As part of a recent initiative, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB)
indicated that it plans to focus on "major events" and
their impact on electricity distributor reliability and
performance. "Major events" are extraordinary occurrences
out of a distributor's control that cause significant
disruptions on the distribution system. Examples are major
weather-related events such as ice storms, major floods and
There are two main aspects to the OEB's initiative. First, the OEB will define
"major event" so that distributors can exclude impacts
from any "major event" from the reliability and
performance data that distributors must provide to the OEB. Second,
the OEB will implement new reporting requirements for distributors
to provide details of any "major events" and the way that
the distributor responded.
In connection with this initiative, the OEB issued a Report titled "Electricity Distribution
System Reliability: Major Events, Reporting on Major Events and
Customer Specific Measures" that discusses issues around
The OEB's Report discusses the disproportionate adverse
impact that "major events" may have on a
distributor's reliability results, but notes the difficulty in
defining what should be considered as a "major event."
The OEB plans to confirm a definition for "major events,"
and then will allow distributors to exclude the consequential
impacts in future reliability reporting. In its Report, the OEB has provided a sample
definition and has asked stakeholders for comments by January 11,
2016 on the definition and on the approach to be taken to exclude
data related to "major events."
The OEB's Report also points to a concern that the
frequency of "major events" may increase according to
climate change models. The OEB is concerned that this will have a
significant impact on the operation of distribution systems across
the province. This concern leads the OEB to propose that there be
substantially increased reporting from distributors about their
response to "major events." The OEB has set out a
proposal that distributors provide detailed reporting within 60
days after a "major event" to explain how the distributor
prepared for, reacted to and recovered from a "major
event." To scope the reporting, the OEB suggests more than 25
questions that a distributor should answer in each report. The OEB
has requested comments from stakeholders about this new reporting
requirement by January 11, 2016.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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