Proposal to amend Ontario Regulation 161/99 (Definitions and Exemptions) under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 to exempt certain electricity transmission projects from Section 92 (Leave to Construct) approval
Ontario Regulation 161/99 (Definitions and Exemptions)
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Summary of Decision:
Following consideration of comments received in response to our proposal, the government is proposing further consultation on potential draft amendments to O. Reg 161/99 (Definitions and Exemptions) under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998. As noted in the original proposal, these amendments are intended to exempt projects that are exclusively funded by commercial and industrial load and generator customers and that are not expected to have a significant impact on other electricity ratepayers from Leave to Construct approval required under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
These amendments are intended to streamline approvals for projects that are exclusively funded by commercial & industrial load and generator customers and that are not expected to have a significant impact on other electricity ratepayers, without impacting other aspects of the approvals process for these projects including electricity system impact assessments and environmental assessments.
January 29, 2021
Summary of Proposal:
Currently, proponents seeking to construct, expand or reinforce electricity transmission lines greater than 2 km in length are required to obtain Leave to Construct approval from the OEB. This requirement is set out in section 92 of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, and existing exemptions are set out in Section 6.2 of O. Reg. 161/99.
In evaluating transmission project proposals under Section 92, the OEB considers whether the project is in the public interest. When determining whether an application is in the public interest, the OEB's review is typically limited to consideration of the interests of electricity consumers with respect to prices and the reliability and quality of electricity service. The OEB also considers the form of agreement used by the applicant in engaging with landowners affected by the project.
We are proposing to amend the exemptions listed in Section 6.2 of O. Reg. 161/99 to exempt projects that are wholly funded by commercial & industrial load and generator customers and that are not expected to have a significant impact on other electricity ratepayers.
This exemption, as proposed, is expected to apply to projects funded by:
• Transmission-connected commercial & industrial load customers such as mines, auto manufacturers and data centers,
• Transmission-connected generator customers,
• Transmission-connected load or generator customers that are operating as storage facilities, and
• Distribution-connected commercial & industrial load customers and generators, including storage facilities.
For clarity, the exemption from Leave to Construct approval is not proposed to apply to:
• Transmission connection projects that would trigger a material upgrade in the broader network system, as the costs associated with network facility investments are typically recovered from all electricity ratepayers in Ontario.
• Transmission connection projects where the transmission customer is a Local Distribution Company (LDC) and the project cost (including any capital contribution) is being funded by the LDC through its rate base.
• Transmission connection projects that are funded jointly by both commercial & industrial load or generator customers and transmitters or LDCs. These applications would not be exempt as they may involve complex issues of cost responsibility and may result in a cost impact to ratepayers.
July 13, 2021