On April 5, 2016, the Minister of Energy
directed (the "Direction") the IESO
to undertake the second phase of the LRP ("LRP
II") that was first announced in 2013.
The Direction follows the Independent Electricity System
Operator's (the "IESO") recent
completion of the first phase of the LRP, which concluded on March
10, 2016 ("LRP I"). We recently
discussed the results of LRP I
LRP I resulted in the announcement of
16 new contracts that procured a total of 454.885 megawatts
("MW") of clean renewable energy
capacity. These contracts represent proposed wind, solar and
hydroelectric projects in Ontario, many of which featured support
from the relevant local communities and/or participation of First
Nations and Metis communities. The Ontario government and the IESO
have both touted the procurement as having been successful in
creating fierce competition among proponents, serving to
drive down the price for the electricity procured.
In respect of LRP II, the Ontario government has directed the
IESO to procure a maximum of 930 MW of electricity (up to 600 MW of
wind, 250 MW of solar, 50 MW of hydroeletricity and 30 MW of
bioenergy). Through extensive public consultation and engagement,
detailed by the IESO in its March 2016 draft "Stakeholder and
Community Engagement Plan," the IESO will build on the
momentum and learnings of LRP I to develop, post for comment and
finalize the LRP II Request for Qualifications
("RFQ") by August 1, 2016.
Likely to the relief of proponents under LRP I (whether
ultimately successful or unsuccessful), the Direction contemplates
the possibility that Qualified Applicants (as defined under the LRP
I RFQ) may avoid having to requalify under LRP II, subject to the
IESO's consideration of the issue.
Following the RFP, the IESO is directed to prepare the LRP II
RFP with a view to awarding contracts no later than May 1,
The Direction also goes on to revoke earlier directions that
pointed to a third phase of LRP procurement, shuts down the
IESO's ongoing microFIT Program, effective December 31, 2017,
and sets the limit on future procurement windows for securing
renewable energy capacity under the Feed-in Tariff Program.
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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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