Connecting to the Grid

British Columbia has some of the cleanest and lowest-cost grid-supplied electricity in North America.  Most of the generation (production of electricity) comes from facilities in the northern and southern Interior of B.C., while most of the load (consumption of electricity) is in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. In most of the province, electricity is provided by BC Hydro, while in much of the Southern Interior it is provided by FortisBC. It takes a long time to develop new transmission infrastructure, so investment and planning need to start early.

Information for businesses planning to locate in these utilities’ service areas can be found at:

BC Hydro:  https://www.bchydro.com/work-with-us/connect-to-our-grid.html

FortisBC:  https://www.fortisbc.com/services/commercial-industrial-services

Doing Business with BC Hydro

BC Hydro’s Work with us website has a number of resources for suppliers, vendors, and energy professionals.

Net Metering for Commercial Utility Customers

Both BC Hydro and FortisBC have net metering programs, which allow residential and commercial customers to generate their own renewable energy.  More information on these programs can be found at:

BC Hydro:  https://www.bchydro.com/work-with-us/selling-clean-energy/net-metering.html

FortisBC:  https://www.fortisbc.com/services/electricity-services/generating-your-own-electricity/net-metering

Permits and licenses

All electricity projects on Crown land, regardless of size or type, require licences and permits under the Water Act and the Land Act. In deciding whether to issue these licences and permits, government considers technical information, federal and provincial agency feedback, as well as feedback from the public, local governments, and First Nations.

Environmental Assessments

In British Columbia, all power projects, regardless of size, must meet stringent environmental requirements to receive the necessary permits to construct and operate generation facilities. Projects may be subject to an assessment under the Environmental Assessment Act and, if so, must not proceed until they have received an Environmental Assessment Certificate.