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
On July 4, 2013, the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife of the Parti Québécois government in office at the time, Ms. Martine Ouellet, gave the following mandate to the Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques (hereinafter, the Commission), co-chaired by Messrs. Roger Lanoue and Normand Mousseau:
- Describe the current profile of the energy sector in Québec;
- Analyze the issues pertaining thereto;
- Conduct a public consultation in all regions of Québec; and
- Produce a report including recommendations for the next energy strategy of Québec expected in 2015.
After visiting 15 regions of Québec, hearing more than 800 people and studying 460 … Continue Reading
The Government of Québec and Alcoa announced today that they have entered into a new agreement for the supply of electricity by Hydro-Québec to Alcoa’s Bécancour, Deschambault and Baie-Comeau facilities.
The agreement secures power supply to the Bécancour and Deschambault smelters until 2030 and to the Baie-Comeau plant until 2036. In consideration for an undertaking by Alcoa to maintain a certain employment level and to invest a minimum of $250 million over the next five years (including $150 million dedicated to modernizing the Baie-Comeau facility), the agreement essentially provides for an improved electricity tariff for Alcoa’s plants reflecting the current … Continue Reading
July 22, 2013 was an eventful day for Canada’s eastern provinces, with two noteworthy developments concerning the future of their electricity industries, including the Nalcor Energy Lower Churchill mega hydroelectric project and its 824 MW first phase Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.
First, Hydro-Québec, Québec’s electricity utility, filed a motion with the Québec Superior Court for a declaratory judgment challenging two recent positions taken by Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation Limited (CFLCo) with respect to the May 12, 1969 Churchill Falls Power Contract (the Power Contract).
CFLCo is a subsidiary of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, itself a subsidiary of Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland … Continue Reading
The Minister of Natural Resources of Québec, Martine Ouellet, announced on July 4, 2013 the creation of a new commission and the holding of public consultations with a view of developing Québec’s new energy strategy. Based on the results of the consultations to be held during the fall of 2013, the Québec Government intends to adopt a new energy strategy in 2014. The last energy strategy adopted by the Government in 2006 defined goals and action items applicable from 2006 to 2015, including the procurement of 4,000 MW of wind power generation during that period.
Among the objectives of this … Continue Reading
The recently re-elected BC Liberal government presented its Throne Speech on June 26, 2013, and followed up with its June 2013 Budget Update on June 27, 2013. Although it was first presented in February 2013, the budget did not pass before the provincial election was called and required updating once the Legislature re-convened.
Not surprisingly, the Throne Speech focused on the energy sector and highlighted the economic opportunities surrounding the government’s plan to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry focused on exports to Asia. To this end, the BC government has created a new Ministry of Natural Gas Development, … Continue Reading
What is the most efficient way to organise the 80 licensed Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) scattered across Canada’s largest province? And how can the government of Ontario encourage much-needed private investment in the LDC sector?
The Ontario Distribution Sector Review Panel recently sought to answer these questions in its report, Renewing Ontario’s Electricity Distribution Sector. The report proposed that 73 of Ontario’s LDCs should be consolidated by the provincial government into 8 to 12 regional entities. These larger regional entities, they argued, would be better suited to lowering costs and attracting inflows of private sector capital. Larger LDCs could, … Continue Reading
The BC government announced on November 2, 2012 that it will delay the submission of BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to Cabinet until August 3, 2013 – three months after the next provincial election. The most recent delay is due to uncertainty of electricity requirements for prospective liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in northern British Columbia. The potential LNG-related electricity load in the region would be substantial if proponents build plants that rely on BC Hydro to satisfy their power requirements. Currently, the existing electricity service to the region is insufficient to meet the potential demand of the … Continue Reading