About transmission connections
Transmission service connections connect to our highest-voltage systems. These are for customers with load requirements over 35 kV and who are planning to build, own, operate and maintain their own electrical substation and transmission line.
Examples of transmission connections include:
- Large industrial developments such as mining, oil and gas, and LNG facilities.
- Large commercial developments near a BC Hydro transmission facility.
- Large-scale, energy intensive operations such as data centres.
These connections can take years to plan, design and construct. We recommend that you contact us as early as possible in the planning and design phase of your project.
If you need less than 35 kV service, see major distribution connections.
Submit your request
If you’d like to connect your large industrial project to our transmission system, first we recommend that you review the transmission system map to get an idea of your preferred connection point and voltage.
Next, complete the Transmission Voltage Customer – Interconnection Data Form [PDF, 257 KB] and send it to us via email.
Our team will then review it to ensure all required information has been provided.
It's important that you provide accurate information and data related to your connection request in a timely manner throughout the connection process. Any changes in your request could change the BC Hydro study assumptions and may impact the result of the studies, cost estimate and timelines.
We enter all transmission load connection requests into the connection queue in the order of requests received. You're required to progress through the connection process to remain in the connection queue. Project changes or a lack of progress in your request may impact your queue position. View our transmission load connection queue management practices [PDF, 308 KB].
An exception to this queue management practice is if you request more than 150 MVA of load. If that's the case, we'll assess the impacts to our system and other customers before we can determine whether the existing queue management practice can apply to you. You may be required to initiate a feasibility study (non-queue study) prior to initiating a system impact study.
Transmission connection process
The optional feasibility study and conceptual review are available to you to provide an opportunity for engagement without entering the connection queue.
Once you're in the connection process, we'll conduct a series of studies to investigate the impact of connecting your load to our transmission system and identify the leading connection option as well as any work required to mitigate the adverse impacts.
We’ll provide high-level comments on the availability of transmission capacity, methods to connect to the system, and potential system modifications and upgrades involved. Cost estimate for methods of connection and potential system changes/upgrades or comments on timelines will not be provided as part of the conceptual review.
Upon your confirmation to proceed, we’ll prepare a proposal for the system impact study that will include an estimated cost, scope and schedule.
Agreement required? No.
Cost: No cost.
Typical timeline: Four to six weeks.
We’ll provide a high-level, limited technical assessment of potential impacts and required system modifications and upgrades for the proposed load interconnections. The feasibility study is a useful alternative to a system impact study if you have multiple load scenarios or multiple site locations, and you need to narrow down your options before you’re ready to commit to the system impact study.
The scope of the feasibility study can be customized based on your needs. Good faith estimate (+100/-50% accuracy) of the facilities identified based on the limited study scope and unit cost could be provided upon your request.
Agreement required? Yes, a feasibility study agreement. This agreement must be signed before any study work can begin.
Cost: Before we start your feasibility study, we’ll send you a cost estimate that must be paid before any work can begin.
Typical timeline: Depends on the study scope.
The system impact study identifies facilities required, the order of magnitude cost estimate (+100/-35%) of these facilities, and may include high-level comments on timelines for economically feasible connection options. We may also conduct a high-level risk assessment, constructability review, First Nations engagement, and other types of reviews as required.
The scope of the system impact study varies depending on the strength of the system, where you’re looking to connect, the complexity of system modifications and upgrades required, the number of economically feasible connection options to investigate, and the potential risks involved in implementing the project.
At the end of the system impact study, we’ll inform you how you’ll need to commit financially for the implementation costs if you proceed through to the end of the interconnection process. Specifically, we’ll identify how the implementation costs are treated according to the Electric Tariff Supplement #6 [PDF, 1.4 MB] and whether the implementation costs will be treated as Basic Transmission Extension (BTE), System Reinforcement (SR) or a combination of both.
After you review and accept the system impact study report and confirm that you’d like to proceed to a facilities study, we’ll prepare a proposal for the facilities study, which we call the system impact study to facilities study transition. During this transition, we also conduct a high-level project risk assessment and other desktop assessments required to develop a plan and cost estimate to complete the facilities study.
Agreement required? Yes, a system impact study agreement. This must be signed before any study work can begin.
Cost: We’ll send you a cost estimate that must be paid before this study can begin.
You’re responsible for actual costs of the study and an invoice or refund will be issued to you at the conclusion of this study phase for the difference between the pre-payment amount and the actual costs.
Typical timeline: Approximately six to nine months for the system impact study report and approximately three to four months for the system impact study to facilities study transition, depending on the complexity of the project and resource availability.
The facilities study confirms the preferred interconnection option and identifies more detailed technical requirements for it. We’ll initiate feasibility design and conduct more detailed risk assessment, First Nations engagement, environmental studies, and other types of studies or activities as required.
At the completion of the facilities study, we’ll provide you with a project plan which includes a refined implementation cost estimate, typically in the order of +15/-10%.
We identify how implementation costs are treated according to the Electric Tariff Supplement #6 [PDF, 1.4 MB] and whether the implementation costs will be treated as Basic Transmission Extension (BTE), System Reinforcement (SR) or a combination of both.
Upon your review and acceptance of the facilities study report, we’ll initiate the implementation of the project plan.
Agreement required? Yes, a facilities study agreement. This must be signed before any study work can begin.
Cost: We’ll send you a cost estimate that must be paid before this study can begin. You’re responsible for actual costs of the study and an invoice or refund will be issued to you at the conclusion of this study phase for the difference between the pre-payment amount and the actual costs.
Timeline: Average six to nine months, depending on the complexity of the project and resource availability.
We implement the interconnection work as defined in the project plan. This includes detailed design and engineering, procurement for major equipment, construction and commissioning of facilities. We may also conduct First Nations engagement, property acquisition, and activities to obtain necessary regulatory permits.
Prior to the in-service date, you’ll be set up with a new billing account and will need to complete the following:
- Install BC Hydro revenue metering equipment.
- Execute the Electricity Supply Agreement (Tariff Supplement #5) [PDF, 2.5 MB].
Agreement required? Yes, a Facilities Agreement (Tariff Supplement #6) [PDF, 1.4 MB]. This must be signed before any implementation work can begin.
Cost: Full financial commitment for the estimated Basic Transmission Extension (BTE) and System Reinforcement (SR) is required before implementation work can begin.
Actual implementation costs will be reconciled following the completion of the project and financial commitments for BTE and SR costs will be adjusted as required. Once your plant is energized, the security collected for SR will be released on annual basis as per Electric Tariff Supplement #6 [PDF, 1.4 MB]. Review the security release example [PDF, 66 KB] for more information.
Timeline: As determined by the facilities study/project plan.
Incentive funding may be available
The CleanBC Electrification Fund is available for fuel switching projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to help reduce the cost of connecting to our clean electricity grid.
Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Performance Metrics
- Transmission Load Interconnections – Metrics [PDF, 77 KB]
Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Performance Metrics
- Transmission Load Interconnections – Metrics [PDF, 103 KB]
Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Performance Metrics
- Transmission Load Interconnections – Metrics [PDF, 91 KB]
Transmission service rates
BC Hydro transmission customers are typically served under Tariff schedule 1823 of the Electric Tariff [PDF, 4.5 MB].
Transmission connection requirements
Transmission customers must meet a set of general technical requirements in order to connect to the transmission system.
- Technical Interconnection Requirements for Transmission Voltage Customers for Service at 60,000 to 287,000 Volts [PDF, 2.0 MB].
- If you have generation facilities that could operate in parallel to our system, please refer to these requirements instead 60kV to 500kV Technical Interconnection Requirements for Power Generators [PDF, 619 KB].
In addition to the general requirements outlined in documents above, you'll also need to meet the specific connection requirements identified during the connection studies.