On February 21, 2017, BC Hydro released new figures for its Standing Offer Program (“SOP”) and Micro-Standing Offer Program (“Micro-SOP”) showing that it has assigned nearly all of the available annual volume for projects with target commercial operation dates (“Target CODs”) in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. BC Hydro had previously allocated up to 150 GWh/year of available energy volume for each of these Target COD years (under both the SOP and Micro-SOP), on a first-come, first-served basis. The newly-published figures show available energy volumes of zero, three, eight and zero GWh/year for projects with Target CODs in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively (see table below).
As of February 21, 2017, BC Hydro has awarded electricity purchase agreements (“EPAs”) for 26 SOP projects and has accepted applications for 13 SOP projects and two Micro-SOP Projects, with another eight applications in the queue.
BC Hydro is currently reviewing prices and annual energy volumes for Target COD years beyond 2019 and will not assign any volume for the year 2020 and beyond until the prices and volumes have been determined. BC Hydro expects that electricity prices under the SOP and Micro-SOP, which currently range from approximately $102 to $111 per MWh, will decrease to reflect declines in the cost of new clean energy technologies. BC Hydro will continue to receive and review new applications during the review period. Successful applicants will be placed in a priority queue which will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis once the review is complete.
About the SOP and Micro-SOP
The SOP and Micro-SOP, which we have covered in a previous blog post, are aimed at new, small scale, renewable energy projects with capacities of 100 kW to 15MW (for the SOP) and 100 kW to 1 MW (for the Micro-SOP). These programs currently represent BC Hydro’s only active procurement opportunity for independent power producers. General information regarding the SOP and Micro-SOP, including the program rules and standard-form EPA, is available on BC Hydro’s website.