BC announces grid development, job creation

VANCOUVER - BC Hydro is gearing up for a decade of extensive construction to enhance British Columbia's electrical system, supporting a burgeoning clean economy and community growth while generating new employment opportunities.

Premier David Eby emphasized the necessity of expanding the electrical system for industrial growth, residential needs, and future advancements. He highlighted the role of clean, affordable energy in reducing pollution, securing well-paying jobs, and fostering economic growth.

At the B.C. Natural Resources Forum in Prince George, Premier Eby unveiled a $36-billion investment plan for infrastructure projects in communities and regions to provide clean, affordable electricity for future generations.

The Power Pathway: Building BC’s Energy Future, BC Hydro’s revised 10-year capital plan, involves nearly $36 billion in investments across the province from 2024-25 to 2033-34. This marks a 50% increase from the previous plan of $24 billion and includes a substantial rise in electrification and emissions-reduction projects (nearly $10 billion, up from $1 billion).

These upcoming construction projects are expected to support approximately 10,500 to 12,500 jobs annually. The plan is set to bolster and sustain BC Hydro’s capital investments as significant projects like Site C are near completion.

The plan addresses the increasing demand for electricity due to population and housing growth, industrial development, and the transition from fossil fuels to clean electricity. Key projects include constructing new high-voltage transmission lines from Prince George to Terrace, building or expanding substations in high-growth areas, and upgrading dams and generating facilities for enhanced safety and efficiency.

Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation Josie Osborne stated that this plan aims to build a clean energy future and create construction jobs. With BC Hydro’s capital plan allocating almost $4 billion annually for the next decade, it will drive economic growth and ensure access to clean, affordable electricity.

BC Hydro aims to add new clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar. B.C.’s hydroelectric dams, functioning as batteries, enable the integration of intermittent renewables into the grid, providing reliable backup.

Chris O’Riley, president and CEO of BC Hydro, said the grid is one of the world’s cleanest. The new $36 billion capital plan encompasses investments in generation assets, large transmission infrastructure, and local distribution networks.

In partnership with BC Hydro, Premier Eby also announced a new streamlined approval process to expedite electrification for high-demand industries and support job creation.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman highlighted the importance of rapid electrification in collaboration with the private sector to achieve CleanBC climate goals by 2030 and maintain the competitiveness of B.C. industries. The new process will streamline approvals for industrial electrification projects, enhancing efficiency and funding certainty.


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