NB Kicks-off First Request for Expressions of Interest from Aboriginal Businesses Under New Electricity from Renewable Resources Regulation
February 1, 2016
By Michael Simms, Energy & Natural Resources, Practice Group Leader at McInnes Cooper,
Julie Villeneuve, Associate at McInnes Cooper
On January 29, 2016, the New Brunswick Power Corporation (NB Power) kicked-off compliance with its obligations under the new Electricity from Renewable Resources Regulation 2015-60 made pursuant to the Electricity Act by issuing the first Request for Expressions of Interest from Aboriginal Businesses under the Regulation. The Regulation doesn’t say how NB Power must carry out this process or the terms of the power purchase agreement into which NB Power and the successful proponents would enter. Prospective Aboriginal Business proponents are now getting their first glimpse at NB Power’s approach to the Regulation – and prospective Local Entity proponents are, no doubt, watching and waiting for their turn.
Electricity from Renewable Resources Regulation. Enacted on November 16, 2015, the Regulation is intended to maintain and ultimately increase the proportion of electricity sold in NB generated from a “renewable resource”. To do so, the Regulation mandates that NB Power maintain the 2012-2013 proportion of in-province electricity sales generated “renewable resources”, and on December 31, 2020, increase and sustain that proportion at 40%. Under the Regulation, “electricity from a renewable resource” (EFRR) means electricity that is:
- Generated inside the Province in an innovative manner and provides a net environmental benefit to the Province.
- Generated inside or outside the Province from solar, wind, hydroelectric, ocean power, biogas, biomass or sanitary landfill gas.
- Obtained under the Large Industrial Renewable Energy Purchase Program (a special program most applicable to the pulp and paper industry in NB).
Locally Owned Renewable Energy Projects that are Small-Scale Program. The Regulation creates this Program to encourage the creation of new renewable generation to serve NB’s demand for energy and prioritize small-scale renewable energy projects for Aboriginal Businesses and Local Entities. The Program is intended for generation facilities with a maximum capacity of 20MW. It has three “components” (each of which the Regulation specifically defines) and NB Power is required to obtain (or try to obtain) a minimum amount of EFRR from each:
- Aboriginal Businesses.
- Local Entities.
- Distributed Generation.
Expression of Interest Process for Aboriginal Business Procurements. The Regulation requires NB Power to carry out the Aboriginal and the Local Entity procurements under an Expression of Interest process. They don’t provide any guidance for how NB Power must carry out this process or the terms of the power purchase agreement into which NB Power and the successful proponents would enter – but prospective proponents are now getting their first glimpse at NB Power’s approach to the Regulation. On January 29, 2016, NB Power issued the call for Expressions of Interest for EFRR from Aboriginal Businesses. Prospective Local Entity proponents will, no doubt, be watching the process – and waiting to respond to the call for Expressions of Interests for the Local Entities Procurement that the Regulation requires NB Power to make on or before January 31, 2017.
Please contact your McInnes Cooper lawyer or any member of our McInnes Cooper Renewable Energy Team to discuss this topic or any other legal issue.
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