Land Use - Ocean Energy
British Columbia has significant ocean energy potential. Over 6,000 megawatts (MW) of wave energy and over 2,000 MW of tidal energy development opportunities alone have been identified to date.
Worldwide ocean energy potential (wave, tidal, marine currents, thermal and salinity gradients) is estimated at 10 – 20 terawatts (TW), which is two to four times the existing electricity consumption of the world.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is responsible for managing the allocation of Crown land resources for ocean energy projects on behalf of the Province of British Columbia.
Both the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources as the provincial lead on alternative energy programs, are committed to working with industry and other key agencies to enable a coordinated approach to the development of ocean energy projects which seek to balance industry and broad provincial interests. Land-use and operational policies of other agencies, including BC Hydro are also applicable where their legislation provides for jurisdictional responsibility.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is the lead agency for the regulatory review of Crown land ocean energy project proposals below 50 megawatts (MW). The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) will lead the review for projects that exceed the 50MW.
In addition to reading the information this information, the following documents should be reviewed prior to submitting your application:
The following documents must be completed prior to submitting your application:
- Crown Land Application (including site map)
- Ocean Energy List/Development Plan Information Requirements (PDF)
- Investigative Plan template (PDF)
Who May Apply
To apply for an ocean energy tenure, you must be:
- A Canadian citizen or permanent resident at least 19 years of age, or
- A partnership or corporation registered in the province of B.C.
Type of Tenure
Ocean energy projects on Crown land are authorized by two types of Crown land tenure. At the initial or investigative stage an investigative licence is issued for up to 10 years to allow for site investigation and to obtain information required to complete the development plan for project initiation.
At the project initiation phase, a multi tenure instrument is applied for and it combines a number of previously available tenure rights under one tenure instrument. It is issued for the period that corresponds to the electricity purchase agreement period of up to 40+ years. If an electricity purchase agreement is not obtained then the term is limited to 10 years in most circumstances.
Fees & Costs
You will be required to pay an application fee, as outlined in the Crown Land Fees schedule (PDF), as well as rental fees.
Rents are determined based on the type of rights being transferred and land values.
- Rent for an investigative licence is $500 per year.
- Rent for licence of occupation rights is calculated at 7.5% of land value, a lease is 8%. For uses that are similar in nature to utilities, rent is 7.5% or 8% of zone land value based on different rights being issued.
For amendments to existing investigative plans please complete and submit prior to work taking place:
- Investigative Plan Notification (PDF)
- An applicant for a right of way or easement should obtain the written consent of any Crown lessee, licensee or right of way holder across whose tenure the development is to be built.
- In the case of aquatic utility projects, the upland owner's consent is required if the tenure will affect access to deep water from his or her property.
- The most common reason for delay is submission of an incomplete application, which is then returned to the applicant.
- If your application is accepted, you will be notified if Advertising is required. Please wait for confirmation before advertising.