In issuing an electricity transmitter licence to Chatham-Kent Transmission Inc. (CKT), the Ontario Energy Board made some important comments that will be of interest to any transmitters seeking to participate in the Board's upcoming transmitter designation process for the East-West Tie.
While the primary purpose of CKT's application was to own and operate a transmission line that will connect a wind generation facility within the Municipality of Chatham-Kent to the grid, CKT also indicated its longer term intention to participate in the Board's transmitter designation process. A number of intervenors questioned whether CKT had the financial and technical capability to qualify for a full transmitter licence and requested that the licence be limited to the specific facility proposed by CKT.
The Board disagreed and granted a full licence to CKT. In doing so, the Board stated that under the new regime a licence simply qualifies a new entrant to participate in the designation process at which time a "much more specific financial and technical/operational information will be required to meet the focused demands of specific projects." Because there will be detailed review of capability at a later stage, the licensing application is a "threshold qualification step" which is intended to be "neither unduly onerous nor excessively time consuming." The Board also made encouraging comments about the importance of new entrants into the Ontario market, which should provide comfort that the licensing process will not be used a barrier to prevent companies located outside of Ontario from participating in the designation process.