Ontario Energy Board to decide whether company is exempt from holding transmission license

The Ontario Energy Board is looking into whether Grand Renewable Wind Limited Partnership (GRWLP) is exempt from holding an electricity transmission license with respect to its intention to transmit electricity generated by wind and solar projects to the grid controlled by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

GRWLP filed a notice of proposal on Feb. 24 seeking confirmation from the board that it was exempt from holding such a license for the transmission assets that it is building to connect its wind generation facility to the IESO-controlled grid, according to the board’s May 8 notice of written hearing and procedural order (EB-2012-0235).

The issue of whether GRWLP is exempt from holding an electricity transmission license is a question of legal interpretation, the board said.

GRWLP was established to develop, construct and operate a 153-MW wind generating facility, the board said, adding that a related company, Grand Renewable Solar LP, was established to develop, construct and operate a 100-MW solar generating facility. In addition to the wind project, GRWLP intends to own and operate the interconnection facilities used to connect the wind and solar projects to the IESO-controlled grid.

The board also said that both companies intend to apply for electricity generation licenses with the board.

According to GRWLP’s notice of proposal, the transmission facility will be made of up four elements, including a collector substation that will collect distribution lines that transmit power from the wind and solar projects. It will also include an overhead 230-kV transmission line consisting of single, three-conductor aluminum circuit. A portion of the line will be placed underground.

Among other things, GRWLP said the overall project, consisting of the wind and solar projects as well as the transmission facility, will not affect open access requirements. The voluntary sharing of the transmission facility does not deprive any other generator or load customer of access they would not otherwise have, GRWLP said, adding that access to the IESO-controlled grid by third party generators or load customers before and after project completion will not be affected. Furthermore, GRWLP will not have any market power over Grand Renewable Solar since Grand Renewable Solar had the option to build a separate line.

GRWLP also said that neither the wind nor solar project is expected to serve a load pocket.

The board accepted the IESO and Hydro One Networks, among others, as parties to the proceeding.

Any intervenor or board staff wishing to file final argument in the matter is to do so by May 31. GRWLP is to file its reply argument with the board by June 14, the board added.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3205 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.