McCarthy Tétrault LLP is pleased to announce that our partner Cameron Hughes has had his article titled “Earth, Wind, and Fire: Power Infrastructure in Alberta’s New Age” published in the Alberta Law Review.
On November 17, 2017, the Ontario Energy Association and the Association of Power Producers of Ontario released a report titled “Report on Energy Governance in Ontario” which was drafted by George Vegh, the head of McCarthy Tétrault’s Toronto energy regulatory practice. The report addresses how energy decisions are governed in Ontario and proposes solutions to improve it. The report concludes that energy agencies have not provided the check and balance function that regulators typically perform in other jurisdictions and finds that agencies are often the partner and implementer of political decision making rather than operating as providing a fact-based constraint … Continue Reading
On October 26, 2017, the Ministry of Energy released Ontario’s revised 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan (“LTEP”), Delivering Fairness and Choice. The previous LTEP was published in 2013 (“2013 LTEP”).
This blog provides a summary of the resources addressed in the LTEP. An accompanying piece found here provides an analysis of the Directives issued by the government to the IESO and the OEB respecting implementation plans by those agencies.
The LTEP highlights that between 2026 and 2035, contracts for over 4,800 MW of wind energy, 2,100 MW of solar energy, and 1,200 MW of … Continue Reading
Although largely unnoticed at the time, the passage of Bill 135 fundamentally changed energy regulation in Ontario. It created a new planning process centered on the creation and implementation of government-drafted Long Term Energy Plans, or LTEPS. This new process starts with the LTEP and continues on through agency implementation plans that are approved and overseen by the government. It is the most government-controlled energy planning process in Ontario history. This managed approach carries potential benefit: it increases the likelihood that the government may allow plans to be completed, and even followed. In the past, the government abandoned planning initiatives … Continue Reading
As we reported in a blog post in October 2016, the Renewable Energy Approval (“REA”) for the Fairview Wind Farm (“Fairview”) in Clearview Township was revoked by the Environmental Review Tribunal (“ERT”) on the basis that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the endangered species of bat, the little brown bats. The ERT also concluded, for the first time, that there would be harm to human health due to close proximity of the project to the Collingwood Airport and the Clairview Field Airport.
The ERT granted a request from Fairview to address remedies with respect to the … Continue Reading
With the release of Bulletin 2015-34, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) amended the process for transferring pipeline licences to require written confirmation that compulsory records under CSA Z662: Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems and Part 4 of the Pipeline Rules have been maintained by the vendor and transferred to the purchaser prior to the approval of a license transfer.… Continue Reading
While an official list of the successful projects and proponents has not been publicly issued, the AESO communicated that it invited 29 qualified projects representing approximately 4,000 MW from Canadian and international companies to participate in the RFP stage.… Continue Reading
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 February 21, 2017, BC Hydro released new figures for its Standing Offer Program (“SOP”) and Micro-Standing Offer Program (“Micro-SOP”) showing that it has assigned nearly all of the available annual volume for projects with target commercial operation dates (“Target CODs”) in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. BC Hydro had previously allocated up to 150 GWh/year of available energy volume for each of these Target COD years (under both the SOP and Micro-SOP), on a first-come, first-served basis. The newly-published figures show available energy volumes of zero, three, eight and zero GWh/year for projects … Continue Reading
Last week, SaskPower, the provincial electricity production corporation for Saskatchewan, initiated a procurement process for 200 MW of wind energy for a fixed term of 25 years. The request for qualifications phase has begun and will be followed by a request for proposals later this year.
Saskatchewan has set a target to reduce 40 % of its greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels and to ensure that half of all electricity generated in the province originates from renewable sources by 2030. SaskPower seeks to procure new sources of energy through a competitive bidding process, as was the case for the … Continue Reading
NB Power, the provincial electricity production corporation for New Brunswick, announced on January 26, 2017 the launch of a request for expressions of interest to obtain 40 MW of electricity from local entities for contracts of no less than 20 years. Partners from outside of the province also may qualify for the program.
In November 2015, the government of New Brunswick adopted a regulation mandating NB Power to ensure that 40 % of total electricity sales in the province be generated from renewable sources of energy by the end of 2020. Entitled the Electricity from Renewable Resources Regulation, it … Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
On September 27, 2016, the Minister of Energy of Ontario issued a policy direction to suspend the Large Renewable Procurement II (“LRP II”) process. In response to this direction, the IESO cancelled the first phase of the LRP II (the Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”)) and will not commence the second phase of the process (the Request for Proposals (“RFP”)).
Launch of LRP II Process
The LRP II was announced on April 5, 2016 with procurement targets of 600 MW of wind, 250 MW of solar, 50 MW of waterpower, 30 MW of bioenergy and … 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.
On July 29, 2016, the IESO posted the final materials for the Large Renewal Project II (“LRP II”) Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”). Draft materials were posted on June 27, 2016 and the IESO solicited feedback from potential applicants and industry groups. As a result of this consultation, minor changes were included in the final materials for the LRP II RFQ.
As previously noted in detail in our post on July 15, 2016, the two major changes to the LRP II RFQ process are the introduction of the simplified process for LRP I Qualified Applicants (“… Continue Reading
On July 21, 2016, the IESO hosted a discussion on the portion of the Large Renewable Procurement II (“LRP II”) process pertaining to technological upgrades and optimization of existing renewable facilities. This discussion provided potential applicants with an opportunity to provide comments and feedback to the IESO as to the types of technologies that should be included in the LRP II process, procurement considerations for such technologies and contractual considerations.
Prescribed Form – Technical Upgrades and Optimization
The Prescribed Form for Technical Upgrades and Optimization is required for applicants submitting an RFQ for a technological upgrade and optimization … Continue Reading
As previously noted, the IESO is currently developing the Large Renewable Procurement II (“LRP II”) process. Consistent with LRP I, the LRP II process will involve two phases: a Request for Qualifications (“LRP II RFQ”) and a Request for Proposals.
On July 13, 2016, the IESO hosted a webinar to provide an overview of the LRP II RFQ process and the changes it has introduced following the feedback received on the LRP I RFQ process. The IESO indicated that the LRP II RFQ process is substantively similar to the LRP I RFQ process. Two key topics … Continue Reading