PUBLIC UTILITIES - Regulatory tribunals - Appeals - Electricity

Law360 Canada (September 13, 2022, 6:02 AM EDT) -- Applications by Kalina Distributed Power Limited and three other entities (collectively, KLSC) and by WCSB Power Alberta Limited Partnership (WCSB) for permission to appeal decisions of the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). KLSC was seeking permission to appeal two decisions (Decision 26090 and Decision 26660) while WCSB was seeking permission to appeal Decision 26090. The context of the applications was Alberta’s architecture of utilities that generated electricity, utilities that transmitted electricity to distribution systems, and distribution systems that provided the electricity to end users. Some utilities that generated electricity were called “distribution connected generators” (DCGs) because they were connected to the distribution systems but not in the same way as most other generators which used the transmission systems. DCG credits related to amounts paid by electrical distribution utilities for the power supplied to them by the DCGs. Decision 26090 essentially phased out DCG credits. The question before this Court was whether there were questions of law or jurisdiction upon which permission to appeal to the Court should be granted. Issues of fact, mixed fact and law, and policy were not subject to appeal under section 29 of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act. KLSC took the position that the AUC erred in law in concluding that no party in the proceeding had to assume the onus of proof with respect to whether the distribution utilities’ DCG credit tariff provisions were just and reasonable. Although the AUC suggested in Decision 26090 that it determined the facts at large without a burden on anyone, its reasons revealed that it placed a practical/evidential burden on the KLSC parties to prove a quantifiable benefit to ratepayers when KLSC was not in the position to meet such a burden. KLSC also submitted that the AUC erred in law when it considered larger policy issues in its application of section 121(2)(a) of the Electric Utilities Act. KLSC further submitted that the AUC failed to give procedural and adjudicative fairness and to comply with the principles of natural justice in various manners. Finally, KLSC raised allegations of bias....
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