Act

Eliminating Renewable Energy Requirements

Regulation Number(s):
N/A
Instrument Type:
Act
Bill or Act:
Spring Red Tape Reduction bill, Electricity Act, 1998 and Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Summary of Decision:
Three sets of legislative provisions in the Electricity Act, 1998 (EA) and the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 (OEBA) that promote and prioritize renewable energy generation projects were repealed on June 3, 2021, as part of Bill 276.

First, section 25.37 and clause 114 (1.4) (0.a.1) of the EA have been repealed. A related regulation (O. Reg. 326/09 - Mandatory Information Re Connections) has been revoked through a separate process.

Second, sections 26 (1.1), (1.2) and (1.3) of the EA, and paragraph 1 of subsection 70(2.1) of the OEBA have been repealed. These sections created the authority to make a regulation that would provide priority grid access for renewable energy generation facilities. No regulation was made under this authority, so this prioritization was never implemented.

Third, paragraph 2 of section 96(2) of the OEBA has been repealed. This section required the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to consider the promotion of energy from renewable sources when determining if a Leave to Construct application for an electricity transmission project is in the public interest. Repealing this paragraph focuses the scope of the OEB's Leave to Construct hearings on the topics of price, reliability, and quality of service.

This repeal aligns with amendments made to the OEBA in 2020 (under Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020) to remove an OEB objective to promote renewable energy generation, including through the expansion or reinforcement of transmission and distribution systems to accommodate the connection of renewable energy generation facilities.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
By cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burdens for LDCs and the IESO, there will be a nominal direct compliance cost savings for business as a result of the proposed legislative repeals and the related regulatory revocation to remove prioritization of renewables in the connection assessment process.

This initiative would introduce consistency for all generators seeking complex grid connection assessments. This does not add costs, but rather puts renewable energy generation firms on an equal footing with their competitors.

Repealing the consideration of renewable energy sources in Leave to Construct applications will not result in cost or compliance impacts.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
21-ENDM007
Posting Date:
April 15, 2021
Summary of Proposal:
We are proposing to repeal three sets of legislative provisions in the Electricity Act, 1998 (EA) and the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 (OEBA) that promote and prioritize renewable energy generation projects.
First, we propose to repeal section 25.37 and clause 114 (1.4) (0.a.1) of the EA. Together with O. Reg. 326/09 (Mandatory Information Re Connections), these sections prescribe timelines for completing complex grid connection assessments for renewable energy projects and other requirements that apply to Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). These provisions also prescribe requirements that LDCs and the IESO must report quarterly on the number of assessments they complete and the ability of the system to accommodate more projects.
A related proposal to revoke O. Reg. 326/09 was posted to the Environmental Registry of Ontario on December 15, 2020 for a 50-day public comment period.

These actions would remove priority timelines for LDCs and the IESO to complete complex grid connection assessments for renewable energy projects and bring consistency for all generation types seeking similar assessments. Removing these provisions would help make Ontario more competitive by cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burden and aligns with the following ongoing initiatives led by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and the IESO, as set out below.

Through the Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Connections Review initiative, the OEB is reviewing the requirements for the connection of DERs by licensed electricity distributors. The OEB is consulting with customers, DER providers, industry associations and distributors to identify barriers to the connection of DERs, and where appropriate, standardize and improve the connection process.

As part of the Framework for Energy Innovation: Distributed Resources and Utility Incentives consultation, the OEB is working with stakeholders to identify and consider regulatory reforms that would facilitate investment in DERs on the basis of the value to consumers, which may include exploring new and innovative ways to make system information available.

This would also align with the IESO's efforts to plan for future electricity supply in a manner that offers value to ratepayers by allowing any resource that can meet system needs to compete.

Second, we propose to repeal sections 26 (1.1), (1.2) and (1.3) of the EA, and paragraph 1 of subsection 70(2.1) of the OEBA, which create the authority to make a regulation that would provide priority grid access for renewable energy generation facilities. No regulation was made under this authority, so this prioritization was never implemented.

Third, we propose to repeal paragraph 2 of section 96(2) of the OEBA, which requires the OEB to consider the promotion of energy from renewable sources when determining if a Leave to Construct application for an electricity transmission project is in the public interest. Repealing this paragraph will focus the scope of the OEB's Leave to Construct hearings on the topics of price, reliability, and quality of service.

This repeal aligns with amendments made to the OEBA in 2020 to remove an OEB objective to promote renewable energy generation, including through the expansion or reinforcement of transmission and distribution systems to accommodate the connection of renewable energy generation facilities.
Contact Address:
Effective Date:
June 3, 2021
Decision:
Approved