Canadian Energy Perspectives Developments in Energy and Power Law

Region: Alberta

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Round 1 of Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program Opens on March 31, 2017

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

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

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

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

Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Support Agreement: McCarthy Tétrault Submission to the AESO on the Draft Term Sheet

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

Almost a year after the provincial government released its Climate Leadership Plan, it tabled the Renewable Electricity Act (Act) and released details on its Renewable Electricity Program (REP).

Consistent with the Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO) earlier indications and as discussed in previous posts, renewable electricity will include wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and sustainable biomass projects.  The REP is available to large scale renewable electricity generation (5 MW or greater total nominal capacity).  Under the Act, the AESO will administer “a fair and competitive process” for REP proposals to incentivize renewable generation in the Alberta in … 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

Calgary Herald Interviews Seán O’Neill

Posted in Coal, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
Alberta

We are delighted that McCarthy Tétrault partner Seán O’Neill has been quoted in a recent article by Reid Southwick and Chris Varcoe of the Calgary Herald. In the interview, Seán discusses the potential impact of Alberta’s NDP government enacting retroactive legislation to change or invalidate the change of law provisions in Alberta coal-fired generation power purchase arrangements. … Continue Reading

Change is in the Wind: Alberta Government Tables the Renewable Electricity Act

Posted in Biomass, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Solar, Wind
Alberta

Almost a year after the provincial government released its Climate Leadership Plan, it tabled the Renewable Electricity Act (Act) and released details on its Renewable Electricity Program (REP).

Consistent with the Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO) earlier indications and as discussed in previous posts, renewable electricity will include wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and sustainable biomass projects.  The REP is available to large scale renewable electricity generation (5 MW or greater total nominal capacity).  Under the Act, the AESO will administer “a fair and competitive process” for REP proposals to incentivize renewable generation in the Alberta in … 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

Alberta Power Market Update

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
Alberta

Last year’s election ushered in Alberta’s first regime change since 1971, resulting in a wave of policy changes involving renewable generation development, the phase-out of coal-fired generation, and emissions and carbon tax policy.  This update captures certain key aspects to these changes and takes stock of things to come.

Alberta’s provincial government released its Climate Leadership Plan (Climate Plan) in November of 2015, as discussed in a previous post.  This post focuses on the following key Climate Plan policy announcements affecting the power industry:

  • incentives for renewable generation,
  • phase-out of coal fired generation emissions by 2030,
  • implementing
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

Ripple Effect Continues: AER Issues Bulletin 2016-16 in Wake of Redwater

Posted in Energy – Conventional
Alberta

On Monday, June 20, 2016, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) issued Bulletin 2016-16 (Bulletin) detailing its interim regulatory response to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision in Re Redwater Energy Corporation (Redwater).

As detailed in a previous post, the Redwater decision allows a trustee to disclaim certain assets (and their associated abandonment and reclamation obligations) under the provisions of the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA).  In doing so, such a trustee will not be liable as a licensee under the provincial oil and gas regulatory regime in relation to the renounced assets.  Further, the trustee … Continue Reading

What Every Stakeholder Needs to Know About Lobbyist Registration

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Federal
AlbertaBritish ColumbiaOntarioQuébec

The following article published in our firm’s newsletter could be of interest to many readers active in the energy industry across Canada. It discusses the applicable rules for lobbyist registration in Ontario, Ontario municipalities, Québec, British Columbia, Alberta and at the federal level.… Continue Reading

When the Levy Breaks: Alberta Government Tables the Climate Leadership Implementation Act

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

On May 24, 2016, Alberta’s provincial government tabled Bill 20 for first reading in the legislature.  Otherwise known as the Climate Leadership Implementation Act (Climate Act), Bill 20 furthers the implementation of the provincial government’s Climate Leadership Plan released in November 2015.

Bill 20 provides for a carbon levy on consumers of fuel, and creates an agency called Energy Efficiency Alberta, as part of the provincial government’s ongoing commitment to climate change policies and initiatives.   Notably absent from Bill 20 are any details on initiatives or incentives for transitioning to renewable energy sources.

More information on this development … 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

Phasing Out Coal: Alberta Names the Coal Facilitator

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Coal, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Conventional, Power
Alberta

On March 16, 2016, the Government of Alberta finally named the coal facilitator, and announced the next steps for its plan to phase-out coal by 2030.  The province appointed Terry Boston to act as the province’s independent coal phase-out facilitator, and released details of Boston’s mandate and next steps.

Boston’s Prior Experience

Boston is the recently retired CEO of PJM Interconnection (PJM), which is a regional transmission organization in the United States.  PJM controls approximately 105,502 km of transmission lines and manages 186,000 MW of generation serving 61 million people.… 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

And the Word of the Day is…. Diversification

Posted in Wind
Alberta

On February 1, 2016 the Petrochemicals Diversification Program (the “PDP”) was announced as “part of the government’s continued action on the economy, helping to create jobs, attract investment and diversify Alberta’s economy.” This announcement was made in the wake of the results of the royalty review released on January 30, 2016, with comparatively little fanfare.   Premised on the goal of diversifying Alberta’s economy, and based on the availability of methane and propane in the province, the PDP in its Fact Sheet proposes to capitalize on demand for related higher-value products and promote energy processing within the province.… 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

Conversation Starters: Alberta Releases Climate Change Discussion Document

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy
Alberta

On August 14, 2015, Alberta Environment and Parks released its Climate Leadership Discussion Document (Discussion Document) as part of the province’s ongoing efforts to design a comprehensive action plan on climate change. As discussed in our earlier blog, the Alberta government announced in June 2015 that it was taking steps to achieve real, demonstrable reductions in the province’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by tightening its existing GHG regulation, the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation and appointing an advisory panel (Advisory Panel) to undertake a comprehensive review of Alberta’s climate change policy.… Continue Reading

Alberta Takes Two Meaningful Steps Towards Renewing its Climate Change Policy

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy
Alberta

As Alberta’s new provincial government looks to assert itself as a leader on climate change issues, it recently announced that it is taking meaningful steps to achieve real, demonstrable reductions in the province’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition, Premier Rachel Notley has made it clear that she expects to have a long-term climate change strategy in place for the province before she travels to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) starting in Paris on November 30, 2015. To that end, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips, announced on June 25, 2015 that the … Continue Reading

BC First Nation Commences Treaty 8 Infringement Action Against Province

Posted in Aboriginal
AlbertaBritish Columbia

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 … Continue Reading

National Energy Board Rules in Favour of Trans Mountain

Posted in Energy – Conventional, National Energy Board
AlbertaBritish Columbia

1.               Background

On October 9, 2014, Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC’s (“Trans Mountain”) motion was heard by the National Energy Board (“NEB”) after a series of incidents between Trans Mountain and the City of Burnaby (“Burnaby”). Burnaby officials ticketed Trans Mountain contractors for contravening the Burnaby Street and Traffic Bylaw and the Burnaby Parks Regulation Bylaw (the “Bylaws”) while carrying out land surveys in and around the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area (the “Subject Lands”).

The attempted surveys were in response to a ruling by the NEB that in order to assess … Continue Reading

Alberta’s “New” Energy Regulator

Transfer of Powers to the Alberta Energy Regulator is now Complete

Posted in Energy – Conventional, Regulation
Alberta

On March 31, 2014, the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) completed its transition into the principal regulator of the entire life cycle of oil and gas development in Alberta. The effect of the AER’s expanded jurisdiction is to consolidate decision-making relating to environmental and energy permits from disparate government bodies.

The AER is now a full life-cycle regulator: from application and exploration, to construction and development, to abandonment, reclamation, and remediation.”[1]Continue Reading