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1st Session, 40th Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 216

THE CROWN CORPORATIONS PUBLIC REVIEW AND ACCOUNTABILITY AMENDMENT ACT (MANITOBA HYDRO RATEPAYERS PROTECTION)


Explanatory Note Bilingual Version (PDF)

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. C336 amended

1           This Act amends The Crown Corporations Public Review and Accountability Act.

2           Subsections 2(2) and (3) are amended by striking out "Part IV" and substituting "Parts IV and V".

3           The following is added after section 28:

PART V

ECONOMIC REVIEW OF MAJOR

HYDRO PROJECTS

Definitions

28.1(1)     The following definitions apply in this Part.

"Board" means The Public Utilities Board. (« Régie »)

"major hydro project" means a development for, or in relation to, the production or transmission of energy that

(a) is a class 3 development under the regulations made under The Environment Act; or

(b) is a class 2 development under the regulations made under The Environment Act, but only if the development is necessary for, or associated with, the operation of a class 3 development.

In this definition, the terms "development", "class 2 development" and "class 3 development" have the same meaning as in The Environment Act. (« projet hydroélectrique d'envergure »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer The Manitoba Hydro Act. (« ministre »)

Interpretation of "construct"

28.1(2)     In this Part, "construct" includes to begin construction.

Economic review and LG in C approval required for major hydro projects

28.2        Despite any other Act or law, Manitoba Hydro must not construct any major hydro project without first having

(a) filed an application with the Board for an economic review of the proposed project under section 28.3; and

(b) received approval from the Lieutenant Governor in Council to construct the proposed project, which may only be given after the Board has completed its review and given its report and recommendations to the minister.

Board to conduct review and prepare report and recommendations

28.3        Upon receiving an application from Manitoba Hydro under this Part, the Board must conduct an economic review of the proposed project in accordance with this Part, and prepare a report and recommendations that are to be provided to the minister.

Application of Public Utilities Board Act

28.4(1)     Subject to subsection (2), The Public Utilities Board Act applies with the necessary changes to a review under this Part.

Manitoba Hydro to pay all costs

28.4(2)     Despite section 56 of The Public Utilities Board Act, all costs of, and incidental to, an economic review under this Part are to be paid by Manitoba Hydro.

Factors to be considered

28.5        In conducting a review under this Part, the Board is to consider

(a) the need to construct the proposed project, including

(i) consideration of load forecasts and forecasting methods, and

(ii) examination of the relative success of previous forecasts prepared or used by Manitoba Hydro;

(b) whether all reasonable alternatives to the construction of the proposed project have been considered by Manitoba Hydro, including

(i) the extent to which all reasonable alternatives have been considered, and

(ii) whether, in considering the alternatives, Manitoba Hydro has selected the proposed project on reasonable grounds, including the grounds of cost efficiency, technical feasibility and reliability;

(c) the capital costs of constructing the proposed project, and how Manitoba Hydro proposes to pay these costs, including details of any financing and its effect on Manitoba Hydro's debt;

(d) the projected annual operating costs of the proposed project;

(e) the effect of the proposed project on electricity rates to be charged to Manitoba consumers, and the methods proposed to phase in these effects;

(f) the analysis by Manitoba Hydro of potential risks of all types arising from the construction and operation of the project, including economic, financial, technical and reliability risks;

(g) the effect of the proposed project on Manitoba Hydro's ability to meet any reliability standards made or adopted under The Manitoba Hydro Act;

(h) whether Manitoba Hydro, in proposing the construction of the proposed project, has adequately considered possible modifications to the project that may arise from an environmental review of the project under The Environment Act; and

(i) any other factor that the Board considers relevant to the review.

Information to be provided by Manitoba Hydro

28.6         At the request of the Board, Manitoba Hydro must provide the Board with all information necessary for the Board to properly conduct its review under this Part, including

(a) load forecasts prepared or used by Manitoba Hydro in planning for the construction or operation of the proposed project;

(b) copies of contracts that Manitoba Hydro has entered into for the sale of electricity to customers and that have been considered in load forecasts referred to in clause (a); and

(c) reports, analyses and other documents or information relating to

(i) Manitoba Hydro's consideration of all reasonable alternatives to the construction of the proposed project,

(ii) how Manitoba Hydro has determined the capital costs of constructing the proposed project, and how it proposes to pay these costs, including details of any financing and its effect on Manitoba Hydro's debt,

(iii) how Manitoba Hydro has determined projected annual operating costs of the proposed project,

(iv) Manitoba Hydro's position as to the effect that the proposed project will have on electricity rates to be charged to Manitoba consumers,

(v) the analysis by Manitoba Hydro of potential risks of all types arising from the construction and operation of the project,

(vi) Manitoba Hydro's determination of the effect of the proposed project on its ability to meet any reliability standards made or adopted under The Manitoba Hydro Act,

(vii) Manitoba Hydro's consideration of possible modifications to the proposed project that may arise from an environmental review of the project under The Environment Act.

Public hearings

28.7        In conducting a review under this Part, the Board must hold public hearings, and may hear submissions from any persons or groups, or classes of persons or groups, that, in the opinion of the Board, have an interest in the matter.

Report and recommendations to be provided to the minister

28.8(1)     Upon completing its review under this Part, the Board must prepare a report and recommendations, and provide them to the minister.

Report and recommendations to be made public

28.8(2)     Within 30 days after the Board provides its report and recommendations to the minister, it must make the report and recommendations publicly available by posting copies of them on the Board's internet website.

LG in C may approve project

28.9        After the minister has received the report and recommendations of the Board, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, on the advice of the minister, by order,

(a) approve the project as proposed;

(b) approve the proposed project subject to conditions; or

(c) refuse to approve the proposed project.

4           Section 29 is amended by striking out "Parts I to IV" and substituting "Parts I to V".

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. H190

5           The Manitoba Hydro Act is amended by adding the following after section 16.1:

Part V of the Crown Corporations Public Review and Accountability Act

16.1.1      Sections 14, 15, 16 and 16.1 are subject to Part V of The Crown Corporations Public Review and Accountability Act.

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. P280

6           Subsection 2(5) of The Public Utilities Board Act is amended by striking out "Part IV" and substituting "Parts IV and V".

Transitional

7(1)        The BiPole III transmission project, as described in the proposal filed by Manitoba Hydro under The Environment Act in December 2011, is a major hydro project for which an economic review is required under Part V of The Crown Corporations Public Review and Accountability Act, as enacted by section 3, whether or not construction began on any component of the project before Part V came into force.

Components of the BiPole III transmission project

7(2)         For greater certainty, the BiPole III transmission project includes, without limitation, the construction of the following:

(a) a new 500 kV high-voltage DC transmission line;

(b) two new converter stations (Keewatinoow and Riel);

(c) 230 kV collector lines;

(d) two ground electrodes with connections to the converter stations.

Coming into force

8           This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill requires a major hydro project — such as a dam or transmission line — proposed by Manitoba Hydro to be submitted to The Public Utilities Board (PUB) for an economic review before construction can begin.

The PUB review, which involves public hearings, is to consider such matters as

  • the need for the proposed project, in light of load forecasts and contracts for the sale of electricity;
  • whether reasonable alternatives to the proposed project have been adequately considered;
  • the capital costs of the proposed project, and how Manitoba Hydro proposes to finance these costs; and
  • the effect of the proposed project on electricity rates to be charged to Manitoba consumers.

Following the review, the PUB is to provide its report to the government and make it publicly available on its website. Cabinet must then consider the report and PUB's recommendations before approving the construction.