Prior to COVID-19 arriving here in Ontario, and paralyzing society, I'd read some papers dealing with the electricity system. These papers may seem a trivial topic today, but the last major economic shock saw the Green Energy Act successfully lobbied and implemented by people who'd been laying in wait for a crisis to manipulate.
In a conversation on January 24, 2020, at an Ontario Energy Network Event, Terry Young, (IESO Vice President Policy, Engagement and Innovation) interviewed IESO President and CEO Peter Gregg. The VP lobbed a question he figured the head of a storage company would ask if she could use the app for questioning, and the President and CEO responded with what a big area of focus the niche was for the IESO.
40 Days after the IESO’s leadership channeled questions for the head of NRStor Inc., with the President acknowledging even if storage wasn’t economic they’d figure out some tricks to make it so, Blackstone, “one of the world’s leading investment firms”, completed the acquisition of NRStor C&I L.P. The head of NRStor congratulated some financial firms on the sale, indicating it was likely the company was being shopped as the heads of the sole contractor of their products were having a conversation pumping their products.
Storage may be important.
Influence definitely is.
Blackstone would not be the first company deciding the way to get into the Ontario market/bonanza is through purchasing existing “stakeholders” - the industry’s preferred euphemism for insiders.
Three documents I read this year (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the province) either target the IESO to form policies for the lobby’s technology, or suggest actions that fit into the IESO’s preferences (which are, unfortunately, often dictated by the Electricity Act):
- Replacing Pickering: March 2020 The Next Step in the GTA’s Clean Energy Transition
- Economic Analysis of a Proposed Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project in Ontario
- Whitepaper on Wind Energy and the Ontario Market