On July 27, 2020, the Ontario government issued a proposal to remove the timing requirements for releasing Ontario's next Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) by revoking Ontario Regulation 355/17 (the Long-Term Energy Plans Regulation). The Long-Term Energy Plans Regulation, made under the Electricity Act, 1998, establishes the timeframe for releasing LTEPs. Under the current regulations, Ontario must issue the next LTEP by February 2021.
The LTEP process had previously been updated in 2016. At that time, the Ontario Legislature passed the Energy Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 (also referred to as Bill 135). The legislation amended the Electricity Act, 1998 to give the Minister of Energy, rather than the IESO, the responsibility for developing an LTEP. The update removed the requirement that each LTEP must be reviewed by the OEB, as was the case prior in respect of the integrated power system plan (see our discussion here). The Long-Term Energy Plans Regulation stipulated that a new LTEP be issued every three years from the implementation date of the last LTEP.
Ontario's most recent LTEP, the 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan, established initiatives such as formalizing the province's bulk transmission system planning process, reducing market and regulatory barriers to deployment of energy storage (see our discussion here), and expanding opportunities for electricity distributors (LDCs) to offer "non-wires" solutions to customers. See our discussion on the 2017 LTEP here.
According to Ontario's proposal, the province intends to update the current LTEP process, "clarifying the role of the government and its agencies to enable better use of resources and benefit consumers." Because the Ontario government intends to update the planning framework, it says that it cannot release an LTEP by February 2021.
The Ontario government is seeking feedback on the proposal to revoke the Long-Term Energy Plans Regulation, in what it regards as the "first step" to updating the LTEP planning framework. The province will accept submissions until September 10, 2020.
Once consultation on the proposal to revoke the Long-Term Energy Plans Regulation is complete, the Ontario government plans to seek feedback on a proposal for legislative changes to the LTEP planning framework that would happen at a later stage. We will continue to report on future changes to the LTEP planning process.
Originally published by Aird & Berlis, August 2020
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