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Canadian Utilities Limited Transfer of Deerfoot Solar Project and Barlow Solar Project from ATCO Power (2010) Ltd. to Deerfoot Barlow Solar Limited Partnership, AUC Decision 28034-D01-2023

Link to Decision Summarized

Solar Power – Facilities

Application

Canadian Utilities Limited (“CUL”), a designated owner of a public utility, applied for approval of the transfer of ownership of all of the assets comprising the Deerfoot Solar Project and the Barlow Solar Project (together, the “Projects”) from ATCO Power (2010) Ltd. to ATCO DB Solar GP Services Ltd. (“ATCO DB”) and from ATCO DB to Deerfoot Barlow Solar Limited Partnership (“Deerfoot Barlow”).

Deerfoot Barlow will be co-owned by a new wholly owned subsidiary of ATCO Power (2010) Ltd. and Chiniki Goodstoney Solar Limited Partnership, in which two Stoney Nakoda Nations, the Chiniki First Nation and the Goodstoney First Nation, are equal partners.

Decision

The AUC granted permission to transfer ownership of all assets, as applied for by CUL.

Applicable Legislation

Gas Utilities Act, RSA 2000, c G-5.

Public Utilities Act, RSA 2000, c P-45.

Pertinent Issues

The AUC applied the no-harm test to assess whether it should approve a disposition that is outside the ordinary course of business under section 101(2)(d) of the Public Utilities Act and section 26(2)(d) of the Gas Utilities Act. Under the no-harm test, the AUC weighs the potential positive and negative impacts to determine whether the balance favours customers or at least leaves them no worse off, having regard to all of the circumstances of the case.

The AUC determined that the transfers would meet the requirements set out in the no-harm test. Specifically, the AUC found that there will be no harm if the transfers are approved, because:

  • The transfers will not adversely affect customers of regulated ATCO Utilities (ATCO Electric Ltd. and ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd.);

  • The transfers will not affect CUL’s credit rating or have any adverse impact on the financing costs of the regulated ATCO Utilities, the costs of the transfers will not be allocated to the regulated ATCO Utilities and the transfers are not expected to result in any incremental corporate cost allocations to be recovered through the rates of the regulated ATCO Utilities; and

  • The transfers involve unregulated subsidiaries of CUL transacting unregulated electricity generation assets.

The AUC approved the transfers of ownership as filed.

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