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Details of Maritime Link purchases can be kept confidential: PUB

Back and forth around the RSP fund and how  refund would be handled have been ongoing before the Public Utilities Board and the courts since at least 2009.
The Public Utilities Board has decided some — but not all — of the information that was requested to be kept private by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro would be kept confidential. — File photo

Regulator decides on application to keep some Hydro writings private

By Ashley Fitzpatrick

The Telegram

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro asked the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to keep private some of the documents it submitted as part of the ongoing power rate review, citing risk to its own financial interests and the interests of third parties, including Nalcor Energy Marketing.

On Thursday, the PUB issued its decision in the case, finding some of the information — but not all — would be kept confidential.

The information in question included details of power purchases for energy brought in over the Maritime Link, and associated contracts.

Newfoundland Power, the Labrador Interconnected Group of customers and the Iron Ore Co. of Canada did not make any comments, but the industrial customer group on the island and the consumer advocate did respond to Hydro’s application.

The consumer advocate argued harm to the corporation and ratepayers from release of the information, as Hydro described it, was “vague and speculative.”

The industrial group thought otherwise, supporting the move for confidentiality and suggesting it to be a “reasonable and justifiable” action for the board, given the information involved.

In its decision, the PUB looked at the two responses to requests for information covered by the request, and the documents falling within each response.

The regulator ordered higher-level information (in aggregate) will be released and posted online. It also decided a contract — as established between Nalcor Energy Marketing and Hydro — will be similarly released.

Hydro can file within the next 10 days to halt the release of the specific documents picked out by the PUB, triggering a secondary review.

The decision can be read in its entirety online at http://www.pub.nf.ca/.

ashley.fitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

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