News

  • 08 Sep 2020 5:15 PM | Anonymous

    Overview of Exports to Africa Webinar Event 2020

    OSEA held our annual Exports to Africa Webinar Event on Friday September 4th 2020. This initiative focuses on clean energy products and services that can be used to help countries in Africa to deliver continuous and dependable clean energy options to help promote sustainable energy and living. Our panelists for this event were Eyad Qudsi; Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade Diana Cartwright; Global Affairs Canada, Robert Graham; CPCS, and Katy Baker; Magnet Business Portal. We have posted panelist biographies, photos, and content on our website for interested parties or for those who were unable to attend our webinar event. 

    The photos, biographies, and other information has been collects in the the word document below. 


    Panelist for Exports to Africa Webinar 2020.docx


    Webinar content has been posted below. 


    OSEA. Ontario. Green Exports to Africa Webinar.pptx

    Magnet Export Business Portal OSEA Presentation August 2020.pptx

    TCS Presentation August 2020 - OSEA.ppt 

    CPCS brochure 2020 - Power intro OSEA RG v2.pptx

  • 08 Sep 2020 9:36 AM | Anonymous

    Sustainable Investing Can Be Blurry



    September 9th 2020 

    Written By: Jinjoon Lee

    There’s one area where risk ratings are possible. Can environmental, social and governance risks be quantified? With the notable exception of car- bon emissions, probably not—but that doesn’t mean the exercise isn’t useful for investors.

    Interest in sustainable investment is ballooning. One sign is the money given to mutual funds: In the first half of 2020, net flows into sustainable funds totaled $20.9 billion in the U.S., according to Morningstar, compared with $21.4 billion for 2019 as a whole.

    Fund managers that don’t specialize in ESG strategies are scrambling to incorporate them into their investment frameworks. There is an industry of risk ratings, but these come with a problem: The correlation between companies’ ratings of the same stock is low because they measure performance differently. An example is Tesla. MSCI rates the electric-car maker highly because of its environmentally friendly products, while FTSE Russell gives it a middling score for other reasons. This confusion gives ESG ratings a reputation for fuzziness.

    Quantifying the risk to earnings from a given concern is a pleasingly sharp-edged alternative. Lon- don fund manager Schroders has developed a tool, SustainEx, to put a value on a company’s “externalities—the unpaid costs of its activity borne by society. The rationale from 18% this year while natural gas-fired power’s share will decline to 35% from 40%. That comes after more than a decade over which coal gradually lost share.

    RBC analyst Christopher Louney estimates that natural gas burn for electricity could decline 2% year over year in 2021 while coal generation picks up 6%—at the conservative end of his forecast.

    Despite cheerleading from the White House, the reversal will do little to salvage coal’s bleak future. But it reveals how cutthroat the natural gas business has been in recent years. There have been other surges—in 2018 natural gas prices struck close to $4 and temporary gas-to-coal switching was observed—but those rallies weren’t as sticky as analysts predict this one will be and were never enough to shift the annual share of electricity away toward coal.

    Luke Jackson, team leader for North American natural gas at S&P Global Platts, expects natural gas prices to average $2.90 for the remainder of 2020 and $3.30 for 2021, while RBC’s Mr. Louney estimates prices will edge up to $2.60 in the fourth quarter and gradually move up to $2.80 by the end of 2021.

    The shift will vary significantly by region. The Midwestern and Southeastern power markets, which need to bring in natural gas through pipelines, already are see- ing signs of natural gas-to-coal switching, according to Mr. Jack- son. Pipelines are running at full capacity, leading to regional gaps in natural gas prices. As an example, prices for the Chicago Citygate index in the Midwest averaged $2.05 in August, while the price in Dominion South—a hub close to the gas-producing Marcellus and Utica basins—was $1.21. The Mid- west and the Southeast also still rely on coal for a substantial share of their electricity generation: The hydrocarbon accounted for 49% and 44% of electricity generated in the respective markets as of mid- day Friday. The Northeast, on the other hand, is closer to dry gas ba- sins and hasn’t seen signs of coal switching yet. That could change in winter months when heating demand surges.

    Yet none of this portends a last- ing comeback for coal-fired power. As recently as 2015, coal was the largest fuel source for electricity in the U.S., but low natural gas prices and rigorous environmental standards have pushed many coal generators to shut down. An additional 25 gigawatts, roughly 11% of coal power capacity as of year-end 2019, is expected to retire by 2025, according to the EIA. Already, many coal plants are unable to operate enough hours to cover costs and some have evaluated plans to run only during seasons with high demand.

    This may not be the last time that market forces temporarily re- verse the tide. Coal’s fade to black could be a long one.

    Sources: FactSet (futures); U.S. Energy Information Administration 

  • 21 Aug 2020 11:42 AM | Anonymous


    Significant Reforms to the Environmental ‎Assessment Act Reshape Environmental Review in ‎Ontario

    Contributors: Lana Finney and Ryan McNamara

    August 17, 2020

    Building Green Facade

    Since November 2018, the Government of Ontario has repeatedly signalled its intention to “modernize” ‎the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (“EAA”) to better align the level of review with the degree of ‎potential environmental risk associated with a project and streamline review processes for low risk ‎projects. With the substantial amendments to the EAA recently enacted by the Legislative Assembly of ‎Ontario on July 21, 2020, the government has taken a significant step towards reforming how projects ‎are assessed in Ontario. Nevertheless, whether the government has delivered on its promises and truly ‎‎“modernized” the EAA remains an open question, both because it has yet to publish key regulations ‎elaborating on the new assessment framework and because the amended Act, in its current state, ‎arguably does not address all of the objectives the government set for itself. Regardless of whether the ‎EAA amendments meaningfully realize every one of the government’s self-proclaimed goals, they ‎represent a significant shift in project assessment in Ontario and should be closely examined by project ‎proponents.‎

    Overview of environmental assessment in Ontario Development of the “modern” EA framework ensures better alignment between the level of assessment and level of environmental risk ‎associated with a project;‎ eliminates duplication between environmental assessment and other planning and approvals ‎processes;‎ finds efficiencies in the environmental assessment process and related planning and approvals ‎processes to shorten the timelines from start to finish; and goes digital by permitting online submissions to permit interested persons to access information ‎about environmental assessment.‎

    Changes to the EA process Tying environmental assessment to inclusion in a project list – Unlike the existing ‎framework for EA, the amendments passed on July 21 make the requirement to undertake an ‎environmental assessment contingent on whether or not a given project involves activities ‎matching one of the project descriptions contained in a project list, which is to be set out in a ‎forthcoming regulation. This new approach to identifying which projects require environmental ‎assessment aligns the EAA more closely with its federal counterpart, the Impact Assessment ‎Act, which likewise ties impact assessment to whether a project is “designated”. By removing the ‎requirement for all “undertakings” proceeding through the EA process, the amendments ostensibly ‎further the government’s objective of allocating resources to the assessment of major projects ‎with the potential to cause significant environmental effects rather than requiring all public sector ‎projects, regardless of the level of associated risk, to undergo environmental assessment.‎

    Eliminating Class EAs in favour of streamlined EAs – The newly enacted amendments set in ‎motion a process to replace Class EA documents with a single streamlined EA process, which ‎will be specified by regulations applying to certain classes of designated projects. As of July ‎‎21, 2020 no more Class EA documents will be approved; nevertheless, proponents will continue ‎to be allowed to comply with the EAA by following the assessment processes described in one ‎of the 10 existing Class EA documents. This option to follow a Class EA process will only be ‎eliminated once each of the 10 Class EA documents are revoked and replaced, where ‎appropriate, with new regulations.‎

    Limitations of “bump-up” or elevation requests – Prior to amendment, the EAA permitted ‎‎“any person” resident in Ontario to request that the Minister issue an order elevating a project that ‎would otherwise follow the streamlined Class EA process to an “individual” EA. These “bump-up” ‎orders may still be requested or issued by the Minister at his or her own initiative; however, ‎section 16.1 of the amended EAA now restricts the timeframe in which the Minister can make ‎such an order. Even more significantly, the amended Act limits the grounds on which a person ‎may seek a “bump-up” order to where a project will have an adverse impact on existing aboriginal ‎and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada.‎
    Expiry dates for approvals – Approval of a project by the Minister or the Environmental Review ‎Tribunal following a comprehensive EA will now expire after 10 years, where the Minister or ERT ‎has not otherwise specified an expiry date for the approval.‎

    Municipal approval required for new landfills – A proponent which proposes to “establish” a ‎landfill must obtain the approval of the municipality in which the landfill is located. In addition, ‎the approval of other municipalities may be required. If a proposed landfill is within 3.5 km of the ‎boundaries of a municipality in which a parcel of land is (a) zoned for residential uses and (b) ‎located within an “area of settlement”, the proponent of that landfill will need to obtain the ‎approval of that municipality as well. ‎

    Concerns raised about the new amendments Environmental assessment (“EA”) in Ontario dates back to 1975 when the EAA was first enacted. The ‎EAA as it existed from 1975 until July 21, 2020 established an assessment framework that only applied ‎to “undertakings”, as defined in the EAA. These “undertakings” included all public sector projects carried ‎out by provincial and municipal bodies, as well as a small number of private sector undertakings deemed ‎to carry a higher likelihood of adverse environmental effects, such as certain waste management, ‎electricity, and transit projects. Prior to the most recent amendment, the EAA applied to all ‎‎“undertakings” in the province, with specific regulations or ministry-approved documents reducing the ‎procedural requirements for certain classes of projects or, in some cases, entirely eliminating the ‎requirement for assessment. Streamlining environmental assessment through the modification of the ‎default EA process to expedite lower risk projects was achieved by two means: “Class” EA documents ‎and regulations. ‎

    Following the passage of significant amendments to the EAA in 1996, a “Class” EA document could be ‎approved by the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (the “Minister”) for certain classes ‎of ‎undertakings – such as municipal infrastructure work, provincial highway repairs, and electricity ‎‎transmission facility upgrades – expected to have relatively minor and better understood environmental ‎impacts. ‎A minister-approved Class EA document authorized proponents of projects described in the ‎document to carry out their projects following a streamlined “self-assessment” process. Class EA ‎documents generally divided the class of undertakings subject to the document into sub-categories, ‎setting different requirements for project planning, documentation, and public consultation based on ‎project categorization. These categories were devised based on the nature of the project activities and ‎the potential for environmental impacts to be caused by those activities, with more onerous requirements ‎being imposed on undertakings associated with more significant potential impacts. Regulations were ‎also used by the government to exempt certain activities that would have otherwise been required to ‎undergo an individual EA from some or all of the requirements of the EAA. ‎

    In November 2018, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (the “MECP”) released the ‎Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, which signalled the intention of the then newly elected Progressive ‎Conservative government to reform a variety of environmental statutes with the self-described aim of ‎reconciling the need for a healthy environment with the promotion of a robust provincial economy. This ‎plan briefly mentioned the objective of “modernizing” Ontario’s environmental assessment process to ‎‎“address duplication, streamline processes, improve service standards to reduce delays, and better ‎recognize other planning processes”. The details of how Ontario’s EA regime would be changed to ‎achieve this objective were, however, absent from the plan. Further information about the government’s ‎reform agenda were supplied by a discussion paper, Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessment ‎Program, which was published by the MECP in April 2019. This discussion paper set out several “initial ‎actions” to create a “modern framework” for environmental assessment. In the MECP’s own words, this ‎framework:‎

    Following public consultation and legislative drafting, the Government of Ontario proposed amendments ‎to the EAA via Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020, which was introduced on July 8, ‎‎2020. Bill 197 contained amendments to twenty different pieces of legislation, many of them planned by ‎the government prior to the pandemic. The bill was fast-tracked through legislative process and was ‎enacted on July 21, 2020. ‎

    The key amendments to the EAA that were passed in Bill 197 include:‎

    • A new part of the EAA, Part II.3, will now govern the review of “individual” EAs, which will now be ‎referred to as “comprehensive” EAs. Part II.3 will largely replicate the requirements and EA ‎processes that applied to projects previously subject to “individual” EA.  ‎

    Concerns have been raised by members of affected industries and environmental groups about certain ‎elements of the amended EAA. Legal practitioners and participants in the waste management industry ‎have expressed disquiet about the requirement that landfill proponents secure the approval of local ‎municipal councils before proceeding with construction. The Ontario Waste Management Association ‎‎(“OWMA”), for example, has suggested that this “municipal veto” will put the economy and environment in ‎jeopardy by “making it virtually impossible to build new landfills in Ontario.” This is a significant concern ‎given that in its 2018 report the OWMA estimated that population growth would result in the depletion of ‎landfill capacity by 2032 if no new landfill waste disposal facilities were approved and the rate of waste ‎exports remained at 2018 levels‎.  ‎

    Environmental groups, meanwhile, have expressed numerous objections to the recent EAA amendments. ‎For example, the Canadian Environmental Law Association (“CELA”) in its analysis highlights the ‎permissive nature of the new provision in the EAA that empowers the government to introduce Project ‎List regulations, objecting to the government’s decision not to set a deadline for the publication of ‎regulations, communicate criteria that will be used to designate projects for assessment, or provide a ‎draft list of designated projects. The CELA is of the view that the broad discretion given to the provincial ‎cabinet by the amended EAA to prescribe projects for which an environmental assessment is required ‎creates the risk that the government will designate only those projects that “have the most potential to ‎impact the environment”, thereby exempting medium to smaller-scale projects that may still carry ‎environmental risks. ‎

    A second major concern about the government’s amendments to the EAA mentioned by several ‎environmental groups is that the limitation of requests to elevate a streamlined EA project to a ‎‎“comprehensive” EA to circumstances where such an order will prevent, mitigate, or remedy harm to a ‎recognized Aboriginal right or treaty right is far too restrictive and prevents members of the public from ‎raising concerns about environmental or other non-Indigenous impacts that may nevertheless be relevant ‎to the level of scrutiny that should be applied to a project. ‎

    It remains possible that some of these criticisms will be addressed through forthcoming regulations. ‎Because of the dependence of the new EAA framework on regulations establishing a Project List and ‎determining which classes of projects may proceed via a streamlined EA process, the extent to which ‎overhaul of the EAA will impact project proponents and achieve the government’s stated objectives ‎remains to be determined.‎

    Consequently, proponents will want to follow the regulation development process closely to ascertain ‎whether their proposed projects will fall within one of the activity descriptions contained in the ‎forthcoming draft Project List regulations and, if so, whether they will be able to rely on a streamlined ‎assessment process. It may be the case that the Project List regulations will include project types that ‎were not included in the definition of an “undertaking” under the EAA and, thus, not previously subject to ‎the EAA. ‎

    This article provides only general information about legal issues and developments, and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Please see our disclaimer for more details. 

    https://www.dlapiper.com/en/canada/insights/publications/2020/0

    8/reforms-to-the-environmental-assessment-act-ontario/



  • 06 Aug 2020 12:10 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Colleagues,

    As a collaborative partner in the innovation ecosystem, OCE would like to share with your members a unique funding opportunity to help accelerate Canadian Smart City solutions in a Post-Covid19 world through connectivity, smart infrastructure and mobility-based technologies through our Smart City Challenge

    Smart Cities are unlocking the future of data and connectivity across Ontario, creating enormous potential for the development and adoption of new urban technologies. The OCE Smart City Challenge supports Ontario based SMEs who use connectivity in their product or service. 

    The OCE Smart City initiative is part of the ENCQOR 5G program that is focused on advancing Ontario companies and making them more competitive globally.

    The program is open to all eligible companies, including those involved in agriculture, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, media, cybersecurity or those with a focus on northern or remote communities.  Additional information is available at https://oce-ontario.org/programs/what's-new/smart-city .

    Should you have any questions on the initiative I would be happy to connect with you.  We hope that you will share this Challenge opportunity with your membership to support the development and adoption of their new technologies.  The application deadline is September 10, 2020.

    If you or your members have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

    John Chiappetta

    Business Development and Commercialization Manager

    john.chiappetta@oce-ontario.org 

    325 Front Street West, Suite 300, Toronto, ON M5V 2Y1

    t:416.861.1092 • 1.866.759.6014

    www.oce-ontario.org



  • 08 May 2020 9:42 AM | Dan Stramer (Administrator)

    Please read our spring newsletter

    OSEA Newsletter-spring-2020.pdf


  • 15 Feb 2020 5:29 PM | Dan Goldberger (Administrator)


    MOLTEX ENERGY IS NOW A MEMBER OF THE ONTARIO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ASSOCIATION (OSEA)

    January 27, 2020

    Saint John, NB – Moltex Energy is pleased to announce their application has been accepted to join the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA). The OSEA is the organization which represents the entire sustainable energy sector and supports green energy, clean technology and energy efficiency technologies.

    Members of OSEA include green technology developers, distributors, installers and operators and other service providers. OSEA supports members in promoting the development of sustainable systems in Ontario, across Canada and around the world.

    Rory O’Sullivan, CEO for North America at Moltex Energy, said, “This is positive news and a great resource for us. We are very pleased to now be part of the OSEA network and to collaborate with an organization promoting the global development of sustainable systems”.

    “At Moltex we are developing a hybrid clean energy generation and thermal storage system, allowing our reactor to deliver electricity when it is needed. This means that we can work alongside intermittent renewables in an entirely clean electricity system.”

    The new generation of nuclear power provides clean, reliable and low-cost energy. Thermal storage is known to be orders of magnitude more cost effective than other forms of electricity storage. Together these two technologies provide a realistic and cost effective route to a carbon free electricity system. 

    ###

    Media Contact:

    Tracey Stephenson

    Lynwood Strategies

    Tracey@lynwoodstrategies.ca

    506.866.8516

    About Moltex Energy:

    Moltex Energy is a privately held company striving to solve the world's most critical challenge, providing safe, clean and affordable energy. The company has headquarters in the United Kingdom and New Brunswick and collaborates with other innovators and nuclear energy experts worldwide. The mission is to cost-effectively produce carbon-free electricity so that fossil fuels can stay in the ground.

    Moltex Energy is one of two companies that NB Power has selected to explore building Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in New Brunswick. Moltex has developed a first-of-its-kind technology to build a better nuclear reactor that will safely, cleanly and economically solve global energy issues and power the planet in the 21st century. The workforce, along with the existing nuclear generating station and a supportive government, make New Brunswick an ideal location to build this technology.

    For more information visit: www.moltexenergy.com and www.ontario-sea.org


  • 16 Dec 2019 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    By Dan Goldberger, President and Chair of the Board of Directors

    OSEA is reshaping its strategic approach towards advocating for a sustainable future in Ontario.

    In 2019, OSEA held the following events that contributed to building capacity in the energy and sustainability landscape in Ontario:

    All of the events held by OSEA proved to be extremely successful and were well-attended. Excellent content was provided by leading speakers in the Ontario political energy landscape, sustainable energy technology, climate change resilience, mitigation and adaptation, green industries jobs, and related fields, including Travis Lusney of Power Advisory LLC, Bonnie Hiltz of Sussex Strategy Group, Dr. Blair Feltmate of the Intact Centre at the University of Waterloo, Rob McMonagle of the City of Toronto’s Green Industry Sector Group, and many others.

    OSEA also contributed to a variety of important events including the Ontario Government Budget Lockup, and various conferences with other partners including having a presence at the IESO Energy Symposium for First Nations, and attending the Ontario Energy Association, Energy Storage Canada, APPrO and Energy and Mines conferences, as well as various workshops led by the Ontario Energy Network, breakfasts at Gowlings LLP, SAC Committee Meetings of the IESO, OEB proceedings, among other events discussing important energy transformative issues in Ontario.

    In conjunction to hosting GEDO 19 for the 9th annual year, OSEA also continues to participate in the Ontario Energy Board’s various rate filings and consultations on key issues like Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and on the role of the OEB in allowing legitimate intervenors to participate in the overview of energy in our economy (see separate article).

    OSEA has an engaged Board of Directors with six highly committed members. In addition to myself as President and Board Chair, serving the community are:

    • Mary Sye, Vice Chair
    • Dawn Lambe
    • Leon Wasser
    • Kerry Lakatos-Hayward
    • Rizwan Khan

    OSEA is supported by an association management company NFP Performance Improvement, which is assisting OSEA in managing a complex transition towards re-staffing the association.

    OSEA is on a new path to rejuvenate itself as an effective voice for its membership to the Ontario Energy Board and to the Provincial Government, advancing its key goals.

    We welcome the renewal of your support or your new participation in OSEA, to help us grow the voice for sustainable energy in Ontario, and beyond.

    Sincerely,

    Dan Goldberger, Chair of the Board, OSEA

  • 16 Dec 2019 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    OSEA hosted a trade show booth at the IESO First Nations Energy Symposium 2019, held in Toronto on November 4-5 at the Chelsea Hotel.

    The Symposium was meant to build community capacity among First Nations communities by sharing best case practices and celebrating “energy champions” among the diverse communities in Ontario. In-depth explanations of how to perform / manage; Community Energy Plans, Project Management, Transmission Procurement, Asset Management, Conservation, and other issues were highlighted.

    Photo of IESO’s Clare Gutjahr, OSEA’s Chair Dan Goldberger, and IESO staffer Sheena Li at the OSEA Booth, which was well attended over the two-day Symposium.

    OSEA has long advocated for better energy solutions for Ontario’s vast north, especially remote and off-grid First Nation communities.

  • 16 Dec 2019 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    OSEA has been approached by Archives Ontario to assess the possibility of acquiring textual records, photographs, electronic records, publications, etc., that would buttress its understanding of the sustainable energy sector in Ontario. Essentially, OSEA will be making a donation that consists of records related to the history and operations of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association.

    Archives Ontario’s Elana Sadinsky is a Senior Archivist who reached out to OSEA’s Chair Dan Goldberger to explain the mandate of Archives Ontario:

    “At the Archives of Ontario, the acquisition mandate is to acquire recorded information of provincial significance that provides the best documentary evidence of the decisions and activities of the Ontario government and of the development of Ontario society.”

    This led to a series of meetings between OSEA and Archives Ontario in the fall of 2019 as Archives Ontario assessed the records provided to them as to suitability for their collection.

    OSEA’s Chair stated:

    “This is a testament to the excellent work done by OSEA from 2001 to 2015, when OSEA led all energy associations in Ontario advocating for the Green Energy Act, Feed-in-Tariffs, Micro-FITs and Net Metering legislation. Our goal is to donate these important records to Archives Ontario, and we are grateful for its request and collaboration in this regard.”

    Riz Khan (right), an OSEA Board Member and attorney, worked with the OSEA Chair Dan Goldberger to assess the appropriateness of records to be donated to Archives Ontario. The process of assignment and donation will take some time and be an ongoing process between the two organizations.

    No records of a confidential, financial, or of a personal nature, are part of the donation accepted by Archives Ontario, www.Archives.gov.on.ca.


  • 16 Dec 2019 11:43 AM | Anonymous

    By Kerry Lakatos-Hayward, OSEA representative

    Distributed energy resources (DERs) are playing an increasingly important role in Ontario’s electricity supply, surpassing 10% of connected load. With technology costs for DERs decreasing and a desire by customers to have more choice and control over their energy, distributed energy resources are forecast to continue this upward trend. Against this backdrop, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has commenced a comprehensive review of all aspects of DERs, and is undertaking a number of parallel reviews to address Distributed Energy Resources Connections Review (EB-2019-0207), Utility Remuneration (EB-2018-0287), and Responding to Distributed Energy Resources (EB-2018-0288).


    OSEA fully supports the transformative role that distributed resources are playing in Ontario’s new energy economy, being an important creator of “green jobs”, economic development and exports. We are taking an active role in the OEB proceedings, including providing written comments and participating in Stakeholder Consultations. Specifically, we are representing you, our membership, by advocating for inclusion of all green energy technologies and innovation as sources of distributed energy resources, as well as the need to adopt a local/community approach to energy planning and climate change/ greenhouse gas mitigation efforts.

    In our submissions, we have emphasized the following points:

    • Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are a vital part of community energy planning and provide local competitive advantage via economic development. We cited the City of Toronto and Brant County as positive examples of local energy planning, specifically Brant County which in fact produces more electricity than it consumes.
    • We encouraged the OEB to provide clear definitions of DERs and regulatory rules; however, we cautioned that a principles-based approach is preferred to additional regulation, as there is no optimal one size fits all and that local stakeholders should not be restricted by “central fiat” Instead, we are advocating for a clear set of principles and policy direction, creating a level playing field for DERs and encouraging innovation.
    • We recommended that the value of DERs as reflected in rates and pricing should recognize full societal benefits which are specific to localized marginal values; and,
    • With respect to interconnection standards, we recommended that local LDCs should create processes and timelines, guided by agreed-upon principles and adhere to them. IESO/CSA/ESA should provide oversight to ensure compliance with NERC, particularly for reliability.

    There was significant interest in the Stakeholder Consultation process with numerous presentations and written submissions made by different groups. And, while there was not consensus on all points, numerous themes did emerge:

    • Customers must come first in consideration of rules regarding DERs and that reliability, sustainability and affordability are key objectives.
    • Stakeholders need to develop a shared understanding of the issues related to DERs (the what and the why). This includes agreeing on common definitions of DERs (value / service types / customers) and key principles.
    • Existing assets should be optimized to minimize the stranding of assets.
    • The evolution of the energy sector needs to be outcomes and performance-based, where costs follow benefits and the specific value of DERs reflect full localized benefits.
    • With respect to interconnection processes, clear direction is required on who pays for connection and how are connection costs recovered, in order to send right risk/reward and limit cross-subsidization for customers who do not put in DERs.
    • Regulatory and policy solutions must reflect the Ontario context. Ontario has a large number of LDCs, with public ownership of transmission and distribution as well as generation assets. Additionally, there is a backdrop of the Global Adjustment charge and Industrial Conservation Initiative, carbon pricing and Ontario’s unique, supply/demand mix and PBR framework. Experience in other jurisdictions, for example Hawaii, California and New York, can inform the discussion but it cannot directly translate into solutions for Ontario.
    • The role of the OEB is to ensure that regulation is proactive and puts the right rules in place to enable market competition. Regulatory change is recognized as evolutionary not revolutionary, should be technology agnostic, and not protect utilities but address barriers to change by providing incentive and penalties for LDCs.
    • There was recognition that utilities need to be encouraged to make the right investments in a time when the concept of a natural monopoly may no longer be completely relevant. There was significant debate on the utility ownership question, with some stakeholders calling out the mismatch between the LDCs role as being a gatekeeper for DERs with LDCs desire to participate in the DER marketplace. There was also recognition that the Affiliate Relationship Code needs to be updated.
    • Utility planning to replace and upgrade wire and pipe assets must be neutral between hard wire pipe assets and fully consider other options, including DERs energy efficiency and demand response.

    As a next step, the OEB is considering the facilitation report and submissions of all stakeholders. In the meantime, it is initiating a DER Working Group to consider technical requirements, process and cost related aspects of connecting new storage and generation to distribution systems, both in front and behind the meter. OSEA attended the initial meeting on December 4 and will look to join the working group to continue to advocate on behalf of our members.

    If you have any comments or perspectives on the role of distributed energy resources in Ontario’s energy future, OSEA would appreciate hearing from you. Please contact the author of this article, Kerry Lakatos-Hayward who is representing OSEA at the DER Working Group.

    Resources

    Ontario Energy Board

    https://www.oeb.ca/industry/policy-initiatives-and-consultations/distributed-energy-resources-der-connections-review

    https://www.oeb.ca/industry/policy-initiatives-and-consultations/utility-remuneration

    https://www.oeb.ca/industry/policy-initiatives-and-consultations/responding-distributed-energy-resources-ders

    IESO Innovation Paper

    Exploring Expanded DER Participation in the IESO-Administered Markets Part I – Conceptual Models for DER Participation



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