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Canadian Energy Perspectives

AESO Releases Key Information regarding the Renewable Electricity Program and Announces an Education Session on Capacity Markets

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Independent Producers, Power, Procurement
Alberta

On January 19th and 31st, 2017, the Alberta Electric System Operator (the AESO) provided additional guidance regarding project eligibility, updated its timeline for the first competition under Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program (REP) and posted the consolidated stakeholder comments on the key provisions of the Renewable Electricity Support Agreement (RESA).

This post provides an overview of the new details regarding the REP and an update with respect to the upcoming AESO education session on Alberta’s capacity market to be held in Calgary on February 7th, 2017.… Continue Reading

Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2016/Trends to Watch for in 2017

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Climate Change, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Regulation

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McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Power Group has launched the 2nd edition of its publication, ‘Canadian Power – Key Developments in 2016/Trends to Watch for in 2017’. The publication provides a detailed overview of significant developments in the Canadian power sector over the past year, as well as emerging trends that will be relevant in the coming year. Content includes in-depth regional analyses of developments in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Québec, as well as commentary on the impact of specific issues on the power sector, such as recent M&A activity and developments in aboriginal law and environmental regulations … Continue Reading

Designing Alberta’s Electricity Capacity Market – AESO Commences Stakeholder Engagement and Education

Posted in Electricity, Power, Procurement
Alberta

On November 23, 2016, the Government of Alberta approved the restructuring of Alberta’s Energy Market from a fully deregulated regime to a hybrid system that will incorporate capacity payment mechanisms. This decision along with some key features of the Alberta Electric System Operator’s (the AESO) Wholesale Electricity Market Transition Recommendation Report are detailed in our recent blog post.

Stakeholder Engagement

The AESO is designing and implementing an Alberta-specific capacity market. In order to leverage the experience and expertise of stakeholders in this process, the AESO is carrying out a Design Criteria & Engagement Process that is expected to … Continue Reading

The New Current: Alberta Announces Overhaul of Electricity Market

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power
Alberta

On November 23, 2016, the Government of Alberta announced the restructuring of Alberta’s electricity market, from a fully deregulated regime to a hybrid system that incorporates capacity payment mechanisms.

Alberta is one of the few jurisdictions in the world with an “energy-only” market.  This means that Alberta generators only recover the wholesale price of electricity.  Investors are only able to recover invested capital if they can leverage high-priced hours, and in this way, the energy-only system contains the risk of supply instability and may not promote investment in generation facilities and, in particular, renewable energy sources.… Continue Reading

Paving the Route to 2050: Canada Releases Mid-Century Strategy for a Clean Growth Economy

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

The Paris Climate Change Agreement came into force on November 4, 2016 and as global efforts get underway to implement the agreement, the Canadian federal government continues to craft its strategy to shift Canada to a low-emissions economy. At the recent United Nations climate change conference (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco that was held from November 7 – 18, 2016, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced Canada’s Mid-Century Long-Term Low-Greenhouse Gas Development Strategy (the Long-Term GHG Strategy) at COP 22, making Canada one‎ of the first countries to do so.… Continue Reading

Renewable Generation Incentives in Alberta Contracts for Differences: the Way Forward?

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
Alberta

Last November, the Alberta government released its Climate Leadership Plan, setting out the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030, to be replaced with two thirds renewable energy generation and one third natural gas generation.  Then, the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO) was subsequently directed to develop an incentives program for renewable generation.… Continue Reading

30 by 30: Alberta Announces Hard Targets in Alberta Renewables

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power, Utilities
Alberta

On September 14, 2016, the Alberta Government announced its firm target that 30% of electricity used in Alberta will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030.  In order to achieve this, the province intends to support 5,000 MW of additional renewable capacity.

The province’s 30 by 30 announcement also provides useful details regarding eligibility for the Renewable Electricity Program (or REP).  Projects must:

  • be based in Alberta,
  • be new or expanded,
  • be five megawatts or greater in size, and
  • meet the Natural Resources Canada definition of renewable sources.
Continue Reading

North American Leaders’ Summit Yields Tri-Lateral Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership Action Plan

Posted in Climate Change, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

During the North American Leaders Summit held in Ottawa on June 29, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, United States (US) President Barack Obama, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, which reflects the leaders’ shared vision for a clean energy economy. The Partnership is supported by an action plan (the Action Plan) that details the activities to be pursued by the three countries in order to achieve a “competitive, low-carbon and sustainable North American economy”.… Continue Reading

The AESO’s Renewable Electricity Incentive Program Marches Forward

Posted in Climate Policy, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power, Procurement, Utilities
Alberta

As noted in an earlier post, on March 3, 2016, the government announced that the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO) has been chosen under the province’s Climate Leadership Plan to develop and implement a renewable electricity incentive program (Renewable Electricity Program or REP) to add additional renewable generation capacity into Alberta’s electricity system.

The expected timeline of this process is as follows:

Q1-Q2 2016

Phase 1 of stakeholder engagement process closed on March 24, 2016.

May 2016

Provincial government has requested AESO’s draft recommendations on program design.

Q2-Q3 2016

Program development.

Q4 2016

First competition for new REP
Continue Reading

Ontario Court of Appeal rules OEFC changes to calculation of price adjustment index breach the terms of power purchase agreement

Posted in Electricity, Independent Producers, Power, Purchase Agreements
Ontario

On April 19, 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in Iroquois Falls Power Corporation v. Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation. The decision concerned a dispute between several non-utility generators (“NUGs”) and the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (“OEFC”) over changes to a price adjustment index contained within the long-term contracts for the purchase of electricity generated by the NUGs.

This change affected a component portion of a measure known as Total Market Costs (“TMC”), which measure was used to derive the price adjustment index. At the heart of the dispute was an … Continue Reading

Phase I of Ontario’s Large Renewable Procurement Process Concluded

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Power, Procurement, Projects
Ontario

The Independent Electricity Systems Provider (IESO) has announced that the 16 contracts offered on March 10, 2016 for Phase I of the Large Renewable Procurement process (LRP I) have now been signed and executed. The execution of the contracts concludes the LRP I process. Moving forward, contracted projects will be required to obtain all necessary licenses and approvals before they can be constructed and operated. These processes are separate from the IESO’s procurement activities and will involve additional community engagement.… Continue Reading

Ontario Launches Phase II of the Large Renewable Procurement Process

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Ministry of Energy, Power, Procurement, Project Finance
Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Energy has announced the launch of the second phase of the Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) process (LRP II). The LRP is a competitive bid process for procuring large renewable energy projects in Ontario larger than 500 kilowatts.… Continue Reading

BC Hydro Releases Long-Anticipated Updates to Standing Offer Program and Introduces Micro-Standing Offer Program

Posted in BC Hydro, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Independent Producers, Procurement, Purchase Agreements
British Columbia

Updates to the Standing Offer Program (SOP)

On March 4, 2016, BC Hydro released a new version (Version 3.1) of its SOP Rules to address feedback it received during First Nation and stakeholder consultation meetings and focus group discussions conducted over the last few years. The SOP offers small-scale, clean energy projects in British Columbia with capacities between 100 kW and 15 MW the opportunity to enter into energy purchase agreements (EPAs) with BC Hydro. An EPA requires the project developer to sell all energy from the project to BC Hydro for a term of 20 to 40 … Continue Reading

It’s Official – AESO Requests Stakeholder Feedback on Implementation Plan for Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power, Procurement, Utilities
Alberta

On March 3, 2016, the Government of Alberta took its first step in implementing the Climate Leadership Plan by officially announcing that the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has been chosen to develop and implement a renewable electricity incentive program for the procurement of renewable generation capacity by 2030 (Renewable Electricity Program). In delivering this mandate, the Province confirmed:

  • The Renewable Electricity Program will be implemented through a competitive process to keep costs as low as possible;
  • The process is to be carefully managed and will operate in concert with the retirement of coal generating units; and
  • Its
Continue Reading

Learning from Mistakes: Improving Governance in the Ontario Electricity Sector

Posted in Electricity, Power
Ontario

Over the last 10 years, the government has directed the expenditure of billions of dollars of public money on electricity projects with virtually no oversight or checks and balances. During this time, Ontario consumers have seen a large increase in electricity prices, with more to come.

In response to concerns about the rising cost of electricity and poor governance, the Ontario government has touted its proposed Bill 135 as the solution. However, far from solving the concerns about electricity-sector governance, the proposed Bill entrenches and expands the status quo and provides no role for oversight of government electricity directives.

The Continue Reading

Focus on Project Finance, from Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015/Trends to Watch for in 2016

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Independent Producers, Power, Project Finance, Projects

As part of our continuing series of blog posts highlighting specific topics addressed in our publication Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016, we focus here on our analysis of developments and anticipated trends in Project Finance, including future opportunities in 2016.

The National Power Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP recently released Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016.  This publication provides an unprecedented overview of the most significant developments in the Canadian power industry and to highlight key trends to watch for.  In addition to providing … Continue Reading

Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015/Trends to Watch for in 2016

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Climate Change, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Federal, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Power, Project Finance, Québec, Québec Hydro-Québec, Regulation

The National Power Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP is pleased to introduce Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016. This publication provides an unprecedented overview of the most significant developments in the Canadian power industry and highlights key trends to watch for.  In addition to providing a detailed review of developments in each region, we look at developments in key areas of national scope, including project finance, environmental, regulatory and aboriginal law matters.

A full pdf version of Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 / Trends to Watch for in 2016 can be accessed … Continue Reading

Canada, Mexico and the US sign MOU on Climate Change and Energy Collaboration and Launch Portal for North American Energy Information

Posted in Climate Change, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

Taking a step towards the establishment of a continental energy strategy, energy ministers from Canada, Mexico and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Climate Change and Energy Collaboration on February 12, 2016 during the North American Energy Ministers Meeting in Winnipeg. In addition, they launched a web platform where North American energy information can be easily accessed in one place (an initiative that was originally announced in December 2014).

Under the MOU signed by Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the three … Continue Reading

Looking Ahead at Energy Industry Trends Across Several Provinces

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power
AlbertaNew BrunswickNova ScotiaSaskatchewan

As we begin this new year, we note that several provinces have recently announced and updated their energy plans, which signal important trends in the energy industry. Below are some of the highlights from such provinces.… Continue Reading

At Last: Alberta Unveils its New Climate Leadership Plan

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Coal, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Conventional, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power
Alberta

On November 22, 2015, Alberta released its long-awaited Climate Leadership Plan (Climate Plan).  Contemporaneously with the Climate Plan, the Government released the Climate Change Advisory Panel’s (Climate Panel) Report to the Minister, Climate Leadership. As background, previous blogs on the Climate Panel’s mandate and the Climate Leadership Discussion Document can be found here and here.… Continue Reading

The Bill 135 Governance Model: All Roads Lead to the Government

Posted in Electricity, Ontario Energy Board, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Power Authority
Ontario

On October 28, 2015, the Government of Ontario tabled Bill 135, that will, if enacted, effectively remove independent electricity planning and procurement authority from the IESO and transmission approval from the OEB.  Both of these types of authority will be transferred to the Minister of Energy.  The Minister will produce long-term energy plans that will be binding on the Ontario Energy Board and the IESO, both of whom must issue implementation plans designed to achieve the objectives of the Government’s plan.  The Government’s new planning authority is broader than the IESO’s.  It includes both bulk system planning (as was in … Continue Reading

Province Signs Memorandum of Understanding with BC Hydro and Clean Energy BC

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Electricity, Independent Producers, Power, Utilities
British Columbia

On October 21, 2015, the government of British Columbia announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (the “MOU”) with BC Hydro and the Clean Energy Association of British Columbia (“CEBC”). A copy of the MOU is available here. CEBC has served as the main industry representative for BC’s independent power producers for the past 25 years.

The MOU is intended to provide a framework to facilitate collaboration between the three parties to promote the goals of fostering a robust independent clean energy sector in BC, promoting partnerships with First Nations and local communities, and ensuring the delivery … Continue Reading

B.C. Government to Exempt Two Projects from BCUC Review in Response to Load Growth from Upstream Natural Gas Operations in the Peace Region

Posted in BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, BC Utilities Commission, Electricity, Natural Gas, Transmission, Utilities
British Columbia

Following a stakeholder consultation this summer, the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines is planning to exercise its authority under the Utilities Commission Act (British Columbia) (the “UCA”) to exempt two transmission projects, the North Montney Power Supply (“NMPS”) project (proposed by Alberta-based ATCO) and the Peace Region Electricity Supply (“PRES”) project (proposed by BC Hydro), from review by the BC Utilities Commission (the “BCUC”) under Part 3 of the UCA. Among other things, this exemption would relieve BC Hydro and ATCO from the requirement under section 45 of the UCA to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity … Continue Reading

IESO Releases Addendum to LRP Contract

Posted in Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Independent Producers, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Power Authority, Power, Procurement, Projects, Purchase Agreements
Ontario

The IESO has released an addendum to the Large Renewable Procurement I Request for Proposals and Contract.

The amendments to the RFP and the Contract contained in the addenda clarify several matters that had been raised in respect of the LRP program, including:… Continue Reading