On January 28, 2016, the Ontario Energy Board issued a decision on a review motion from Ontario Power
Generation (OPG) that effectively reversed part of the decision
under review. The OEB panel on the review motion found that the OEB
hearing panel had not properly interpreted some of the evidence at
an OPG hearing and reduced a previously ordered disallowance by
more than $20 million.
The OEB's original decision in the OPG case (discussed in a
post) set the "payment amounts" for generation from
nuclear and hydroelectric facilities for 2014 and 2015. A main
point of contention in the case was around whether all the costs
for the "Niagara Tunnel Project" (associated with
upgrades to hydroelectric facilities around Niagara Falls) would be
included in rate base. The OEB originally disallowed part of these
costs ($88 million of the claimed $1,452 million).
On the review motion, OPG sought three changes. For two of these
items, the OEB decided that OPG had failed to pass the
"threshold test" applicable for a review motion. Under
that test, the applicant must demonstrate that there is enough
substance to the issues raised that a review could result in having
the original decision varied, cancelled or suspended. However, on
the third item, where OPG asserted that the original OEB panel had
erred in disallowing costs that had been imposed on OPG by a
"Dispute Review Board," the OEB review panel accepted
OPG's position and reversed the relevant disallowance. In
coming to this determination, the OEB review panel found that the
original panel's findings on the issues were "contrary to
the evidence before the OEB." In the result, the overall
disallowance was reduced by $21.6 million.
The OEB's decision on the review motion represents a
rare success for an applicant seeking to have the OEB reverse its
own decision. No doubt the review panel's reasoning that
supported OPG's position will be relied upon by applicants in
future review motions.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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