Description and Background
The Province of New Brunswick will amalgamate the NB Power group of companies into a single vertically integrated Crown utility.
In October 2004, the Electricity Act divided NB Power into five separate companies, providing a legal and financial structure to support a decentralized organization. These companies were NB Power Holding Corporation (Holdco), NB Power Generation Corporation (Genco), NB Power Nuclear Corporation (Nuclearco), NB Power Transmission Corporation (Transco) and NB Power Distribution and Customer Service Corporation (Disco). In addition, Genco had two subsidiary companies: NB Power Coleson Cove Corporation (Colesonco) and NB Coal Inc. (now known as Mine Reclamation Inc.).
New Brunswick Electric Finance Corporation (EFC) and the New Brunswick System Operator (NBSO) were also created as independent organizations. EFC was created, in part, to take on a portion of NB Power’s debt in order to reduce debt levels in the NB Power companies to a more commercially appropriate level. The NBSO was created to maintain the adequacy and reliability of the integrated electricity system and to facilitate the operation of a competitive electricity market in New Brunswick.
Within this organization, Transco is the only subsidiary with a commercial capital structure that includes debt and equity – the remainder of the utility has no equity and meets its capital financing requirements entirely through debt. Transco generates revenue from the Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT), which is regulated by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (EUB).
What is “OATT”?
The Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) provides the foundation for the basic conditions and rates for use of the transmission system. The NewBrunswick SystemOperator is currently responsible for seeking revisions to the OATT. All revisions must be approved by the NB Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) and are subject to public scrutiny.
Disco is the only other NB Power company that is regulated. This means that much of NB Power’s operations – including all of its generating facilities and most of its head office activities – are not subject to regulatory oversight and scrutiny.
At the time of reorganization, an interim governance structure was established with the NB Power companies sharing a common Board of Directors and a common President/CEO. The plan was that this structure would evolve as the competitive electricity market evolved and separate Boards and CEOs would be established for each NB Power company.