Table of contents

Status: Bill 22 was introduced April 27, 2022
Ministry responsible: Energy

Overview

Bill 22, the Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, 2022, would help Alberta’s electricity system meet the evolving needs of consumers. It would foster a low-carbon future through investment from industry rather than costly subsidies from taxpayers and ensure that consumers continue to have access to safe, reliable and affordable electricity.

If passed, Bill 22 will integrate new technologies and innovations into Alberta’s electricity system by enabling energy storage, unlimited self-supply with export and help the distribution system plan for electric vehicles, renewable power sources and other distributed energy resources. It would also begin the transfer of remaining Balancing Pool responsibilities and prepare for its future dissolution. These developments would help bring long-term savings to the system that will benefit consumers.

Modernizing Alberta’s electricity system is needed to address the changing ways electricity producers and consumers interact with and use Alberta’s power grid. Companies who want to generate their own electricity (self-supply) would be able to export the excess electricity to the grid, while other measures would encourage adoption and investment in emerging energy systems and technologies bringing long-term cost savings for consumers and industry.

Proposed changes were developed following the Energy storage engagement and targeted discussions with investors, consumer groups and electricity producers and utilities.

Key changes

If passed, Bill 22, the Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, 2022 will:

  • include a formal definition for energy storage in Alberta’s legislative and regulatory framework
  • allow distribution and transmission utilities to own and/or operate energy storage assets under specific conditions
  • allow competitive models to be used to procure distribution and transmission services from market participants
  • include a definition of self-supply with export and include exemptions to broadly enable market participants to choose self supply and export
  • ensure that self-supply with export facilities pay their fair share of system costs through the Alberta Electric System Operator’s tariff
  • set the stage to establish a framework for long-term planning of the modernization of Alberta’s electric distribution system, which includes requiring distribution companies to prepare system plans according to regulations, and providing the Minister of Energy with the necessary regulation-making authority
  • incorporate formal definitions of energy storage in the Alberta Utilities Commission Act and establish the agency’s approach to hearings for energy storage facilities
  • support the Alberta Utilities Commission to facilitate and enforce the funding of the Utilities Consumer Advocate by utilities
  • re-assign many of the current responsibilities of the Balancing Pool to other entities allowing the agency to begin to wind down

Next steps

If passed, these amendments would be proclaimed at the same time as the related regulations are brought into force.

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