سو استفاده مالی در نیروگاه برق شهر برامتون انتاریو – 100 میلیون دلار از مصرف کنندگان اضافه گرفته شده استBrampton power plant ‘gamed’ Ontario electricity system for millions, fined $10M
این شرکت 10 میلیون دلار جریمه شده است
ایرکانیوز- اخبار ایرانیان کانادا – irca News- چهارشنبه 6 دسامبر 2017 – 16 اذر 96
Brampton power plant ‘gamed’ Ontario electricity system for millions, fined $10M
Ontario Energy Board found Goreway Station Partnership “repeatedly exploited defects” in the system by which the provincial Independent Electricity System Operator pays suppliers for power.
By ROB FERGUSONQueen’s Park Bureau
Tues., Dec. 5, 2017
A Brampton gas plant that the government admits “gamed” Ontario’s electricity system for $120 million in overbillings will pocket $10 million despite a $10 million fine and $100 million repayment order.
The situation uncovered in a month-old Ontario Energy Board report Tuesday left Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals on the defensive with a provincial election just six months away.
Opposition parties raised concerns the 2015 settlement with the Goreway Station Partnership — which rejects assertions it “deliberately” gamed ratepayers — was hushed up for political reasons and called for a deeper investigation, possibly by police.
“This company gamed the system and paid a price for doing that,” Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said of the record fine and the repayment order levied on Goreway by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator.
IESO vice-president Terry Young confirmed to the Star that the overbilling tally totalled $120 million over several years, leaving $10 million in Goreway coffers after the fine and the $100 million repayment figure, which was blacked out in the energy board report.
“There’s a process in place where these kinds of things are determined,” Duguid added when asked why Peel Region police were not alerted.
But critics said the settlement leaves unanswered questions about Goreway’s “ineligible expenses” for firing up its natural gas-fuelled power plant and how long it took to flag costs that were higher than for all other gas plants combined.
“Taxpayers and electricity customers in Ontario were being bilked . . . that’s lot of money,” said Progressive Conservative MPP and energy critic Todd Smith, who is insisting on full repayment by Goreway.
The Conservatives will consider alerting police, as they did over concerns about deleted documents in the scandal over two gas-fired power plants that were cancelled before the 2011 election, and events related to a 2015 Sudbury byelection. Both resulted in investigations and charges, although the Sudbury case was dismissed by a judge.
“It’s something that we’re definitely going to look into because we have to act in the best interests of hydro customers in Ontario,” Smith added. “This is just another example of how the Liberals have been asleep at the wheel.”
The NDP said the Liberal government is known for issuing scads of self-promotional press releases but was content to leave details of the Goreway case quietly buried in the Ontario Energy Board’s website.
“This $100 million is a massive fraud and the people of Ontario are the victims,” New Democrat MPP John Vanthof charged during question period in the legislature.
“Why did this Liberal government keep this information so quiet and not do a press release, as it does will all other hydro announcements?”
Duguid later told reporters that it’s up to Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, “to determine if any further actions ought to be taken” over the way the case was handled from a public relations and settlement perspective.
“There’s no defending this company here and this government has no intentions to do that,” said Duguid, standing in for Thibeault, who was absent because of a sudden death in the family.
Thibeault’s office said Goreway has repaid $91 million of the $100 million repayment order to date. Duguid confirmed Goreway executive Rob Coulbeck was removed Dec. 1 from a panel studying ways to renew the electricity market.
Smith said having a Goreway official on the body advising Thibeault on modernization measures was “kind of like putting A-Rod in charge of getting steroids out of baseball.”
Coulbeck did not reply to a request for comment. A source said he did not join the company until after the questionable expenses were detected.
Provincial auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s annual report, to be released Wednesday, will examine whether surveillance of electricity suppliers by the Ontario Energy Board and IESO are “sufficient.”
Young, of the IESO, said police were not called about Goreway because the agency, which runs the day-to-day needs of the power grid to keep the lights on across the province, was following the regulations it established for companies in Ontario’s electricity marketplace.
“We do have market rules that are designed to deal with this type of situation . . . to recover these costs,” Young added, noting the agency had to consider the additional expense of trying to drive a harder bargain in the settlement.
“We used the process.”
The Goreway settlement was one of nine in which recovery orders totalling $168 million were issued based on $200 million in “ineligible costs” discovered through audits after suspicions were raised starting in 2009, Young said. Goreway was the only company fined and the IESO would not reveal the names of the eight other suppliers.
In a statement to the Star Tuesday, Goreway, which has 41 employees, said its management team has changed since the ineligible costs were billed.
“None of the current executives of Goreway were on the executive team during the period in question,” said chief compliance officer Emma Coyle. “The project sponsors have also taken active steps to enhance internal controls and compliance oversight.”
Coyle added she does not know if any Goreway staff, past or present, have been contacted by police.
“Not that we’re aware of.”
Goreway is now working closely with the IESO to ensure its billings are “consistent” with requirements and said payouts remain subject to audits under market rules.
“Though the exhaustive audit process, it was determined that some of the costs Goreway submitted for reimbursement should be refunded to the IESO, which Goreway agreed to do,” Coyle said.
“Goreway rejects any assertion that it deliberately ‘gamed’ the IESO reimbursement programs” as stated in the Ontario Energy Board report, she added.
That report stated “Goreway routinely submitted what were obviously inappropriate expenses to be reimbursed by the IESO and ultimately borne by Ontario ratepayers.”
The rules by which suppliers are reimbursed for expenses are complex and create “opportunities for exploitation,” the report warned.
Young said regulations for eligible expenses have been “strengthened” and reduced disputes to $23 million last year compared with $61 million in 2014, for example.
Goreway, opened in 2009 to meet intermittent peak power needs, is a subsidiary and joint venture of Toyota Tshusho Corporation and JERA Co. Inc.