News Release - MSA Issues Record Financial Penalty

August 16, 2010

NEWS RELEASE

MSA Issues Record Financial Penalty

CALGARY, AB - The Market Surveillance Administrator has issued 332 notices of specified penalty totaling $655,000 to NorthPoint Energy Solutions Inc., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for contraventions of an Alberta electricity market rule in 2008 and 2009.  This cumulative penalty is the largest issued since the opening of the Alberta market.

“Compliance with the market rules is critical to the continued success of the Alberta market and for the safe and reliable operation of the Alberta Interconnected Electric System,” said Harry Chandler, Market Surveillance Administrator.  “This should send a clear message to all participants of the need for effective compliance with the market rules.  I commend NorthPoint for accepting responsibility for its actions and taking immediate steps to revise its compliance program in response to the unintentional contraventions.”

The contraventions resulted from a misunderstanding of the requirements under ISO rule 6.3.3 for scheduling energy at Alberta’s interties with Saskatchewan and British Columbia.  The errors did not cause harm to the integrated power system.  The penalty notices have been registered with the Alberta Utilities Commission and posted on the MSA’s website. NorthPoint has already submitted full payment that will go to Alberta’s General Revenue Fund.

“NorthPoint operates in many jurisdictions throughout North America, including Alberta, and in all cases seeks to do so with integrity.  Compliance with regulatory requirements is fundamental to our business as is positive relationships with our stakeholders”, said Grant Ring, NorthPoint President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Rather than contest the MSA finding, we immediately set about redesigning our compliance structure to ensure that this kind of thing would not happen again.”

A Backgrounder provides more detail and explains the rules framework in the Alberta electricity market.

For more information, contact:
Wayne Silk | wayne.silk@albertamsa.ca

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The Market Surveillance Administrator is an independent enforcement agency that protects and promotes the fair, efficient and openly competitive operation of Alberta’s wholesale electricity markets and its retail electricity and natural gas markets. The MSA also works to ensure that market participants comply with the Alberta Reliability Standards and the Independent System Operator’s rules.