VICTORIA, B.C – Industries looking to electrify operations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are receiving assistance from BC Hydro.
The company is offering a 20 per cent discount from its current rate for industries to use clean electricity in place of fossil fuels to power their operations.
In an email on Jan. 29th, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation confirmed that natural gas extraction projects in the Fort St. John area could be eligible for the fuel-switching CleanBC industrial electrification rate.
The Government of Canada, the Province and BC Hydro have partnered to reduce the rates for five years with a gradual return to the standard rate by the eighth year.
“From the shock of a global pandemic to the threat of a changing climate, the challenges we face today also present opportunities as we build a brighter future after COVID-19,” said Premier John Horgan in a release on Jan. 28th.
“Today, we are announcing plans to make it more affordable for industries to power up with clean B.C. electricity — helping spur new investment and job creation while reducing carbon pollution.”
The rate discount is available for BC Hydro customers such as mines, companies producing renewable fuels, natural gas processing facilities, public transportation companies, and other large institutional customers and local governments.
Along with reducing gas emission, the province says “hydroelectricity can be used to stimulate economic recovery, and growth and innovation.”
The fuel-switching rate would be available to:
The rate will not be available to the downstream oil and gas sectors including methanol, oil transportation lines, oil refineries or natural gas liquefaction facilities.
The province has allocated $84.4 million from the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) to create a new CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund. This will support customers in reducing the costs of connecting to the electricity grid or upgrading their connections to use more electricity and reduce air pollution.
In 2019, the Province and the Government of Canada invested $83.6 million from the ICIP for BC Hydro’s Peace Region Electricity Supply project. The construction of two lines aims to improve the electrical system’s reliability and capacity in the Peace Region and help industry avoid decades of greenhouse gas emissions.
BC Hydro expects to put the new transmission lines into service in 2021.
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