Demand for electricity is growing. At the same time, parts of the transmission system are nearing the end of their useful service life. British Columbia’s transmission and distribution system is evolving to meet demand without compromising reliability or performance.
B.C. transmission infrastructure must continue to be able to support economic growth, and must be flexible enough to accommodate new electricity generation sources like hydroelectric, wind, biomass, or geothermal.
It takes a long time to develop new transmission infrastructure, so investment and planning need to start early.
Role of Utilities
The Utilities Commission Act requires all energy utilities to undertake long-term integrated resource plans. These resource plans include
- An assessment of the future need for electricity
- A description of how the utility plans to meet that need
- Capital plans for transmission maintenance, upgrades and expansion
In addition to normal utility planning, the Utilities Commission Act requires the BC Utilities Commission to conduct an inquiry at least once every six years to determine the province’s long-term transmission infrastructure and capacity needs.