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Balancing Pool Application for an Order Permitting the Sharing of Records Not Available to the Public Regarding The Brooks Solar II Power Plant, AUC Decision 27093-D01-2022

Link to Decision Summarized

Market Oversight and Enforcement – FEOC

In this decision, the AUC approved the application by the Balancing Pool for an order to permit the sharing of records pertaining to the electricity and ancillary services markets under Section 3 of the Fair, Efficient and Open Competition Regulation (“FEOC Regulation”).

Introduction and Procedural Background

The Balancing Pool filed an application for permission to share records that are not available to the public between Balancing Pool, Brooks Solar II Corporation (“Brooks Solar”), Elemental Energy Inc. (“Elemental Energy”), Elemental Energy Renewables Inc. (“EERI”) and URICA Energy Real Time Ltd. (“URICA”). The requested order relates to the Brooks Solar II Power Plant, located in Newell County, which has a combined maximum capability of 26.5-megawatts (“MW”), with 12.5 MW at asset ID BRK1 and 14.0 MW at asset ID BRK2.

AUC Findings

Subsection 3(3) of the FEOC Regulation authorizes the AUC to issue an order permitting the sharing of records on any terms and conditions that the AUC considers appropriate, provided that specific requirements are satisfied. The AUC found that these requirements were met in this application.

Section 7 of the Small Scale Generation Regulation states that “unless…request[ed] otherwise, the Balancing Pool (a) must act as the electricity market participant on behalf of the small scale power producer in dealings with the ISO in respect of the electric energy supplied by the small scale power producer’s small scale generating unit.” The AUC found that Brooks Solar qualifies as a small scale power producer and is therefore represented as an electricity market participant by the Balancing Pool.

In its application, the Balancing Pool indicated that it has entered into commercial arrangements with URICA, which, among other things, appoint URICA as an agent of the Balancing Pool to provide 24-hour real-time dispatch-desk service for operational energy market services and energy restatements for events at BRK1 and BRK2. These arrangements will make it necessary for the Balancing Pool, Brooks Solar, Elemental Energy, EERI and URICA to share with each other certain records that are not otherwise available to the public, including operational and dispatch information, energy price, volume pairs and available capability.

The AUC was satisfied that the Balancing Pool had demonstrated that (i) the sharing of records is reasonably necessary for it to carry out its business; (ii) that the subject records would not be used contrary to the fair, efficient, and openly competitive operation of the Alberta electricity market, including the conduct referred to in Section 2 of the FEOC Regulation; and (iii) that the applicants would conduct themselves in a manner that would support the fair, efficient and openly competitive operation of the market.

The AUC further found that the offer control limit of the entities was less than 30 per cent, as required by Subsection 5(5) of FEOC Regulation. The AUC noted that the Market Surveillance Administrator (“MSA”) supported the application.

Given the mandate of the MSA under Subsection 39(2)(a)(vi) of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act, the AUC considered the MSA’s support of this application to have been a contributing factor in the decision to permit the sharing of records.

The AUC approved the applied-for sharing of records, subject to terms and conditions set out in the decision.

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