reduce carbon pollution. BC Hydro’s new capital plan and its upcoming call for power are critical steps toward building the province’s clean-power advantage.”

Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO, Prince Rupert Port Authority

“With over $2 billion in new project investment advancing at the Port of Prince Rupert, we are relying on clean-energy availability to ensure we can continue the sustainable growth and diversification of Canadian trade through the gateway, while still meeting our carbon-reduction objectives. This partnership between BC Hydro and the Government of British Columbia will support ongoing efforts to electrify current and future port infrastructure, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Advancing low-carbon electrification

British Columbia is a leader in clean energy, with about 98% of its power generation coming from clean or renewable resources. This clean energy advantage is recognized in the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, which identifies low carbon electrification – transitioning from fossil fuels to using clean electricity across the transportation, built and industrial sectors – as one of the key pathways to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieving B.C.’s climate targets.

Increased infrastructure to support growing demand for power:

Every year BC Hydro creates a capital plan that looks ahead 10 years. The plan quantifies the new and improved infrastructure required to safely operate its system and meet the electricity demands of its customers. It helps BC Hydro assess the resources it will need in the near to medium term, supports rate planning, and plan engagement with First Nations, local governments and regulators.

The 10-Year capital plan for 2024-25 to 2033-34, Power Pathway: Building BC’s energy future, responds to a significant increase in demand for power to support accelerated electrification and population growth as identified in BC Hydro’s updated integrated resource plan (currently under review by the B.C. Utilities Commission).

The 10-Year capital plan includes investing in BC Hydro’s generation assets, large transmission infrastructure and community substations, and local wires that deliver power to homes and businesses across the province with three main objectives:

  • Support the electrification of the province and meet CleanBC emissions reductions targets;
  • Reinforce B.C.’s electricity system to enable customer connections and meet load growth; and
  • Sustain B.C.’s electricity system, ensuring BC Hydro can safely and reliably meet the needs of its customers while keeping rates low

The plan includes nearly $10 billion for infrastructure to support electrification and GHG reduction, more than $5 billion to address load growth and increased customer connections, and $21 billion to sustain existing capital assets, dam safety and reliability, for a total of $36 billion over 10 years (net of contributions in aid of construction, such as customer payments under tariffs). This is an increase of about 50% from last year’s capital plan that included $24.1 billion in investments.

While taking action to grow the electrical system is important, ensuring rates remain affordable is equally important. B.C. currently has the second lowest residential electricity rates in North America, and the third lowest commercial and industrial rates.

BC Hydro rates are currently 15.6% lower than the cumulative rate of inflation over the past seven years (starting 2017-18). In addition, rates are currently 12.4% lower than the previous government’s long-term rates plan, saving residential customers approximately $250 million, commercial customers approximately $223 million, and industrial customers approximately $95 million, compared to the previous government’s long-term rates plan.

For the sixth year in a row, BC Hydro has applied to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for a rate increase below the rate of inflation. Rate changes are determined by the BCUC following a transparent regulatory process. As an outcome of Phase 1 of the BC Hydro review in 2019, government returned oversight to the BCUC on a number of matters the previous government took away, including rate changes, use of regulatory accounts and BC Hydro’s long-term Integrated Resource Plan.

Streamlining funding approvals for industrial electrification:

Both the Clean Industry Fund (CIF) administered by the Climate Action Secretariat and BC Hydro’s Large Customer Low Carbon Electrification (LCE) programs support the development, trial and deployment of projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial operations.

Proponents are often looking to leverage both CIF and LCE funding to move these projects forward. However, currently it is complicated to apply for both programs, resulting in delayed project investments and timelines.

Now, proponents will be able to apply for both programs through a new single process that includes:

  • streamlined, one-window project application into CIF and LCE, including funding for implementation projects, as well as BC Hydro interconnection studies;
  • joint project evaluation process and development of a joint project review committee to move approvals forward more quickly;
  • integrated project timelines and payment schedules, including joint funding agreements;
  • integrated reporting, measurement, and verification requirements and processes; and
  • CIF alignment with BC Hydro’s continuous project intake cycle.

The new, faster application process will reduce the administration burden for industry, government, and BC Hydro, allowing projects to be approved and implemented more quickly, and emissions reductions to be achieved sooner.

Since 2019, the CIF has provided more than $215 million in support of large industrial operators reducing greenhouse gas emissions, undertaking pilot projects or support studies that test new emission reducing technologies.

To date, total funded CIF projects are expected to reduce more than approximately 8.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions over a 10-year period.