Canada and British Columbia Sign Memorandum of Understanding on the Electrification of the Natural Gas Sector in British Columbia
On August 29, 2019, the government of Canada and the government of British Columbia entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the Canada-British Columbia Clean Power Planning Committee (the Committee), whose mandate will be to advance projects that increase electrification and power transmission in British Columbia. The MOU forms part of a broader effort by both jurisdictions to advance clean power in the province, and is in keeping with the government of British Columbia’s CleanBC plan, which prioritizes electrification as a pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the province’s climate commitments.
The Committee will be made up of senior representatives from both jurisdictions as well as BC Hydro. The Committee will also engage with Indigenous groups to help ensure Indigenous views are appropriately reflected in the initiatives set out in the MOU.
The Committee will undertake the following actions in order to achieve its mandate:
- advance natural gas and liquefied natural gas electrification initiatives, including the following:
- CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund;
- Bear Mountain to Dawson Creek Voltage Conversion project;
- North Montney Power Supply project; and
- other natural electrification opportunities identified by the participants;
- explore other electrification and transmission expansion opportunities, as identified by the participants;
- improve cross-government coordination to connect existing and new funding sources to priorities, and in particular with respect to federal infrastructure funding; and
- develop and consider new and/or alternative financing models to advance priority transmission projects, including potential Indigenous or other private sector ownership and participation by the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
The participants will jointly decide on overall resource levels to devote to the initiatives set out in the MOU. A total of $680 million in near-term electrification projects for joint funding is currently under consideration. The MOU is effective for a five-year term.