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Alberta Electric System Operator Bulk and Regional Rate Design Application – Participant Costs, AUC Bulletin 2021-16

Link to Bulletin Summarized

Rate Design

The Alberta Electric System Operator (“AESO”) will, until October 15, 2021, consult on proposed changes to the design of the bulk and regional rates under its Rate Demand Transmission Service (“Rate DTS”) and the tariff treatment of energy storage.

Bulk and regional charges account for a significant portion of transmission wires costs. The existing rate design has been largely in place since 2006. The AUC is aware of the significant amount of stakeholder interest in this upcoming application and that revisions to the bulk and regional rate design may have significant impacts on different customers or customer groups.

As a result of the significant stakeholder interest, and in an effort to promote the efficient processing of the AESO’s application, the AUC will consider applications for cost eligibility from customer groups who are proposing to actively participate in this AESO bulk and regional tariff proceeding, including customer groups who are not ordinarily eligible to claim costs under Rule 022: Rules on Costs in Utility Rate Proceedings. The AUC may also consider, in some circumstances, relaxing the application of the scale of costs for an expert if a customer group who is granted eligibility to claim costs demonstrates that the scale of costs will be inadequate to retain the necessary expertise to address the application and contribute in a meaningful way to the AUC’s understanding of the issues.

The AUC invited any customer group that intends to actively participate in this upcoming proceeding and claim costs for any part of the costs of its participation in the proceeding to submit an application for costs eligibility by August 11, 2021.

The AUC expects to order the AESO to pay the costs awarded for eligible interveners that do not have their own hearing cost reserve account or other mechanisms to recover AUC-approved hearing costs.

The AUC created Proceeding 26711 for the purpose of addressing intervener costs. Parties were to file their costs submissions on the record of this proceeding. The AUC requested parties to propose some form of partial cost recovery where they have the means to fund a portion of their participation themselves.

The AUC noted that it would also consider an advance of costs up to 50 percent of a participant’s budget. Prospective parties are reminded that a determination of costs eligibility or an advance of costs is not a full indemnity for incurred costs. The AUC will make its final assessment of costs to be awarded at the conclusion of the AESO bulk and regional rate design application proceeding upon its review of the claimants’ costs claims prepared in accordance with Section 9 of Rule 022.

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