On July 27, 2015 Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) released its decision in a landmark case between Alberta’s electricity market watchdog, the Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA), against TransAlta Corporation and two of its employees. The 200 + page decision sustained the allegations the MSA had made against TransAlta respecting several regulatory offences under the Electric Utilities Act and Fair, Efficient and Open Competition Regulation. Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) led the prosecution of the regulatory offences, which will now move to a second phase to determine remedies for the breaches. TransAlta may consider an appeal of the ruling.
In a decision that has garnered widespread public attention, the AUC concluded that TransAlta had breached the applicable legislative provisions pertaining to anticompetitive conduct, electricity market manipulation, trading on non-public outage records and failing to support a fair, efficient and openly competitive market. The regulatory body further concluded that one of the other respondents, an individual trader employed by TransAlta, had breached the trading provisions in the FEOC Regulation but successfully established a defence of due diligence on the basis that he had received trading approval from a superior.