Five Massachusetts-based affiliates of electricity distributors Unitil, Eversource and National Grid (the “Massachusetts Distributors”), together with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“MDOER”), have reported receiving 46 proposals in response to the ‘Request for Proposals for Long-term Contracts for Clean Energy Projects’ (the “RFP”) they had jointly issued in March 2017. The RFP is one of several initiatives put forward to meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious clean energy goals, most recently promoted by its enactment of the Chapter 188 energy diversity bill in 2016. Among other matters, the bill mandates that the Massachusetts … Continue Reading
Renewable Electricity Program
The Government of Alberta announced that the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) will launch the first competition of the Renewable Electricity Program (REP) on March 31, 2017 with a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI). Additional details with respect to Round 1 and the REOI stage will be available here on March 31, 2017.
As detailed in a previous blog post with respect to the REP process, the stakeholder comments on the key provisions of the Renewable Electricity Support Agreement (RESA) and the first competition will procure up to 400 megawatts of renewable … Continue Reading
Every decade the government of Ontario freezes or cuts electricity prices because the costs of an ambitious energy policy prove to be politically unacceptable. This leaves future electricity customers paying for the cost of a failed experiment from a previous generation. We should learn from this experience and implement a governance model for the sector that reviews and mitigates costs before a policy is adopted, not after.
In 1993, the government froze prices because the costs of Ontario Hydro’s massive nuclear expansion were leading to double-digit rate increases. In 2002 the government froze prices because the electricity market opening resulted … Continue Reading
In early January 2017, Halifax-based energy and services provider, Emera Inc., initiated a solicitation process to procure clean energy for bundling with transmission capacity on its proposed Atlantic Link transmission project. The Atlantic Link proposal would deliver up to 900 megawatts (MWs) of energy from a new converter station to be constructed at Coleston Cove, New Brunswick to a new converter station to be constructed at one of two proposed landing sites in Massachusetts. The energy would be transmitted through an approximately 563 kilometer under water high-voltage direct current electric transmission line. The combined generation and transmission proposal is being … Continue Reading
The Ontario Government announced today that it will reduce electricity rates for residential consumers by 25% starting in summer, 2017. While the immediate steps for doing this are fairly straight forward, the consequences of this over the long term are unclear.
The plan is to reduce prices in two ways:
- it will transfer some costs (rural distribution costs and low income support) from rate payers to tax payers. The cost of doing this will be $2.5 billion over the next three years; and
- it will refinance a portion of the cost of global adjustment by extending the time for its
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
|Phase 1 of stakeholder engagement process closed on March 24, 2016.|
|Provincial government has requested AESO’s draft recommendations on program design.|
|First competition for new REP|
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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