From monthly archives: March 2021

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'March 2021'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

The Future of Distribution Utility Consolidation in Ontario - Sponsored by: Grant Thornton LLP

For the past few decades, the Ontario electricity distribution market has seen significant consolidation – with minimal changes to the process. Key aspects like rationale, deal process, and documentation have remained relatively unchanged; however, in the past ten years, we have noticed a shift in the following: Priorities – There is equal emphasis on innovation, customer impact and future proofing the entire organization, whereas in the past, the priority was solely financial gain. Regulatory impact – As a result of the changing OEB regulations and the downward pressure on rates and return on equity, there has been an increased requirement for additional financial analysis to ensure no harm to the ratepayers as well as an increased rationale towards diversification. Diversification – Many merger partners are looking for non-regulated capabilities, and/or increased financing capacity to be used for non-regulated opportunities/innovation. This has shifted a significant portion of the business ...

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Will Regulation Enable or Inhibit Electrification?

          Electricity is clearly going to fuel a great deal more of our economy and day-to-day lifestyles moving forward. This makes good economic sense – as those who have calculated the long-term payback on an electric car know – and is essential to achieving our climate change objectives. Local distribution companies (LDCs) are both electricity suppliers of this more important-than-ever commodity, and they have expertise and relationships that will be crucial to broadening its use. Local utility companies in Ontario are trusted by customers and have detailed insights into complex supply and demand conditions; they own the infrastructure via which growing electricity demand will be met; and they are natural partners to the municipalities who are often driving electrification in contexts such as transportation. It’s a good position to be in. But for LDCs to fully seize this opportunity – and for them to effectively manage the daunting ...

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Hydro One Looks Behind the Meter for Reliability Improvement

Hydro One distributes electricity to 1.4 million customers over a massive 961,000 km² service territory. This means Hydro One serves just over two customers per square-kilometer served. Some of these areas include heavily forested terrain, significant off-road areas and no tie capability, leading to a lack of redundancy in certain parts of the system.  While Hydro One is installing equipment to better pinpoint the location of outages and to decrease response time, some customers in remote locations still experience a disproportionate number of outages. Until now, there have been very few ways to level this disparity. Recently innovations in home battery energy storage have made new solutions possible to improve reliability for outlier customers. In August, Hydro One received regulatory guidance, as part of the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) Innovation Sandbox, to engage in a pilot project to remediate outage disparities for outlier customers through behind the meter home batteries for ...

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