Notice Re: MSA WECC Services Agreement - Monitoring - Reliability Standards Compliance


Re: MSA WECC Services Agreement – Monitoring – Reliability Standards Compliance

Pursuant to its mandate under the Alberta Utilities Commission Act and other enactments, the Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA) is given authority to assess compliance with respect to Alberta reliability standards and to take enforcement action where appropriate.

Initial compliance monitoring is planned to be carried out by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in respect of market participants subject to reliability standards.  In the case of compliance by the AESO itself the MSA plans to carry out the monitoring with the assistance of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Inc. (WECC), a U.S. based reliability organization.

Stakeholders will be aware that WECC plays a larger role in relation to the interconnected electric system outside Alberta, including electric systems in member jurisdictions across the western United States, parts of Mexico, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.  Insofar as Alberta is concerned, WECC and the AESO have entered into a Membership and Operating Agreement (MOA) which contemplates how the two will work together toward ensuring cross-border reliability (that MOA approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission).  Of particular note, those parties have contemplated that WECC should play a monitoring role insofar as the AESO compliance (the MOA also expressly incorporates the enforcement role of the MSA).  This AESO WECC cooperation reflects the desire for consistency between jurisdictions, as contemplated by policy and legislation in Alberta and throughout Canada, in respect of matters associated to electric system reliability.

Stakeholders will also be aware that the conduct of the AESO is expressly made part of the MSA mandate, including as to compliance with Alberta reliability standards applicable to the AESO.  Accordingly, the MSA and WECC plan to work together to carry out the monitoring of the AESO and have drafted a formal MSA WECC Services Agreement which is presently before the WECC Board for consideration and approval.  Once approved on behalf of WECC, the Services Agreement will then be signed by the MSA.

Highlights of the MSA WECC Services Agreement include:

• WECC will carry out its monitoring under the auspices of the mandate and authority of the MSA, and will report to the MSA.

• The monitoring of the AESO by WECC will generally be done in a manner consistent with how the AESO monitors compliance by market participants with Alberta reliability standards.

• The MSA will be responsible for enforcement regarding compliance with Alberta reliability standards by the AESO as well as by market participants.

• Consistent with its role and expertise regarding reliability standards, WECC may at the request of the MSA provide views regarding mitigation plans, sanctions or other matters pertaining to contravention of Alberta reliability standards.

• Records (information) associated to the services provided by WECC will remain confidential within WECC, shared only on a need-to-know basis, and will not be shared by WECC with other parties outside Alberta without the approval of the MSA.

• Costs or fees associated to AESO monitoring provided by WECC under the Services Agreement are considered part of the WECC fees already assessed to the AESO as part of its membership in WECC.

• The Services Agreement is contemplated to take effect April 30, 2010.

Please click here to find the MSA WECC Services Agreement.

The MSA expects to provide an update regarding the status of the MSA WECC Services Agreement within the next few weeks.

We trust that this will be of assistance.

Yours truly,

“Original Signed”

W. W. (Wayne) Silk
Deputy Administrator