In this decision, the CER approved the application from Westcoast Energy Inc. doing business as Spectra Energy Transmission (“Westcoast”) to construct and operate the Silverstar Project (the “Project”).
In the application, Westcoast requested an exemption from the provisions of subsection 180(1), sections 198, 199, and 213 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (the “CER Act”). Westcoast further requested an order according to section 97 of the CER Act exempting Westcoast from the provisions of section 17 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Onshore Pipeline Regulations (“OPR”) and Condition 1 of Order MO-08-2000 regarding the non-destructive examination (“NDE”) of all welds for the auxiliary and utility piping systems. Westcoast also requested an order according to section 226 of the CER Act, that would affirm the inclusion of the cost of the Project in the Transmission North (“T-North”) (Zone 3) cost of service and their tolling on a rolled-in basis.
Decision of the CER – Section 214
The CER was satisfied with the engagement activities undertaken by Westcoast. The CER further found that protection of the environment and public safety had been appropriately addressed by Westcoast. The CER further reviewed the financial viability, economic justification, and proposed design and operations of the Project. The CER accepted the rationale provided by Westcoast and found that it was in the public interest to grant the requested relief.
The CER issued Order XG-024-2020 (the “Order”) to approve the Project. As indicated in the Order the CER exempted Westcoast from the provisions of paragraph 180(1)(a) and section 198 of the CER Act for the Project.
The CER partially exempted Westcoast from the requirements to obtain a Leave to Open (“LTO”), required under paragraph 180(1)(b) and subsection 213(1) of the CER Act, for those auxiliary and utility systems having a design pressure of 1965 kPag or less.
The CER further granted Westcoast’s request for an exemption from the provisions of section 17 of the OPR and Condition 1 of Order MO-08-2000 related to the NDE of all welds for the auxiliary and utility piping systems which are designed and constructed in accordance with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers B31.3, and have a design pressure of 1965 kPa or less.
Based upon the scale of the Project and the nature of the surrounding environment, the CER determined that the Project would have no or negligible potential impacts on the exercise of Indigenous and Treaty Rights in the Project area. The CER also determined that the Project would have no or negligible environmental or socio-economic effects.
The CER noted that, according to Conditions 1 and 4 of the Order, Westcoast was required to file any technical specification updates for the Project components listed in the application at the time with its LTO application.
Decision of the Commission – Section 226
Regarding the request to include the cost of the new metering facility in the T-North (Zone 3) cost of service and toll it on a rolled-in basis, the CER accepted Westcoast’s submissions that the addition of the Silverstar delivery facility would not functionally re-purpose the T-North system as a whole. The CER was satisfied that the T-North system, including the Sunset Creek compressor station and the delivery facilities at Sunset, would remain functionally integrated after the Silverstar facility was placed in service.
The CER was of the view that the delivery facilities at Sunset Creek and Silverstar should receive the same tolling treatment because each metering facility was performing a similar function. Accordingly, the CER found that the proposed tolling treatment for the Project would be appropriate in these circumstances.
The CER found that a reassessment of the tolling methodology for the T-North system, including the Sunset and Silverstar meter stations, was not required at the time.
The CER directed Westcoast to serve a copy of this letter decision, the attached Orders and its Schedule A on all interested parties.