Canadian Energy Perspectives

Developments in Energy and Power Law

Canadian Energy Perspectives

Hydro-Québec RFP A/O 2015-01 Deadline for Submitting Bids has Passed

Posted in Biomass, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Hydroelectric, Natural Gas, Québec Hydro-Québec
Québec
Mathieu LeBlancLouis-Nicolas Boulanger

The deadline for submitting bids in Hydro-Québec Distribution’s RFP A/O 2015-01 was May 20, 2015. Such RFP aims at purchasing 500 MW of firm capacity and associated energy to meet the long-term domestic electricity needs of Québec. Continue Reading

Class action in neighborhood disturbances in Québec : has the wind turned ?

Posted in Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Québec Hydro-Québec, Wind
Québec
Mathieu LeBlanc

We invite our readers to read an interesting article posted by our colleagues on our Canadian Class Actions Monitor blog regarding a class action in neighborhood disturbances concerning the construction of a wind farm near Quebec City. It can be accessed here.

New Climate Leadership Team Tasked with Updating BC Climate Action Plan

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy
British Columbia
Selina Lee-Andersen

On May 12, 2015, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark introduced a Climate Leadership Team that has been tasked with developing a Climate Leadership Plan, which will update and build on the province’s current Climate Action Plan. Chaired by Mike Bernier, Member of the BC Legislative Assembly, the Climate Leadership Team consists of 23 members who are drawn from a diverse range of academic, community, business, environmental, and Aboriginal groups. These groups include Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, several municipalities, the Council of Forest Industries, BC LNG Alliance, Clean Energy Canada, the Pembina Institute and chiefs from three Aboriginal groups, among others. Continue Reading

Gordon Nettleton and Héloïse Apestéguy-Reux participating in OBA program on energy regulation with Bruce Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the IESO and other energy practitioners

Posted in Electricity, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Regulation
Héloïse Apestéguy-ReuxGordon Nettleton

On Tuesday, April 28th, Gordon Nettleton and Héloïse Apestéguy-Reux will be participating, along with Bruce Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the IESO and other energy practitioners, in an Ontario Bar Association (OBA) program on energy regulation. 

The program, “Recent Developments in Energy Regulation,” will include insights on the merger of the IESO and OPA, electricity distribution consolidation and rate regulation, as well as what to expect from the upcoming Energy East proceeding at the National Energy Board.  Gordon Nettleton is a guest speaker for the program and Héloïse Apestéguy-Reux is co-chair. The program has been organized by the OBA’s Natural Resources and Energy Section.

Information on the program can be found here. If you are available to attend the program and would like to request a last-minute spot, please email Héloïse at hapesteguyreux@mccarthy.ca.

More information on the OBA’s Natural Resources and Energy Section can be found here.

 

Ontario Introduces Cap & Trade System

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
Ontario
Saqib ButtJoanna Rosengarten

On April 13, 2015, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario would implement a cap and trade system aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province. Ontario has committed to imposing a hard cap on pollution for each sector of the economy.

A cap and trade system, in general, places a limit on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that may be produced in a specified time frame. As time progresses, this limit is reduced as per previously established guidelines. Businesses must hold enough emission allowances in order to equal their actual greenhouse gas emissions. If a business does not hold enough allowances for the given time period, they may purchase allowances to meet the requirement. Conversely, if a business holds an excess of allowances, they may save them or sell them to other businesses.

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Minister of Energy Issues Direction to IESO Regarding FIT Priority Points

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Feed-in-Tariff, FIT, Micro-FIT, FIT 2.0, Independent Producers, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Ministry of Energy, Ontario Power Authority, Power, Project Finance
Ontario
Stephanie Yarmo

On April 7, 2015, the Minister of Energy issued a direction (the “Direction”) to the Independent Electricity System Operator (the “IESO”) directing it to make certain changes to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program, while noting there are no substantial changes to be made to the microFIT program in 2015. The Direction is effective as of April 7, 2015.

The Direction can be viewed here.

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Québec Government Introduces its 2015-2020 Action Plan for Plan Nord

Posted in Plan Nord, Québec
Québec
Louis-Nicolas BoulangerMathieu LeBlanc

On April 8, 2015, Québec’s Premier Philippe Couillard introduced his 2015-2020 action plan for the implementation of the Plan Nord. The document entitled Plan Nord toward 2035 aims at setting out the updated policy directions and priority actions which will drive the economic development of northern Québec for the coming years and contribute to relaunching Plan Nord. Continue Reading

B.C. Government Tables Amendments to LNG Tax Legislation

Posted in Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia
Brian O'NeillPatrick Beechinor

In a previous blog entry,[1] we provided comprehensive commentary on the then-recently tabled Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act (the “Act”), the foundational piece of legislation in the B.C. Government’s proposed liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) taxation regime.

On November 27, 2014, the Act received royal assent and the Province has since been in the process of crafting associated regulations and amendments. The first of these, Bill 26 – Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Amendment Act, 2015 (the “Proposed Amendment”), was released on March 25, 2015, and proposes a number of amendments to the Act, including many relating to the Province’s prior commitment to set out enforcement and administration mechanisms for the Act by spring 2015, as well as a welcome change to the new Natural Gas Tax Credit. Continue Reading

BC First Nation Commences Treaty 8 Infringement Action Against Province

Posted in Aboriginal
AlbertaBritish Columbia
Stephanie AxmannSelina Lee-Andersen

Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN) has commenced a novel treaty rights infringement claim (Claim) against the Province of British Columbia (Province). The Claim, filed March 3, 2015, alleges that the Province has breached its Treaty 8 obligations due to the cumulative impacts of provincially authorized industrial development in BRFN’s traditional territory.[1]

BRFN’s traditional territory is located in the Upper Peace River region of northeastern BC, around and mainly north of Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Hudson’s Hope.

The Claim is significant because it is one of the first treaty rights infringement claims to be argued primarily on the basis of cumulative impacts on a First Nation’s entire traditional territory. The other significant case that stakeholders are watching closely is the ongoing claim commenced in 2008 by the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Alberta alleging that cumulative effects of resource development violates its Treaty 6 rights, discussed in more detail below. Continue Reading

Hydro-Québec Issues New RFP for 500 MW of Firm Capacity and Related Energy

Posted in Electricity, Purchase Agreements, Québec Hydro-Québec
Québec
Louis-Nicolas BoulangerMathieu LeBlanc

On March 4, 2015, Hydro-Québec Distribution (“HQD”) issued a new request for proposals for the purchase of up to 500 MW of firm capacity and the related energy during “peak periods”.

The energy offered by bidders will need to be available for at least 300 hours per year, mainly during the winter period, in accordance with a delivery schedule which may be communicated by HQD at any time on a four hour minimum prior notice. Continue Reading

Parliament Passes Bill C-22 and Enacts the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act

Posted in Federal, Nuclear
Daniel BénayMaxime Léveillé

On February 26, 2015, following its third reading in the Senate, without amendment, Bill C-22, An Act respecting Canada’s offshore oil and gas operations, enacting the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, repealing the Nuclear Liability Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts (short title, Energy Safety and Security Act), was given Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament. Bill C-22, as assented, is available here. Continue Reading

Québec’s Environment Quality Act Modernization Announced

Posted in Climate Change, Québec
Québec
Dominique Amyot-Bilodeau

On February 25, 2015, the Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Mr. David Heurtel, announced a significant reform in relation to the environmental authorization process set forth under the Québec Environment Quality Act (“EQA”). Continue Reading

New Tax Incentive for the LNG Industry

Posted in Federal, Liquefied Natural Gas
Paul CassidyChristoper FalkSven Milelli

The federal government announced on February 19, 2015 that accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) treatment would apply to certain property used in liquefaction facilities for the domestic and export liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets and for LNG storage. The new measure signals the federal government’s support for Canada’s emerging LNG industry, and follows a concerted lobbying effort by LNG project proponents and industry associations. Continue Reading

Province seeks to provide regulatory certainty to LNG investment in British Columbia

Posted in British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia
Paul CassidyMonika SawickaAilbish Skinner

On February 16, 2015, the British Columbia Government tabled Bill 12, the Federal Port Development Act (the “Act”). The Act builds on last year’s amendments to the Canada Marine Act, S.C. 1998, c. 10, which, in part, enabled the federal government to adopt provincial rules and regulations to apply to specific projects on port lands. Once enacted, the Act will authorize the Province to enter into agreements with the federal government and a federal port to administer and enforce provincial law on port lands. Specifically, the Act authorizes a provincial official or body to exercise a power or perform a duty under a federal regulation where:

  1. the federal regulation incorporates by reference an enactment of British Columbia; and
  2. the government has entered into an agreement, providing for administration and enforcement of the federal regulation by the provincial official or body.

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BC Hydro Discloses Available Yearly Target Energy Volume Information under Standing Offer Program

Posted in BC Hydro, Biomass, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Hydroelectric, Power, Purchase Agreements, Solar, Wind
British Columbia
Sven MilelliMaxime Léveillé

On February 10, 2015, BC Hydro announced that it is making available yearly target energy volume information to help developers with project planning under its Standing Offer Program (SOP). As part of the “Clean Energy Strategy” included in BC Hydro’s 2013 Integrated Resource Plan, the SOP’s annual target energy volume was increased from 50 GWh/year to 150 GWh/year. Continue Reading

LRP: Update on the Large Renewable Procurement

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Power Authority, Power, Procurement, Purchase Agreements
Ontario
Stephanie YarmoChristopher Perez

In response to the high volume of comments received during the Draft LRP I RFP and draft LRP I Contract feedback period, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has extended the posting date of the final LRP documents to March 3, 2015.

In the meantime, the IESO has released an update document on the IESO website (found here) (the “Update”) which provides Qualified Applicants and interested stakeholders with additional information on some of the proposed changes to the final LRP documents.

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B.C. Government Releases Independent Report Providing Recommendations to Increase BCUC’s Effectiveness and Efficiency

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, BC Utilities Commission, Electricity, Regulation
British Columbia
Maxime LéveilléSven Milelli

On February 4, 2015, the B.C. government released the final report of an independent review of the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), the independent governmental regulatory agency that regulates British Columbia’s natural gas and electricity utilities, intra-provincial pipelines and universal compulsory automobile insurance. Continue Reading

IESO Discusses Feedback and Timeline of Large Renewable Energy Procurement I

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Power Authority, Power, Procurement, Projects
Ontario
Christopher PerezSeán O'Neill

Yesterday, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) held an ‘industry dialogue’ meeting in Toronto, during which it discussed the feedback and comments it received on the draft contract and request for proposals (RFP) for the Large Renewable Procurement I (LRP).  The IESO shared some of the ‘key issues/common themes’ that it received during the comment period and also revealed that, due to the large number of comments received and to administrative issues related to the recent IESO/OPA merger (see our prior post), the timeline for releasing the final documentation for the LRP would be postponed for at least one month until February.

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IESO Discusses Enhancements to the Feed-in-Tariff Program

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Feed-in-Tariff, FIT, Micro-FIT, FIT 2.0, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Power Authority, Power, Procurement, Projects
Ontario
Christopher PerezSeán O'Neill

Yesterday, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) held an ‘industry dialogue’ meeting in Toronto, during which it discussed and sought feedback on the upcoming enhancements to the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program that were proposed in the discussion paper posted in early December.

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Demonstrating Harm: Statutory test for appealing wind turbine projects deemed constitutional by the Divisional Court

Posted in Power, Projects, Wind
Ontario
Eric PellegrinoCarole Piovesan

The approval of industrial wind turbine projects is often met with resistance from the communities in which the projects are to be built. Residents (or businesses) located in close proximity to project sites often challenge the location of a project on the basis that the turbines cause harm to human health or the environment.

Dixon v. Director, Ministry of the Environment is an important case, particularly for those tracking renewable energy or large-scale rural land development projects in Ontario. Dixon is an appeal of three decisions of the Environmental Review Tribunal to approve three wind turbine projects in Bruce and Huron Counties in Ontario. Darryl Cruz, Chris Wayland and Eric Pellegrino of McCarthy Tétrault successfully represented the developer of one of the projects, St. Columban Energy Inc.  Continue Reading

OGC to Prohibit Conversion of LNG Facility Pipelines

Posted in Aboriginal, British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, Energy – Conventional, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia
Paul CassidyMonika Sawicka

On January 5, 2015, the Province of British Columbia issued a direction (the “Direction”) to the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (“OGC”) prohibiting the OGC from issuing permits to convert LNG facility pipelines, which are built to support liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facilities, into pipelines for transporting oil or diluted bitumen. The Direction prohibits the OGC from permitting project proponents to convert natural gas pipelines supplying LNG facilities to pipelines carrying oil. Continue Reading

Québec Régie de l’Énergie Releases Opinion on Natural Gas Supply

Posted in Natural Gas, Plan Nord, Québec, Régie de l’énergie
Québec
Louis-Nicolas BoulangerJacob Stone

On January 7, 2015, the Régie de l’énergie du Québec (Québec Energy Board) released its opinion on the production and transportation supply of natural gas required in order to meet the medium and long term needs of Québec consumers. This opinion was prepared at the request of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister responsible for the Plan Nord. The opinion followed a public consultation process during which stakeholders and expert representatives made written and oral submissions to the Québec Energy Board.

In its opinion, the Board forecasts the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation demand for natural gas in Québec from 2015 to 2030 as well as transportation capacity and peak demand in Québec for natural gas during such period. The Board also examines natural gas production supply options from both within and outside Québec as well as natural gas transportation supply options both involving and without the TransCanada Pipelines Limited Energy East Pipeline project. Continue Reading

Aboriginal Renewable Energy Fund – LRP Support Funding is Now Available

Posted in Aboriginal, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Power Authority
Ontario
James KleinChristopher Perez

While most of us were dreaming of winter vacations, the OPA announced changes to the Aboriginal Renewable Energy Fund (“AREF”) on December 19, 2014 to make interim funding available to First Nations and Métis communities for due diligence work required to assess and develop opportunities for participation in the Large Renewable Procurement (“LRP”) program.

The latest program rules, guidelines and other materials have been posted and can be found here.

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Canada’s New Nuclear Liability and Compensation Regime Under Review by Senate Committee

Posted in Federal, Nuclear
Daniel BénayMaxime Léveillé

Bill C-22, An Act respecting Canada’s offshore oil and gas operations, enacting the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, repealing the Nuclear Liability Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts (the “Bill”) was first introduced in the House of Commons on January 30 2014 and was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for study on December 4, 2014.

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