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BC Hydro Issues Call for Power
Updated On: Apr 94, 2024

In a press release on April 3rd, 2024, BC Hydro along with the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation have announced BC Hydro’s first call for power in 15 years. The purpose of this call is to ensure access to clean, renewable, and affordable electricity for people and businesses in British Columbia and to create jobs as BC’s economy continues to grow. Present at the announcement of the call for power with Local 258 Business Manager/Financial Secretary Cody Gatzke were Josie Osbourne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro, Kwatuuma Cole Sayers, Executive Director of Clean Energy BC, and Merran Smith, President of New Economy Canada.

Together, BC Hydro and the Ministry are looking to work closely with both First Nations and Independent Power Producers to accomplish this and have released a request for proposals (RFP). The RFP states that BC Hydro is seeking to partner long-term with the aforementioned in order to procure 3000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year (GWh/y). This volume of electricity is forecasted to increase BC Hydro’s current power supply by 5% and should be enough to power over a quarter of a million homes, or one million electric vehicles per year. Furthermore, it is estimated that projects arising from this call will create up to 1500 jobs per year. Moving forward, BC Hydro anticipates that it will issue a new call for power every 2 years, with the next one expected in 2026.

First Nations Economic Participation is a priority for this call, with an eligibility requirement of at least 25% First Nations Equity Ownership (whose territory includes the location of the proposed project) in place for any power supplier wishing to submit a proposal. Beyond the required minimum, additional evaluation credit will be awarded to projects with First Nations equity ownership between 26% and 51% and projects that will benefit non-equity holding First Nations groups on whose territory the project is located.

For a complete list of requirements and other information regarding the call, see the full RFP here.

As conveyed in a statement from Business Manager Cody Gatzke, Local 258 is prepared to do its part by training and supplying skilled local workers:

“IBEW is prepared to answer BC Hydro’s Call for Power by providing the skilled workforce that independent power producers, power line contractors and BC Hydro requires to construct and maintain the power system. We are proud to offer the only power line technician apprenticeship program in British Columbia. IBEW stands behind the utilization of BC-based contractors and union workers, ensuring economic and reconciliation opportunities benefit local communities.”

Our skilled labour workforce consists of Power Line Technicians, Electricians, Cable Splicers, Power Plant Operators, Carpenters, Machinists, Millwrights, CPC Technologists, Motor Winders, Heavy Duty Mechanics, Storekeepers, Crane and Equipment Operators, Certified Utility Arborists, Electrical Manufacturing Workers, and much more. 

Local 258 is advocating for the funding of local projects that benefit local communities, are completed by local contractors, and that employ local, unionized workers. We are looking to partner with local municipalities, local indigenous bands, and local workers. We don't just provide jobs; we provide lifelong careers. Excellence is our mandate, and we are committed to not only safety, but to providing the highest possible quality of work. Check out the IBEW Code of Excellence for more information.

If you are a first nation band, utility, independent power producer, electrical contractor, manufacturer, or industry association, please click here to set up a free consultation meeting.

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