OEB releases discussion paper exploring more innovative approaches to cost recovery for electricity infrastructure projects
Further to the Ontario Energy Board ("OEB") Chair's announcement on April 3 and his letter of June 1, the OEB released a Staff Discussion Paper on The Regulatory Treatment of Infrastructure Investment for Ontario's Electricity Transmitters and Distributors on June 10.
The discussion paper was prompted by the passing of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 (the "Act") last month. The OEB describes the purpose of the paper as follows:
"This Discussion Paper is intended to solicit input from all interested stakeholders on a range of alternative mechanisms within an integrated framework for the regulatory treatment of infrastructure investment. The focus of this Discussion Paper is specifically on infrastructure investment by electricity transmitters and distributors. The [Act] establishes a legislative framework that imposes responsibilities on electricity utilities in relation to smart grid development and renewable generation connection activities, and that requires the Board to be guided by the objective of promoting or facilitating such activities. Nonetheless, staff notes that this need not preclude the Board from considering use of such a framework for other rate-regulated entities."
Written comments must be filed with the OEB by July 7, 2009. As explained in the cover letter to the discussion paper, cost awards will be available to eligible persons under section 30 of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 for their participation in this consultation.