British Columbia is taking its next step towards reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. FortisBC – a regulated utility focused on providing natural gas, propane and thermal energy solutions for B.C. – will be implementing a Clean Growth Innovation Fund to support the transition to a lower-carbon economy. They just received approval from its regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission, to implement this fund as part of its 2020-24 multi-year rate plan.
Starting Aug. 1, they will commit $4.9 million per year until 2024 to the fund. It is financed through an additional $0.40 monthly charge to all FortisBC natural gas customers, which amounts to less than $5 per year.
“As the single largest provider of energy in British Columbia, FortisBC has an important role to play in helping the province reduce emissions to help advance a lower-carbon energy future,” said Douglas Stout, vice-president of market development and external relations with FortisBC. “Technological innovation is crucial for climate action and the Clean Growth Innovation Fund will accelerate our already substantial efforts in driving climate solutions.”
The fund was created to help explore technologies such as renewable gases, carbon, and methane capture, fuel cell and remote power technologies.
Selection criteria for these projects include the amount of co-funding secured from the applicants, estimated emissions reduced in British Columbia, estimated cost reduction for FortisBC customers, and the relevant experience of the project team. Senior FortisBC management and an external advisory council will oversee the projects.