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These articles by our expert team cover the details of various decisions made by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), Alberta Utilities Commision (AUC), and Canada Energy Regulator (CER). Browse our searchable archive below to learn more about the results we’ve achieved for our clients.

Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC Trans Mountain Expansion Project Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity OC-065 Application for Variance and Condition Relief under the Certificate Mountain 3 Horizontal Directional Drill, CER Reasons for Decision (C28265-3; A8W1D0)

Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC Trans Mountain Expansion Project Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity OC-065 Application for Variance and Condition Relief under the Certificate Mountain 3 Horizontal Directional Drill, CER Reasons for Decision (C28265-3; A8W1D0)

Link to Decision Summarized Gas - Facilities Application Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (“Trans Mountain”), pursuant to s 190 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act , submitted an application to vary (“Application”) Schedule A of Certificate of Public Convenience and...

NorthRiver Midstream NEBC Connector GP Inc., CER Report OH-001-2022

Link to Decision Summarized Natural Gas Liquids - Facilities Application NorthRiver Midstream NEBC Connector GP Inc. (“NorthRiver”), a wholly owned subsidiary of NorthRiver Midstream Inc., applied for authorization to construct and operate the NEBC Connector Project...

Judd v Alberta Energy Regulator, 2023 ABCA 296

Link to Decision Summarized Permission to Appeal – Error of Law Application Michael Judd applied for permission to appeal a decision of the AER, which dismissed a pre-hearing motion brought by Mr. Judd in a regulatory appeal of a pipeline licence (the “Pipeline...

Westcoast Energy Inc. Application for the Spruce Ridge Program (NEB Decision GH-001-2018)

In this decision, the NEB considered Westcoast Energy Inc., carrying on business as Spectra Energy Transmission (“Westcoast”)’s application pursuant to section 58 of the National Energy Board Act (“NEB Act”) and section 43 of the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (“OPR”) for authorization to construct and operate the Spruce Ridge Program (the “Project”). The NEB found that it was in the public interest to approve Westcoast’s application to construct and operate the Project.

Nipigon LNG Corporation Application in respect of TransCanada PipeLines Limited and the TransCanada Mainline Pipeline System (NEB Letter Decision, OF-Tolls-Group1-T211-2018-01 01)

In this decision, the NEB considered Nipigon LNG Corporation (“Nipigon”)’s application for orders pursuant to sections 12, 13, 59, and 71 of the National Energy Board Act (“NEB Act”) directing TransCanada PipeLines Limited (“TransCanada”) to provide facilities, and service under just and reasonable terms, to connect and transport gas from the TransCanada Mainline pipeline system (the “TransCanada Mainline”) to Nipigon’s planned liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) project (the “Application”).

The NEB denied the Application.

Abandonment Hearing Many Islands Pipe Lines (Canada) Limited (NEB Decision MHW-001-2018)

In this decision, the NEB considered Many Islands Pipe Lines (Canada) Limited (“Many Islands”)’ application for the abandonment of the Renaissance – North Bronson Pipeline and associated facilities (the “Pipeline”).

Pursuant to paragraph 74(1)(d) of the National Energy Board Act (the “NEB Act”), and with consideration of section 50 of the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (the “OPR”), the NEB issued Order ZO-M182-005-2018 (the “Order”), granting Many Islands leave to abandon the Pipeline.

In this decision, the NEB considered Many Islands Pipe Lines (Canada) Limited (“Many Islands”)’ application for the abandonment of the Renaissance – North Bronson Pipeline and associated facilities (the “Pipeline”).

Pursuant to paragraph 74(1)(d) of the National Energy Board Act (the “NEB Act”), and with consideration of section 50 of the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (the “OPR”), the NEB issued Order ZO-M182-005-2018 (the “Order”), granting Many Islands leave to abandon the Pipeline.

Rebasing for the 2018-2022 Performance-Based Regulation Plans for Alberta Electric and Gas Distribution Utilities Second Compliance Proceeding (AUC Decision 23355-D02-2018)

In this decision, the AUC considered the second compliance filing for the interim notional 2017 revenue requirement and 2018 base K-bar for the 2018-2022 performance-based regulation (“PBR”) plans for the following Alberta electric and gas distribution utilities:

·            AltaGas Utilities Inc.,

·            ATCO Electric Ltd. (distribution),

·            ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. (distribution),

·            ENMAX Power Corporation (distribution) (“ENMAX”),

·            EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. (distribution) (“EPCOR”), and

·            FortisAlberta Inc. (“Fortis”)

(collectively, the “Distribution Utilities”).

While the AUC accepted the general principles and methodologies utilized by each of the Distribution Utilities for calculating their respective 2018 PBR rates, the AUC did not approve any specific rates in this decision since the directions throughout this and other decisions would result in changes to 2018 rates.

Applications for Review of Decision 22986-D01-2018, Compliance Application to Decision 22011-D01-2017, ATCO Pipelines 2017-2018 General Rate Application (AUC Decision 23539-D01-2018)

In this decision, the AUC considered applications by ATCO Pipelines, a division of ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. (“ATCO Pipelines”) and the Office of the Utilities Consumer Advocate (“UCA”) for review of Decision 22986-D01-2018 regarding ATCO’s compliance application to Decision 22011-D01-2017, 2017-2018 General Rate Application (“the Decision”).

The Decision addressed a compliance filing from ATCO Pipelines, in Proceeding 22986, in accordance with the findings and directions provided in Decision 22011-D01-2017, in relation to ATCO Pipelines’ 2017-2018 general rate application (the “GRA Decision”).

The AUC granted ATCO Pipelines’ review application. The AUC found that the UCA did not meet the test for review. However, the AUC determined that a review, on its own motion, was warranted in relation to the issue of ATCO Pipelines’ accumulated depreciation balances.

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. Application for Construction and Operation of the Northwest Mainline Loop (NEB Decision GHW-001-2018)

On December 15, 2017, Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (“NGTL”) applied to the National Energy Board (“NEB”) pursuant to section 58 of the National Energy Board Act (“NEB Act”), for authorization to construct and operate 23 kilometres of new pipeline within Clear Hills County, Alberta to transport sweet natural gas (the “Project”).

The NEB determined that it was in the public interest to approve NGTL’s application to construct and operate the Project.

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. Application for Approval of 2018-2019 Revenue Requirement Settlement and Final 2018 Rates, Tolls, Charges and Abandonment (NEB Letter Decision and Order TG-004-2018)

On 23 March 2018 NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (“NGTL”) filed an application for approval of the 2018-2019 Revenue Requirement Settlement (the “Settlement”) and Final 2018 Rates, Tolls, Charges and Abandonment Surcharges for the NGTL System (the “Application”).

The NEB approved the 2018-2019 Settlement, as filed as a package, and the applied-for final 2018 tolls and 2018 abandonment surcharges.

ATCO Gas, a Division of ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. – Z Factor Application for Recovery of 2016 Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Wildfire Costs (AUC Decision 21608-D01-2018)

In this decision, the AUC considered ATCO Gas, a division of ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd.’s (“ATCO”) application to recover $11.199 million through a Z factor rate adjustment for the costs it incurred as a result of the 2016 Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire (the “Wildfire”).

The AUC determined that:

(a)     for 2016, all five of the criteria to qualify for a Z factor rate adjustment had been met;

(b)     the Wildfire was of a similar nature and magnitude to other nature-related events identified in ATCO Gas’ 2009 depreciation study; and

(c)     the Wildfire did not give rise to an extraordinary retirement of the destroyed assets.

Therefore, the depreciation expense associated with the assets that were replaced would continue to be recovered from ratepayers.

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. – North Montney Mainline Variance Application and Sunset Clause Extension Request (NEB Decision MH-031-2017)

The NEB found that there was a need for the facilities described in the Variance Application (the “NMML Facilities”) and that the NMML Facilities were economically feasible.

The Board found that approving NGTL’s existing tolling methodology for the NMML Facilities over the long-term would not result in just and reasonable tolls, due to the lack of adherence to the cost causation principle and goal of economic efficiency.

Bigstone Cree Nation v. Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (2018 FCA 89)

In this decision, the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) considered an application by Bigstone Cree Nation (“Bigstone”) for judicial review of Order in Council P.C. No. 2016-962 (the “Order”) made by the Governor in Council (the “GIC”) dated October 28, 2016. The Order directed the NEB to issue an environmental assessment decision statement concerning the 2017 Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (“NGTL”) System Expansion Project in northern Alberta (the “Project”), and to issue the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity GC-126 (the “CPCN”) authorizing the construction and operation of the Project.

For the reasons summarized below, the FCA dismissed Bigstone’s application, finding that the Crown had adequately fulfilled its duty to consult and accommodate Bigstone.

NOVA Gas Transmission Limited – Application for the Sundre Crossover (NEB Decision and Order with Reasons to Follow GH-002-2017)

On 24 March 2017, NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (“NGTL”) applied to construct and operate the Sundre Crossover Project (the “Project”) pursuant to section 58 of the National Energy Board Act (“NEB Act”) and section 45.1 of the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (“OPR”) (the “Application”). In the Application, NGTL also requested exemptions from paragraph 30(1)(a) and section 31 of the NEB Act.

The Board approved the Project and issued Order XG-N081-030-2017, and associated conditions pursuant to section 58 of the NEB Act and section 45.1 of the OPR, respectively. The NEB granted NGTL the relief requested with respect to paragraph 30(1)(a) and section 31 of the NEB Act.

The NEB issued this decision with reasons to follow.

AER Decision Dismissing Request for Regulatory Appeal by Ken Cowles – Jupiter Resources Inc. Well Licences (Appeal No. 1849984)

In this decision, the AER considered Mr. Cowles’ requests under section 38 of the Responsible Energy Development Act (“REDA”) for regulatory appeals of the AER’s decisions to approve certain well licences (the “Licences”) issued to Jupiter Resources Inc. (“Jupiter”). The Licences were issued in December 2015, allowing Jupiter to drill and produce fourteen natural gas wells.

The AER determined that: (1) Mr. Cowles did not file a statement of concern in relation to the applications for which the Licences were issued; and (2) in any case, the record does not indicate that Mr. Cowles was directly and adversely affected by the AER’s decisions to issue the Licences.

The AER therefore dismissed the requests for regulatory appeals.

NOVA Gas Transmission Limited – Albersun Pipeline Asset Purchase Project (NEB Report GHW-001-2016)

On April 27, 2016, NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (“NGTL”) applied to the NEB seeking leave to purchase the Albersun Pipeline (the “Project”) from Suncor and include the cost in the NGTL System rate base, pursuant to Parts IV and V of the National Energy Board Act, and for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Albersun Pipeline, among other things, dated 27 April 2016.

The NEB granted NGTL leave to purchase the Project and approved NGTL’s request to include the purchase price of the Albersun Pipeline in the Alberta System rate base.

TransCanada PipeLines Limited – Application for Approval of Dawn Long Term Fixed Price Service (NEB Decision RH-003-2017)

On 26 April 2017, TransCanada PipeLines Limited (“TransCanada”) filed an application under Parts I and IV of the National Energy Board Act (“NEB Act”) (the “Application”), requesting the NEB approve:

(a)     the Dawn Long Term Fixed Price (“LTFP”) service (the “Dawn LTFP Service” or “Service”);

(b)     the tolling methodology and tolls for the Service; and

(c)     consequential amendments to the Canadian Mainline Gas Transportation Tariff.

The NEB approved the Application as filed.

The NEB directed TransCanada to separately track and report annually the actual costs and revenues related to Dawn LTFP service and to provide, in all future toll proceedings, disaggregated information to support the prudence of Dawn LTFP service-related TBO costs.

AltaGas Utilities Inc. – 2016 Capital Tracker True-Up Application (AUC Decision 22710-D01-2017)

In this decision, the AUC considered AltaGas Utilities Inc.’s (“AltaGas”) 2016 capital tracker true-up application (the “Application”).

In this decision, the Commission made the following determinations:

  • because three projects, Drumheller Phase 6 (town), Settler Area 1 (town), and Erskine (rural) were not previously determined by the AUC to be needed, the AUC assessed these projects and found all three to be needed.

  • the actual scope, level, timing and actual costs of each of the projects or programs included in the 2016 true-up were prudently incurred and satisfied the project assessment requirement of Criterion 1.

  • the capital tracker projects or programs included in the 2016 true-up continued to meet the requirements of the accounting test under Criterion 1.

  • there was no need to reassess the project or program requirements against Criterion 2, unless the driver for the project or program had changed.

  • the projects or programs included in the 2016 true-up satisfied the materiality requirement under Criterion 3.

  • with one exception (discussed below), the AUC found that AltaGas complied with previous Commission directions.