Distribution system connections

Locating an operation at an existing industrial site with available electrical capacity reduces the time and cost to connect. Otherwise, the process to connect will be longer and similar to what is outlined below.

We recommend getting matched to a property listed on our industrial site registry as the site will have been pre-screened to ensure there is adequate transmission or distribution supply voltage available for a new business.

Major distribution service is for connections greater than 5,000 kilowatts (kW) in a 25 kilovolt (kV) service area or 2,500 kW in a 12 kV service area.

Seven mile spillway

Connecting to BC Hydro's electrical grid

The process, costs, and timelines to connect to our grid will differ for each site and operation. If a new customer is matched to an existing industrial site with available electric capacity that we have pre-screened, this timeline might be shortened and cost minimized. Otherwise, the typical process for connecting to our major distribution services proceeds as follows:

1. Submit your request

If your project is suited for this connection type, the first step is to initiate your request for a connection.

Request a major distribution connection

After you submit your request, we will review the submission, confirm the information provided, and ensure you are prepared to move on to the next step: conceptual review and estimate.


One to two weeks.

2. Meet your BC Hydro contacts

During the connection process, you will be assigned an expert from our Business & Economic Development team and an Interconnections Manager. They will be your main point of contact and keep you informed throughout the process.

3. Conceptual review and estimate

A conceptual servicing proposal will be developed and shared, including a cost estimate and a timeline for detailed design. It will also indicate the amount of your design deposit.You will be asked to accept the proposal and provide a design deposit prior to proceeding to the next step: detailed design.


One to two months for most projects.



Learn more about the preliminary investigation phase

4. Detailed design

Detailed design and engineering for the project are completed.

Terms and conditions will then be provided for review and acceptance, outlining the construction costs and detailed project deliverables.

You will be asked to accept the terms and conditions and pay the estimated construction costs in full prior to proceeding to the next step.


One to two years, depending on project complexity and resource availability.


Project dependent. Financial incentives may be available for eligible businesses to cover up to 75% of the cost.

Learn more about the detailed design phase

5. Construction

We carry out the work required to connect your industrial site to our distribution system.

This step also includes:

  • Equipment procurement
  • Scheduling
  • Construction
  • Commissioning
  • Installation of BC Hydro metering equipment
  • Documentation
  • Billing account setup


Six to 18 months, depending on project complexity and resource availability.

Learn more about the construction phase