The Plan

BC Hydro commissioned a study of their existing key management practices. The consulting firm they worked with recommended an organization-wide key management program, including an integrated set of technology, policies, and operating standards. BC Hydro then initiated an RFP for new key management technology.



BC Hydro selected Real Time Networks’ KeyTracer system as the best fit for their needs after a successful pilot program. The system was then expanded to three sites and eventually rolled out province-wide. Alongside the technology deployment, BC Hydro also updated their key management policies and procedures.



The implementation of the KeyTracer system resulted in immediate operational benefits. The time to find keys was reduced from 10 minutes to only a few seconds for each key transaction. This efficiency improvement was estimated to save 20,000 hours per year. The security of the keys and accountability for who has them also vastly improved.


The KeyTracer system provided BC Hydro with the necessary auditing and control over their physical keys. The system's integration with their existing Lenel access control card system made it easy for workers to adapt to the new key cabinets. The success of the project led BC Hydro to continue the rollout of key cabinets to additional offices, including high-security NERC-protected facilities.

Learn More: NERC Compliance: The Role of Asset and Key Management Systems

Lessons Learned

The case of BC Hydro demonstrates the importance of a comprehensive approach to key management. It underscores the need for a combination of robust technology, clear policies, and operating standards. The case also highlights the value of piloting new systems before full-scale implementation.


BC Hydro's transformation of its key management system is a testament to the power of strategic planning and the right technology. The KeyTracer system by Real Time Networks provided BC Hydro with the tools to significantly improve their operational efficiency and security.


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