Canada and BC Hydro invest in decarbonization projects in British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, April 21, 2023 — Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard; the Honourable Josie Osborne, B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation; and Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro, announced a joint investment of $32.7 million to support three decarbonization projects in British Columbia.
In Vancouver, this investment will support the decarbonization of the Creative Energy district energy steam plant. Existing gas boilers will be replaced with new electric steam boilers, and a 1.2km long underground powerline will be built from BC Hydro’s Murrin substation to the Beatty Street plant. Powered by clean energy delivered through the new connection to BC Hydro’s electricity grid, this investment will enable a significant reduction of the facility’s CO2 emissions and provide sufficient low-carbon energy for 12 million square feet of new commercial and residential development.
In Princeton, this funding will support the electrification of mine haul trucks at Copper Mountain Mine using a trolley assist system, and the replacement of several diesel-powered water pumps at the mine site with electrically-powered pumps. This project will reduce the mine’s CO2 emissions by 9,400 tonnes annually. Copper is a critical component of electric vehicles and clean energy technologies like wind and solar. The mining sector and the thousands of workers it employs in British Columbia and across the country will play a key role in building Canada’s green economy.
In the Regional District of Cariboo, this funding will go towards fully electrifying all underground mine equipment at the proposed Cariboo Gold Project, a new underground gold mine and processing plant under development, and connect an existing substation to BC Hydro’s electricity grid. This investment will reduce the facilities’ CO2 emission by 22,700 tonnes annually.
Once completed, the two projects will help the mines to transition to cleaner energy sources and reduce emissions.
With 98% clean electricity, low-carbon electrification is a key part of the CleanBC plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and move British Columbia toward a clean energy future.
By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing our country’s economy, building resilient communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.
“Today’s investment exemplifies our government’s commitment to reducing emissions and transitioning towards cleaner energy sources. In partnership with BC Hydro, we are funding three green energy projects that will electrify facilities across British Columbia. We will continue to invest in projects that bring us one step closer to Net-Zero and a greener Canada.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
“The funding announced today promises to reduce emissions across the province and help facilities transition to clean energy. Decarbonizing the Creative Energy steam plant in Vancouver will significantly reduce the facility’s CO2 emissions and generate enough low-carbon energy for 12 million square feet of new development—the equivalent of all the new development in downtown for the foreseeable future. These investments are tangible steps towards a cleaner future.”
The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre
“This important funding is making it easier for B.C. companies to make the switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity to power their operations and reduce emissions. BC’s clean electricity is our number one asset in the fight against climate change. Working together with the Government of Canada, BC Hydro, and industry we’re advancing electrification across our province to meet our climate emissions and build a clean economy for today and the future.”
The Honourable Josie Osborne, B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation
“Projects like these are great examples of how we are working with organizations across the province to help them reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and power their businesses using our clean electricity. About 98 per cent of the power we generate comes from clean or renewable resources and most of that is powered by water, making us a leader in clean electricity generation in western North America.”
Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro
“The Federal Government’s investment in green energy today marks a critical milestone on the path towards decarbonization in British Columbia. Creative Energy’s fuel switch is one of the largest decarbonization projects underway in North America and will transition our downtown Vancouver district energy network serving over 200 buildings across 45 million square feet to clean, renewable energy sources. This project could not be achieved without the support of the Federal government and our collaborators at BC Hydro. We thank them for their leadership in responding to climate change and we look forward to energizing Creative Energy’s new low carbon plant in 2024.”
Wayne O’Connor, CEO, Creative Energy
The Government of Canada is investing $16,350,000 in these projects, while BC Hydro and project proponents are contributing $16,350,000.
The Government of Canada's funding comes from the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
In 2021, the Government of British Columbia allocated $84.4 million from the Government of Canada's Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to create a new CleanBC Facilities Electrification Fund, which helps reduce the cost of connecting to the electricity grid, encourages the switch to green energy, and lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
This stream helps build greener communities by contributing to climate change preparedness, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting renewable technologies.
Including today’s announcement, 94 infrastructure projects or project bundles under the Green Infrastructure Stream have been funded in B.C., with a total federal contribution of more than $517 million and a total provincial contribution of nearly $261 million.
Under the Investing in Canada Plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
Infrastructure Canada helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day—ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, and environmental threats to our water and land.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
BC Hydro Media Relations
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