In some circumstances, MACD may enter into a voluntary negotiated settlement with a Market Participant, rather than issuing formal enforcement actions such as the imposition of a financial penalty. MACD's main objective is to secure the best possible outcomes for both reliability and the market, rather than the enforcement of the rules for its own sake. Accordingly, it may consider whether an alternative resolution, which typically includes a range of mitigation and/or remedial features, is preferable.
Below is a list of negotiated settlements agreed upon by MACD.
2022 Negotiated Settlements
The IESO has entered into a Settlement Agreement with Ontario Power Generation (“OPG”) in respect of two separate events that occurred in 2016 concerning OPG’s equipment, which included elements of the Bulk Power System and Bulk Electric System, located at the Bowmanville Switching Station in connection with a planned maintenance outage at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. Pursuant to Chapter 3, section 6.2.3 of the Market Rules, the IESO undertook an investigation into the actions of OPG, alleging that in both cases OPG had failed sufficiently to plan and coordinate scheduled outages involving certain control equipment or to recognize the purpose and limitations of the associated electrical protective relay scheme. In one instance, equipment at the Bowmanville Switching Station operated without this scheme for approximately five months without incident, which IESO concluded gave rise to a significant market and electrical reliability concern with a low probability of occurrence.
OPG cooperated fully with the IESO’s investigation, including by responding to the IESO’s requests for information. The IESO further notes that OPG did not intend to breach the Market Rules and associated standards and manuals, and that OPG did not profit from either of the events.
In order to settle the matter, OPG has agreed to pay a financial penalty of CDN $1.674 million and the IESO has agreed to conclude its investigation.
2021 Negotiated Settlements
The IESO has agreed to enter into a settlement with MAG Energy Solutions Inc. (“MAGES”) regarding certain trading activities on the New York-Ontario, Manitoba-Ontario, Michigan-Ontario, Minnesota-Ontario and Quebec-Ontario interties during the period from June 2006 to July 2020.
As a result of an investigation, the IESO issued a notice of non-compliance pursuant to Chapter 3 of the Market Rules notifying MAGES that, among other things, the IESO had determined that MAGES failed to schedule certain intertie transactions contrary to Chapter 7, section 7.5.8A of the Market Rules.
When a market participant fails to schedule cross-border energy, it may not be charged certain settlement amounts and/or may receive unwarranted payments. The Market Rules provide for the adjustment of settlement amounts, including the recovery of settlement amounts avoided and payments received due to cross-border trade failures that are within a market participant’s control.
Without acknowledging or admitting any breach or violation of the Market Rules, MAGES has agreed to voluntarily pay to the IESO the amount of $1.274 million to resolve this matter.
The IESO has entered into a settlement agreement with Rayonier A.M. Canada Enterprises Inc. (formerly Tembec Enterprises Inc.) and Rayonier A.M Canada G.P (formerly Tembec General Partnership), collectively “RYAM”, in relation to matters previously under investigation.
Pursuant to Chapter 3, section 6.2.7 of the Market Rules, the IESO has issued a financial penalty and non-compliance letter to RYAM, based upon the breach determinations set out below.
While RYAM does not acknowledge or admit to any violation of the Market Rules, for the purposes of the settlement, RYAM does not contest the IESO's determinations of breaches of the following Market Rules:
- Chapter 1, section 11.2.1;
- Chapter 3, section 6.2.6;
- Chapter 5, section 22.214.171.124;
- Chapter 7, section 126.96.36.199;
- Chapter 7, section 3.3A.11;
- Chapter 7, section 3.3.8;
- Chapter 7, section 188.8.131.52;
- Chapter 7, section 184.108.40.206;
- Chapter 7, section 7.4.2;
- Chapter 7, section 7.5.1;
- and Chapter 7, section 7.5.2.
RYAM has agreed to repay to the IESO the amount of $18,000,000 (Eighteen Million Dollars) in respect of congestion management settlement credit payments received during the period under investigation. RYAM has also agreed to operate the Spruce Falls facility as a non-dispatchable load for the next five years.
Based upon the determinations of breach, the IESO has issued a financial penalty and non-compliance letter. The financial penalty requires RYAM to pay $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) immediately. A remaining part of the penalty, totalling $3,400,000 (Three Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars) is suspended, but will become payable should RYAM fail to meet its obligations under the settlement agreement.
The IESO notes that while under investigation, when notified of certain issues, RYAM took some steps to improve its compliance with the Market Rules. However, the IESO has determined that RYAM breached Chapter 3, section 6.2.6, in relation to a failure to provide a timely and/or comprehensive response to a request for information.
On August 8, 2019, pursuant to Chapter 3, section 6.2.3 of the IESO market rules, the IESO issued a notice (“Notice”) to Chubu TT Energy Management Inc. (“Chubu”) regarding the alleged breach of Chapter 7, section 7.5.8A of the market rules.
The Notice related to Chubu’s conduct in certain transactions in the IESO-administered markets between August 25, 2015 and June 16, 2018 over the Michigan-Ontario, Minnesota-Ontario and New York-Ontario interties (the “Subject Transactions”). Specifically, the Notice stated that the IESO is investigating whether Chubu failed to schedule the Subject Transactions other than for bona fide and legitimate reasons, contrary to Chapter 7, section 7.5.8A of the market rules.
Without acknowledging or admitting any breach or violation of the market rules, Chubu has agreed to voluntarily pay to the IESO the amount of $650,000, in full and final satisfaction of the allegations in the Notice and the underlying investigation. The IESO has terminated the investigation.
2017 Negotiated Settlements
The Independent Electricity System Operator ("IESO") has approved a settlement with The Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board ("Manitoba Hydro") regarding a compliance investigation into Manitoba Hydro's trading activity on the Manitoba and Minnesota interties.
In a Notice of Alleged Breach dated September 13, 2012, staff of the Market Assessment and Compliance Division ("MACD") of the IESO alleged that, from October 2011 to September 2012, Manitoba Hydro may have breached section 3.5.6 of Chapter 7 of the Market Rules when its energy offers exceeded the maximum allowed injection permitted under section 220.127.116.11 of Chapter 7 of the Market Rules. In a Supplemental Notice of Alleged Breach dated December 4, 2015, MACD staff alleged that the offers that were the subject of the earlier Notice of Alleged Breach were misleading and may have been in breach of section 11.2.1 of Chapter 1 of the Market Rules. Further, on December 4, 2015, MACD staff alleged that Manitoba Hydro may have breached section 6.2.6 of Chapter 3 of the Market Rules by refusing to answer three questions posed in one of MACD's information requests.
In order to resolve the matter, and without Manitoba Hydro admitting any wrongdoing related to the breaches as alleged by MACD staff, the IESO and Manitoba Hydro have agreed to a settlement.
Manitoba Hydro has agreed to pay CDN $9,600,000.00 to settle the matter.
2016 Negotiated Settlements
Resolute FP Canada Inc. ("Resolute"): On August 22, 2016, pursuant to Chapter 3 of the market rules, the IESO issued a non-compliance letter to Resolute FP Canada Inc. (“Resolute”) for breach of the requirements of the following provisions of the market rules:
- Chapter 7, section 3.3.8;
- Chapter 7, section 3.5.6; and
- Chapter 7, section 7.5.1.
The IESO’s determination relates to Resolute’s operation of its dispatchable pulp and paper facilities located in Fort Frances and Thunder Bay, during the period October, 2004 to September, 2013, as applicable. In this regard, the IESO has determined that on certain occasions during the relevant period, Resolute engaged in the following conduct:
- submitted bid quantities to the IESO in excess of the facility’s ability to withdraw energy from the IESO-controlled grid;
- failed to update dispatch data to be consistent with the reasonable expectations of the quantity of energy to be delivered or withdrawn by the facility; and
- deviated from the IESO’s dispatch instructions.
The non-compliance letter was issued as part of a settlement between the IESO and Resolute. Without acknowledging or admitting any breach of the market rules, Resolute has accepted, without contest, the IESO’s determinations and has agreed to voluntarily repay the amount of $8,750,000.00. This payment is in addition to an earlier voluntary repayment by Resolute in the amount of $1,825,010.03.
Going forward, Resolute has also agreed to develop and implement an Internal Compliance Program (“ICP”) in order to ensure that potential breaches of the market rules are detected and corrected. In doing so, Resolute will take into account relevant IESO guidance, including the Statement of Approach published December 19, 2013
(see Internal Compliance Programs). Resolute will implement the ICP within one year of the date of the settlement with the IESO.
2014 Negotiated Settlements
Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) paid the sum of $550,000 to the IESO for its failure, on a timely basis, to remove its offers for Lambton G4 in HE19 on October 15, 2010 as required by Chapter 7, Section 3.3.8 of the Market Rules. The payment addresses financial benefit inadvertently received by OPG, impact to the market and other factors. Along with a lack of intent to breach the rule, MACD notes in particular the timely self-report and other cooperation by OPG regarding the matter.
2013 Negotiated Settlements
Independent Electricity System Operator: On December 17, 2010 the IESO reached a settlement agreement with the Market Assessment and Compliance Division ("MACD"), in relation to a MACD finding that the IESO violated North American Electric Reliability Corporation reliability standards and associated Northeast Power Coordinating Council criteria, and thereby breached the market rules. The agreement stipulated that the IESO agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $130,000, with $100,000 to be suspended pending MACD's evaluation of agreed improvements to the IESO's internal compliance program. MACD judged that those improvements would be of more value to the shared goal of reliability than a financial penalty, in this circumstance. That evaluation is now complete and the IESO has made the requisite improvements to its compliance program. The corresponding component of the penalty is now removed.
2010 Negotiated Settlements
The IESO has agreed to a settlement with the Market Assessment and Compliance Division ("MACD") in the amount of $130,000 for failure to identify an increased generation loss associated with a single contingency during a Bruce E Bus outage in October 2008. This event was found by MACD to violate North American Electric Reliability Corporation reliability standards and associated Northeast Power Coordinating Council criteria and market rules. An amount of $100,000 is suspended for one year. At that time, the suspension will be made permanent provided the IESO compliance program satisfies effectiveness criteria set out in the settlement.