The Crown utility in charge of generating and delivering electricity in British Columbia says the province is going to need enough new power to run 270,000 homes starting as early as 2028.

The forecast from B.C. Hydro comes as the company plans its first call in 15 years to find new large sources of electricity.

Premier David Eby says the forecast that calls for an additional 3,000-gigawatt hours per year of renewable energy is three years earlier than previously estimated.

He says the hunt for independent power producers to sell electricity to B.C. Hydro will be a competitive process and less expensive than previous programs.

The province is also promising $140 million to support Indigenous-led power projects, and Energy Minister Josie Osborne says the B.C. Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative will support smaller projects that may otherwise not be competitive due to their size.

Eby and Osborne made the announcements in front of a solar panel array in səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) that saves the First Nation $30,000 in energy costs per year.

“As we face the threat of a record fire season across Canada, the need to switch to clean power to fight climate change has never felt more urgent,” said Eby.

B.C. Hydro is promising to acquire only 100-per-cent clean, renewable electricity, including wind and solar.

Electricity demand in the province is expected to increase by 15 per cent between now and 2030 due to economic and population growth. 

with files from Canadian Press