As directed by the provincial government in its BC Energy Plan: A Vision for Clean Energy Leadership, BC Hydro is implementing a Standing Offer Program to encourage the development of small and clean energy projects throughout British Columbia. The program is a process to purchase energy from small projects with a nameplate capacity greater than 0.05 megawatts but not more than 10 megawatts.
The Program has been designed to:
• simplify the process, the contract and its administration
• decrease the costs of participation for developers while remaining cost-effective for the ratepayer
• meet the need identified by the BC Energy Plan and embody its policies and principles.
The Standing Offer Program Rules, available at the BC Hydro website, explain program details including eligibility requirements, the application process and the Standard Form Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) terms.
To be eligible to apply for the Standing Offer Program, the developer and the project must meet a number of requirements. Detailed eligibility requirements can be found in Section 3 of the program rules. Key requirements include:
• The energy generated by the project must be clean, renewable or high efficiency co-generation.
• Projects must be located in British Columbia, which includes Canadian and B.C. territorial waters.
• All proven generation technologies as defined in the program rules are eligible to participate in the program, except nuclear. The developer must be prepared to provide evidence of at least three generation plants (which need not be owned or operated by the developer) using that technology to generate energy for a period of not less than three years, to a standard of reliability generally required by Good Utility Practice (as defined in the Standard Form Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA)).
• Prototype and near commercial technologies are not eligible.
• Conditions and restrictions apply to energy from common generation facilities, projects that have EPAs with BC Hydro, and developers receiving BC Hydro incentives.
• The project’s target commercial operation date must be within three years of signing the project EPA.
• The developer must have obtained all material permits required for the project, as listed in the application form.
• The developer must demonstrate that it has obtained the right to use the project site.
• The project site must be zoned appropriately if local government land use requirements apply.
• Projects must be able to interconnect to the integrated system. Interconnection studies will be required as detailed in the program rules. However, developers should not initiate an interconnection study until requested to by BC Hydro.
BC Hydro is holding an information session on May 6, 2008 in Vancouver to review the program rules and the application process. This session is intended for developers that are ready, or are planning, to submit an application.
For more information visit www.bchydro.com.