The Northeast region of British Columbia has a diverse range of energy projects and opportunities including hydroelectric, wind, and biomass. Two large hydroelectric dams operate on the Peace River, the Peace Canyon Dam and the W.A.C Bennet Dam. British Columbia’s first fully-operational wind park, the Bear Mountain Wind Park, is located in the Northeast BC.
The Provincial Government 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 Northeast, particularly wind and hydroelectric.

British Columbia’s companies are at the leading edge, developing technologies to turn its 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 Responsible for Housing is the legislative body responsible for the 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 officially 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.
Photo Source: - Photo Credit: Val UtgareSince 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.

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.

Oil & Gas

Northeast British Columbia is home to an established and expanding oil and gas industry. Over 18,000 wells have been drilled to date and about 607 billion cubic metres of marketable natural gas remain to be developed. The region is part of a geological hydrocarbon bearing area known as the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, which covers an area of 1.4 million square kilometers.  This Sedimentary Basin holds one of the largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world and supplies most of the North American market. Large, world-class natural gas discoveries, a deregulated gas market, new markets in eastern Canada and the growing demands of the US market offer significant economic growth potential.

To learn more about this expanding industry, please visit the Natural Gas Sector Page.

Wind Energy 

Northeast British Columbia’s world-class wind resources have attracted significant attention and investment from across the globe, and many projects are currently in the planning phase or under construction. British Columbia’s policies for wind power projects enable the orderly and secure development of the industry. The policies include a 10-year exemption from participation rents for new wind projects, and establish maximum permissible noise levels for wind farms near residential properties.

According to the Western Renewable Energy Zones Phase 1 Report, BC has the potential to generate 13,943 MW of energy from wind, which is enough energy to power more than 1500 homes. Wind energy is well positioned to limit huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions that would result from powering new industrial developments with fossil fuels.

There are a number of wind sites in operation or under development in Northeast BC. The Bear Mountain Wind Park is an iconic 34-turbine project that is the first of its kind in British Columbia. The Dokie Wind Project near Chetwynd also recently came into operation and will provide power to approximately 34,000 homes. Projects such as the Hackney Hills Wind Park, Tumbler Ridge Wind Energy Park, Quality Wind Park, Hudson’s Hope Wind Site, and Windmare Wind Energy Project are in various stages of development. 

Canadian Wind Energy Association

The Canadian Wind Energy Association is a non-profit trade association that promotes the appropriate development and application of all aspects of wind energy in Canada, including the creation of a suitable policy environment. Established in 1984, the Canadian Wind Energy Association represents the wind energy community — organizations and individuals who are directly involved in the development and application of wind energy technology, products and services. Their members are Canada’s wind energy leaders. They are wind energy owners, operators, manufacturers, project developers, consultants, and service providers, and other organizations and individuals interested in supporting Canada’s wind energy industry.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association leads the effort to ensure Canada fully realizes its abundant wind energy potential on behalf of its members - and for the benefit of all Canadians – to build a cleaner, stronger future. A dedicated and passionate team engages in this mission through advocacy, education, communication, partnerships and the promotion of industry best practices. The Canadian Wind Energy Association believes wind energy can satisfy 20% of Canada’s electricity demand by 2025 and generate $79 billion in investment that will make Canada’s wind energy sector a real player in a $1.8 trillion global wind industry.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association’s website provides further information about the association, the potential for wind energy in Canada, resources, links and case studies, and access to membership.


Northeast British Columbia is rich in hydroelectric energy with two large dams in operation on the Peace River. The W.A.C Bennet Dam is the largest dam in BC, with the capacity to produce more than 13 billion KWh annually. The Peace Canyon Dam is located downstream from the W.A.C Bennet Dam and produces 3.5 billion kWh of electricity each year. The Site C Dam is the third dam proposed for the Peace River.

Photo Source: - Photo Credit: Val UtgarenTo meet the energy needs of British Columbians, BC Hydro plans and delivers the clean energy for electricity while fostering job creation throughout the province and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Over 80% of British Columbia’s hydro power comes from the Peace and Columbia rivers. 18,286 kilometres of transmission lines move electricity from generating stations to distribution substations, where it is transformed to lower voltages for distribution to customers. Over 10,000 MW of hydroelectricity is currently generated in British Columbia.

British Columbia’s population and industries are continuing to grow and that growth demands more electricity. BC Hydro projects that by 2031, British Columbia’s electricity demand could grow by 50%. To meet this demand, efforts are being made toward conservation and acquisition of clean power from independent power producers. The growing demand for clean electricity in British Columbia is driving the development of hydroelectric generation facilities in the Northeast region.

Small-scale hydroelectric production is on the rise and in partnership with BC Hydro, the Province has put out many resources on how to create a clean energy project, including the Handbook for Creating Micro Hydro in BC.  This handbook is a step by step guide on developing a run of river project, including plan development, site selection, costs and financing, permitting process, grid interconnection and power sales, construction, operation, maintenance, and surveillance.


British Columbia has better prospects for geothermal energy development than any other province in Canada. The many hot springs found around the province mark some of the geothermal deposits. Most have been used only for local or recreational purposes. The Northeast region of British Columbia has some of the best geothermal potential in the province, particularly around Chetwynd. There are currently no geothermal projects planned or in operation in Northeast BC.

Geothermal energy is considered to be one of the cheapest forms of large-scale grid-tied energy. Advances in technology have reduced geothermal electricity generation costs by over 25% in recent years. Generation costs are expected to drop a further 20% between 2000 and 2020, while operation and maintenance costs are expected to drop by 30% by 2020.
Geothermal projects in B.C. are subject to the Geothermal Resources Act and Regulations; and to a full range of provincial licensing and permitting requirements covering land leases, drilling permits, wildlife protection, public health and safety, environmental monitoring and protection, road construction and use and water use. Projects in excess of 50 megawatts are subject to review under the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Canadian Geothermal Energy Association

The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association is the collective voice of Canada’s geothermal energy industry. As a non-profit industry association, we represent the interests of our member companies with the primary goal of unlocking the country’s tremendous geothermal energy potential. Geothermal energy can provide competitively priced, renewable, round-the-clock energy to the Canadian and U.S. markets.

There are several classes of geothermal energy, and the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association is focused on developing deep-heat geothermal, which raises heat from the earth’s crust and turns water into steam. British Columbia has significant potential, and estimates forecast a resource field of between four and six thousand megawatts exists here. Currently there are no major geothermal projects in Canada, and only one province, British Columbia, has a geothermal energy policy.  This is beginning to change as the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association builds new relationships with different levels of government, and Natural Resources Canada.  The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association is also working to educate Canadians about geothermal energy’s incredible potential as a clean power source. 
The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association’s website provides access to membership, resources and links, and the Canadian Geothermal Code for Public Reporting which provides a reporting basis that is satisfactory to investors, shareholders and capital markets.

Clean Energy BC Geothermal Fact Sheet