Canada: AESO Updates Stakeholders On Alberta's Renewable Electricity Program

The Alberta Electric System Operator has provided some initial details about the first procurement expected later this year under Alberta's Renewable Electricity Program.

On March 3, 2016, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) released a questionnaire seeking input into the design of Alberta's Renewable Electricity Program (REP). The AESO received 138 responses to that questionnaire, and last week it updated the market on what it heard from developers, investors, industry associations and other market participants (Stakeholders). More importantly, it also shared a few details about the first renewable power procurement that is anticipated to occur later this year or early next year.

Summary of Stakeholder Feedback

There were not a lot of surprises in the feedback from Stakeholders. There is interest in wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro and energy storage projects in Alberta. However, developers currently lack the information and certainty required to make long-term investment decisions on their projects, including with respect to:

  1. The approach and schedule that Alberta will use to phase-out the Alberta coal generation facilities by 2030;
  2. The procurement process and overall renewable development targets that will be implemented in Alberta to encourage renewable electricity development;
  3. The definition of "renewable" and any performance standards that will be used in the REP;
  4. The regulatory processes that will apply to the fuel types with which Alberta has less regulatory experience — a reference likely to hydro, geothermal and utility-scale solar;
  5. Transmission, including existing capacity in Alberta, areas of transmission constraint and clarity on who will pay for transmission system upgrades;
  6. Additional government financial support from the provincial or federal level;
  7. Any curtailment policy that will apply to generators moving forward in Alberta; and
  8. The encouragement of distributed generation.

The information requested by Stakeholders aligned with the feedback the AESO received from Stakeholders on their considerations for and barriers to investing in renewable projects in Alberta. However, not surprisingly Stakeholders also identified current Alberta power pool prices (now setting record lows), market price signals, carbon pricing, ability to finance at acceptable rates, and market stability as additional considerations for, and possible barriers to, their investment in Alberta. Interestingly, no mention was made by the AESO of any political risk associated with a future change in the Alberta government.

Most developers indicated that energizing their projects by 2018 would be challenging. Further, some Stakeholders reiterated the need to protect the existing energy-only market to ensure that it can withstand the addition of new renewable projects under the REP. Other Stakeholders raised a concern that the adoption of a "lowest cost" approach in the REP would not result in a diverse mix of fuel types, and recommended that "higher cost" fuel types should be supported for socio-economic reasons.

The Stakeholder recommendations to the AESO were consistent with their information needs and investment considerations:

  1. The need for financial support from Alberta, including more than just the REC support that is expected to be provided, e.g. contracts for differences, long-term PPAs, feed-in-tariffs and government loans;
  2. A carve-out for specific fuel types that cannot currently compete in a procurement on a lowest-cost basis;
  3. More clarity on the coal phase-out schedule and the schedule for renewable power procurement;
  4. More clarity on the use of public lands by power project developers; and
  5. More transparency regarding transmission modelling/capacity in Alberta.

Details on the First Procurement

More important for Stakeholders was the AESO's announcement last week of 4 details that are anticipated to help define and form the scope of the first REP procurement:

  1. The definition of "renewable" is anticipated to align with the definition used by Natural Resources Canada. Though the AESO reference is not specific, it is likely to be the definition found here.
  2. The procurement is anticipated to be fuel-neutral. Thus, at least for the first REP procurement, there will not be a carve-out for solar or other forms of renewable power that may not be able to compete strictly on cost;
  3. Facilities are expected to be in-service in 2019. The year 2019 was likely selected based on the feedback from developers about their difficulty in meeting a 2018 in-service date; and
  4. It is anticipated that the existing transmission system will be leveraged. This likely means that developers who are proposing to use existing transmission capacity will have an advantage or may be the only ones qualified to participate in the first REP procurement. 

Considering that the Government of Alberta will have to approve the AESO's final recommendation on the REP procurement, it is interesting to note that the AESO used the word "anticipated" or "expected" five times in the paragraph announcing these details. That said, this is the first indication from the AESO about what will be included in its final recommendation to the Government of Alberta for the first REP procurement.

The next step in the AESO consultation process will be one-on-one follow-up meetings over the coming weeks with those Stakeholders who submitted responses which have the potential to impact the AESO's recommendation to the Government of Alberta on the design of the REP.

BLG is fully engaged in the proposed changes to Alberta's electricity market and the questions raised by last week's AESO announcement. We are meeting with government officials, and working with power developers and other market participants who are taking positive steps now to anticipate and position themselves to take advantage of Alberta's REP, including the procurement process. BLG understands the electricity industry and Alberta's electricity policy framework. We have in-depth experience in the siting, development, financing, construction and operation of renewables and alternative energy projects including wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biomass and biofuels. We bring a range of experience — project and transactional expertise, senior provincial and federal government experience and an understanding of varying regulatory regimes — to our electricity clients in operating their businesses.

If Alberta's REP is something of interest to you then members of our national electricity team would be pleased to meet with you and to answer any questions you may have about Alberta's electricity market and the AESO's recent announcement.

About BLG

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions