The Northwest region of British Columbia has a diverse range of energy developments including liquefied natural gas, petroleum, biomass, hydroelectric, wind, and geothermal projects.  The Province of British Columbia has set a goal to achieve energy self-sufficiency by 2016 and is working with industry to achieve this goal.  British Columbia is blessed with an abundance of clean energy potential and many of these resources are available in the northwest region, particularly wind and hydroelectric. 

British Columbia’s companies are at the leading edge, developing technologies to turn our abundant natural resources into renewable energy. Finding new markets for solar, wind, bio-mass and other technologies can turn B.C. into a clean technology powerhouse.

BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Responsible for Housing

The British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Housing is the legislative body responsible for Electricity and Alternative Energy Division within the province and implementing the BC Energy Plan: a Vision for Clean Energy Leadership.  The BC Energy Plan was designed to help British Columbia reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen its long-term competitiveness and electricity self-sufficiency.  The plan intends to put British Columbia at the forefront of environmental and economic leadership through the production of clean and renewable energy to meet the needs of the provincial economy.

The Electricity and Alternative Energy Division facilitates thriving, competitive, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible electricity, alternative energy and energy efficiency sectors for the benefit of British Columbians.  The Division is responsible for:

  • Legislation, policies and programs to support all forms of electrical power generation and transmission;
  • Province-wide energy conservation and efficiency measures;
  • Alternative energy development;
  • Renewable and Low Carbon Transportation Fuels;
  • Policy advice and direction to electrical utilities and their regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission;
  • Fostering private sector investment in new electricity resources;
  • Operational policy support for independent power producers; and
  • The LiveSmart BC Energy: Efficiency Incentive Program.

The BC Sustainable Energy Association

The BC Sustainable Energy Association launched in the summer of 2004.  It concerns itself with the sustainable use and production of energy in British Columbia.

The BC Sustainable Energy Association is an effective and respected advocate on British Columbia's energy scene. Their regional chapters and hundreds of provincial members advance informed and progressive perspectives in their own communities as they champion best policies in Victoria and Ottawa.

They frequently share their educational and research work with governments at all levels, calling for policies–-like energy efficiency incentive programs, the carbon tax, and greenhouse gas-free electricity generation-–that are helping them realize their potential. The BC Sustainable Energy Association participates in regulatory reviews of BC Hydro’s energy plans, bringing expert evidence to prove the advantages of conservation and other sustainable solutions.

The activities of the BC Sustainable Energy Association are made possible by the volunteer effort of their individual members. Members are empowered to develop new initiatives and shape the direction of the organization. Organization members have the opportunity to raise their profile in the province and further the business goals of their organization.

The BC Sustainable Energy Association’s website provides useful information on renewable energy technologies, a sustainable energy directory, and access to membership.

Clean Energy BC

Formerly known as the Independent Power Producers of BC, Clean Energy BC aims to develop a viable independent power industry in British Columbia that serves the public interest by providing cost-effective electricity through the efficient and environmentally responsible development of the Province's energy resources.

Since 1992, the Clean Energy BC has been the voice of Clean Energy Producers in BC, to government and the public - when the members have chosen to send a collective signal. Members and non-members also send their own corporate signals.

Clean Energy BC has been active in advocacy with government electricity policy formulation, regulatory processes, permitting procedures, BC Hydro procurement, BCTC services, media coverage, informing the public, local and First Nations governments and resource users throughout BC. 

The Clean Energy BC website provides resources, information about their annual conference and membership access.  Clean Energy BC’s newsletter provides up-to-date news about the energy industry.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Sustainable Development Technology Canada is a not-for-profit foundation that finances and supports the development and demonstration of clean technologies which provide solutions to issues of climate change, clean air, water quality and soil, and which deliver economic, environmental and health benefits to Canadians.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $590 million SD Tech Fund™ supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund™ supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s mission is to act as the primary catalyst in building a sustainable development technology infrastructure in Canada. The Foundation reports to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources Canada.  They work closely with an ever-growing network of stakeholders and partners to build the capacity of Canadian clean-technology entrepreneurs, helping them form strategic relationships, formalize their business plans, and build a critical mass of sustainable development capability in Canada.

The Sustainable Development Technology Canada website provides information on funding programs, descriptions of projects that have received funding, and contact information.

BC Hydro

BC Hydro is a crown corporation that reports to the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines.

BC Hydro operates 31 hydroelectric facilities and three thermal generating plants, totaling 12,000 megawatts (MW) of installed generating capacity. Their hydroelectric facilities provide over 95 per cent of the total electricity BC Hydro generates and are located throughout the Peace, Columbia and Coastal regions of the province. Three thermal generating plants provide the remaining electricity generation.

BC Hydro delivers electricity to customers through a network of over 18,500 kilometers of transmission lines and 57,648 kilometers of distribution lines. This network also includes approximately 300 substations, 900,000 utility poles and 325,000 individual transformers.

The system connects with other transmission systems in Alberta and Washington State, which improves the overall reliability of BC Hydro’s system and provides opportunities for trade.

BC Hydro is constructing the Northwest Transmission Line, which is a 344 kilometer, 287 kilovolt transmission line between the Skeena Substation outside of Terrace and a new substation near Bob Quinn Lake, about 120 kilometers north of Stewart. The Northwest Transmission line is estimated to be completed in early 2014.

BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan is a 20-year plan that describes how BC Hydro proposes to meet future growth in demand for electricity through energy conservation and clean energy generation. Underpinning this plan is the long-standing electricity planning objective to ensure a reliable, cost-effective electricity supply, as well as important new objectives contained in B.C.’s Clean Energy Act related to clean energy, greenhouse gas reduction and achieving electricity self-sufficiency.

BC Hydro offers rebates and savings that help save energy and money at home or at your business.  BC Hydro has launched Team Power Smart, and encourages all British Columbians to work together to use electricity more efficiently and to conserve energy wherever possible. Those successful in reducing their power usage by 10% qualify for a $75 reward. BC Hydro also offers guides and tips on how to cut energy consumption in your home, community, and business.

News updates, career information and contact details are all available online.

Northwest Coast Energy News

Northwest Coast Energy News is an independent news and information intelligence site that reports on all aspects of the in-progress and proposed energy developments on the northwest coast of British Columbia. However, Northwest Coast Energy News does have a Northwest British Columbia perspective on the issues.

Northwest Coast Energy News strives to ensure that all aspects of key issues facing the region, concerns of all local communities and First Nations, the environmental issues and the aims of the energy industry, are covered fairly and completely.

No other site or news organization covers the complexity of the issue of energy export through the British Columbia coast from a local base; however, Northwest Coast Energy News is based in Kitimat and as such has firsthand reports from on-site reporters.

Northwest Coast Energy News aims to be the reliable source of news and intelligence for all sides of every issue, ensuring that the readers are aware of anything that has a bearing on eventual outcomes. In order to achieve this, Northwest Coast Energy News features reporting and other original content, along with aggregation of what other media outlets are reporting.