OEB Renews, Extends and Relaxes OPA License

As reported here, Parker Gallant wrote to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) October 1st objecting to the Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) application to the OEB for a license extension. Parker’s intervention made a number of points, including:

“On August 30, 2010, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) flagrantly and without notice, much less explanation, breached Ontario law and the OEB license under which the OPA operates when it failed to update its Integrated Power System Plan (IPSP)…The institutional structure of Ontario’s electricity sector revolves around central planning. This central planning based system is operating without a plan, a deficiency that greatly increases financial risks to ratepayers and may well imperil Ontario’s power system reliability impacting the creation of jobs and the ability of the Province to maintain its obligations to the ratepayers and taxpayers.”

On December 2nd, the OEB issued a decision, available here. The decision reads in part:

“…there has not been a finding by the Board or any other enforcement agency that the OPA has breached its licence. I agree with the OPA to this extent: the licence application process is not the appropriate forum in which such a determination should be made. I find that the allegations made in this case are not a bar to renewal of the licence.”

Whereas the OPA previously had a three year license requiring an updated IPSP every three years, now it has a five year license with no requirements about filing power plans.