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
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
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.
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.… Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
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.… Continue Reading
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.
On January 1, 2015, the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator completed their amalgamation and began operating as a single entity to operate Ontario’s electricity system. The official announcement from the IESO can be found here, and more information about the IESO can be found on its website here.
Following our recent blog posting on the release of the Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”) Draft LRP I RFP, LRP I Contract and draft Prescribed Forms released on November 17, 2014 here, we continue the tradition of year-end lists to bring our top ten issues under the draft LRP I Contract (the “Contract”). … Continue Reading
Today, the Ontario Power Authority posted draft versions of the LRP I RFP, LRP I Contract, and Prescribed Forms for review and comment for the Large Renewable Procurement (“LRP I”). Feedback is encouraged and all comments must be submitted by December 19, 2014. More information is available here.… Continue Reading
In keeping with the previously announced schedule, on November 4, 2014 the Ontario Power Authority announced list of Qualified Applicants under the first phase of the Large Renewable Procurement (“LRP I”). We will be closely watching for the draft versions of the LRP I RFP and LRP I Contract which are anticipated to be posted later in November. More information and the LRP I RFQ Qualified Applicant List are available here.… Continue Reading
On September 30, 2014, the Ontario Power Authority (the “OPA”) posted an updated FIT/microFIT price schedule.
The updated price schedule was made pursuant to a directive dated August 29, 2014 from the Ontario Minister of Energy, the Hon. Bob Chiarelli, and is part of an annual review by the OPA of prices offered to generators under the FIT/microFIT programs.
The new price schedule is effective September 30, 2014 for FIT projects (including FIT contracts offered through the extended FIT 3 procurement, but not those FIT contracts offered pursuant to the July 30, 2014 Offer List) and January … Continue Reading
On July 7, the Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”) published a list of 500 renewable energy contract offers under its Feed-in Tariff 3.0 (“FIT 3.0”) Program, which are expected to produce 123.5 megawatts (“MW”) of power.
The list of successful applicants is heavily skewed in favour of solar projects. Of the 500 contract offers, 490 are solar photovoltaic (“PV”) projects, which account for 120.89 MW of the 123.5 MW approved by the OPA. The 10 successful non-solar applicants can be divided into eight bioenergy projects; one wind energy project, and one waterpower project.… Continue Reading
On July 14, 2014, the Ontario Power Authority (the “OPA”) released final materials for the first request for qualifications (“RFQ”) phase of the Large Renewable Procurement (the “LRP”) process, a new competitive procurement process in Ontario for renewable energy projects generally greater than 500 kW. The OPA intends to use the RFQ phase to qualify applicants for a potential future request for proposal (“RFP”) phase involving up to 565 MW of certain specified procurement targets (300 MW for wind, 140 MW for solar, 75 MW for waterpower, and 50 MW for bioenergy).… Continue Reading
It has been a busy month for energy storage in Ontario.
New Contracts Awarded:
Five companies have now been selected to provide energy storage services as part of the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (the “IESO”) 35 MW procurement of renewable energy storage capacity. They are Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., Convergent Energy and Power LLC, Dimplex North America LTD, Hecate Energy and Hydrogenics Corp. The IESO’s press release can be found here.
Interestingly, the IESO has explicitly described this round of procurement as a way of testing new storage technologies. This in part explains … Continue Reading
The Government’s plan to merge the Ontario Power Authority (the “OPA”) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (the “IESO”) moved forward with the introduction of the budget bill which includes legislation that would merge the two agencies. If passed, the Bill would:
- Merge the two agencies under the name IESO – suggesting more of a takeover than a merger;
- Transfer all of the OPA’s statutory objectives and powers for planning and procurement to the IESO;
- Grant the Government a power to make directions to the IESO in the same way as it had to the OPA, such as procurements, etc.
We recently wrote about the judicial review application challenging the adequacy of the federal environmental assessment (“EA”) process for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project (the “Project”). To recap, the Federal Court found that the EA was deficient for a number of reasons, including that the Joint Review Panel did not adequately consider the issues of long-term management and disposal of used nuclear fuel and the potential of a large-scale nuclear accident. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (“CNSC”) has now announced that it is appealing the Federal Court’s decision regarding the Project.
The CNSC takes the view that the … Continue Reading
Our prior instalment considered the changes that the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (“CETA”) will have on procurement by public utilities. We will now look at the extent to which the obligations imposed by CETA on procurements by public utilities will be limited by minimum monetary thresholds and certain special exceptions.
Under all procurement treaties including CETA, only procurements which exceed a certain monetary value are subject to the treaty’s obligations. Under CETA, only those procurements by a covered public utility that exceed $630,000 will be subject to its requirements. Procurements by utilities below that threshold will not be subject … Continue Reading
In an unwelcome trend, electricity contracts seem to receive undue attention during Ontario provincial election campaigns. Most recently, on May 7th Ontario NDP leader, Andrea Horwath, made the vague assertion that an NDP government would “examine hydro contracts” as a means of finding savings for ratepayers. Readers of this blog will be aware that the contracts she proposes to examine are those between the Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”) and independent power producers. … Continue Reading
The Independent Electricity System Operator (the “IESO”) has issued a request for proposal (“RFP”) for the procurement of 35 MW of energy storage services.
This represents the first phase of the two-phased procurement framework proposed by the IESO and the Ontario Power Authority (the “OPA”) in response to the Ministry of Energy’s Long Term Energy Plan (also discussed here and here), which provides for the procuring of 50 MW of energy storage by the end of 2014. The 15 MW balance of the procurement will be led by the OPA in a second … Continue Reading
We recently highlighted some of the anticipated features of the Ontario Power Authority’s (the “OPA”) new Large Renewable Procurement (“LRP”) process, a competitive procurement system for renewable energy projects generally larger than 500 kW. Since then, the OPA has published two new documents which together provide added clarity on the LRP roll-out.… Continue Reading
For the first time Canadian “Public Utility Companies” will have their procurement processes, evaluation methodologies and contract awards subject to international disciplines under the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (“CETA”) between Canada and the European Union. This is a historic change because public utilities, such as Hydro Québec, BC Hydro, the Ontario Power Authority, Toronto Hydro, have previously been exempt from international standards and disciplines. The North American Free Trade Agreement, World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement and in some cases even the Agreement on Internal Trade exempt utilities from their procurement disciplines. … Continue Reading
We recently highlighted some important changes by the Ontario Power Authority (the “OPA”) to Ontario’s renewable energy procurement program for microFIT, Small FIT, Large FIT and Contract Capacity Set-Asides. Perhaps the most significant of these changes originated in an Ontario Ministry of Energy directive, issued on June 12, 2013, which instructed the OPA to replace Large FIT Projects (over 500 kW) with a new competitive procurement process to be developed based on feedback from municipalities, aboriginal communities, industry associations, the general public and other stakeholders.… Continue Reading
We are pleased to announce that George Vegh, the head of our energy regulatory practice, was recently invited to discuss Ontario’s new Long Term Energy Plan on the Agenda with Steve Paikin. You can watch a recording of the program by clicking here.