Responding to the needs expressed by both consumers and industry, the Electricity Statutes Amendment Act would help further modernize Alberta’s electricity system. If passed, the act will encourage adoption and investment in emerging energy systems and technologies that can lead to long-term benefits for ratepayers and the electricity industry.
As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, the proposed legislative amendments will help build investor confidence in Alberta’s electricity grid and support a modern and innovative electricity system.
“As new and improved technologies emerge, we need to ensure that Albertans can benefit from these developments to remain a top destination for global investment. The amendments proposed will encourage increased investment and the adoption of these new technologies while making sure that Alberta’s electricity system continues to be safe, reliable and affordable, meeting the needs of consumers and investors.”
The Electricity Statutes Amendment Act has been developed following months of engagement and targeted discussions with investors, consumer groups and electricity producers and utilities.
The legislative amendments proposed under the act allow the integration of energy storage into Alberta’s interconnected electricity system in both the competitive electricity market and the transmission and distribution system.
The proposed amendments would allow unlimited self-supply with export while ensuring that transmission system costs are balanced among all system participants.
To ensure costs associated with these technologies are shared reasonably and fairly between industry and Alberta ratepayers, and to encourage maximum use of the existing system, the proposed amendments will provide oversight and coordination of the implementation of these technologies into Alberta’s electricity system.
These changes are not expected to impact consumers’ utility costs immediately, but will lead to savings that will benefit consumers in the long run.
Further proposed legislative amendments build on the Alberta Utilities Commission Distribution System Inquiry on modernizing Alberta’s electric distribution system to ensure the cost-effective integration of distributed energy resources in the system. The amendments add a requirement for distribution owners to prepare long-term plans as per future regulations, which will describe the outcomes and timing of the plans.
Legislation proposed will also give the Minister of Energy regulation-making authority to allow government to provide further guidance around a distribution planning framework.
- Energy storage systems are increasingly viable and could take on a wide range of roles within the electricity system to support lower carbon generation, help manage system costs and improve the overall reliability of the grid.
- Self-supply with export is the ability to generate electricity on site, sell any surplus to the grid and to draw from the grid when required. Amendments under the act would enable unlimited self-supply with export, which can assist industrial and commercial operators in managing electricity costs, promote reliability of the integrated electricity system and reduce emissions.
- The energy storage amendments proposed would enable competitive procurement of energy storage across the system by introducing new definitions for both energy storage resource and energy storage facility, and setting the stage for their approvals. In addition, the amendments will allow distribution and transmission companies to use this technology to provide utility service under certain circumstances, which could help keep costs down for ratepayers over the long term.