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Transmission & Distribution

Transmission & Distribution
Transmission & Distribution
Expertise / Sectors / Power / Transmission & Distribution

The world relies on energy to operate, making power a highly regulated industry, with laws dictating everything from generation and transmission to distribution and use. Canada has some of the world's most advanced electrical markets, investing billions annually on power transmission and distribution and, with Plan Nord in full swing, Canada is a sought-after market for power-related ventures and investment. At the same time, however, Canada has infrastructure challenges and complex regulatory, environmental, aboriginal and treaty restrictions impacting those engaged in power-related enterprises.

Faced with these challenges and seeking to leverage opportunities, public and private industry players, including power generators, transmitters and distributors, oil and gas pipeline companies, oil storage, refining companies and industrial consumers rely on the Blakes industry-leading Power group for comprehensive advice and representation.

Public and private transmitters and distributors, as well as government and non-government entities consult Blakes for guidance on power transmission and distribution services and planning, including environmental, regulatory compliance, transactional, aboriginal and treaty claims, as well as Plan Nord opportunities. We advise on environmental issues and provincial law and energy management matters and issues relating to power transmission from a variety of generating sources such as nuclear, thermal, hydroelectric, wind and solar generating stations.

Among the other matters we handle are power transmission and distribution facilities and substation siting and development; generator/transmission interconnection and distribution agreements; power purchase, supply, maintenance and repair agreements; pipeline projects and infrastructure matters; and structuring and responding to requests for proposals (RFPs).

From finance agreements to engineering, procurement, construction and service agreements through workplace issues, including worker health and safety and labour relations matters, we advise clients on all aspects of their business dealings.

With offices across Canada, Blakes lawyers are intimately familiar with the province-specific rules impacting the power industry and are strategically located to serve our clients in the various provinces where they conduct business.

Blakes Power lawyers and litigators regularly represent clients in hearings, on applications, in rule-making proceedings and on appeals before key regulatory bodies, including the Ontario Energy Board, the National Energy Board, and in court proceedings at all levels. Additionally, we advocate for clients regarding policy issues, permitting and environmental impact review, tax credits, rates, funding, and energy-efficiency issues.

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Recent Experience


  • AltaLink Management Ltd., Alberta’s largest electrical transmission service providerin obtaining land requirements for its major transmission system reinforcements in southern Alberta.

  • Advise and represent the developer of Canada’s first international merchant power line between Alberta, Canada, and Montana, U.S.A., in obtaining regulatory approvals and securing land access.

  • Ontario Ministry of Energy regarding its interests with respect to the Ontario-Manitoba transmission line project, and with respect to the Bruce Power nuclear refurbishment, which includes transmission issues.

  • Ontario Power Authority representing its interests in pursuing the hydroelectric and transmission development of the Lower Churchill Falls region in Labrador & Newfoundland.

  • Advised various developers and market participants regarding connection agreements with Hydro One and the regulatory requirements regarding proposed interconnections with U.S. markets.

  • Drafted numerous RFPs and related agreements for Alberta's independent system operator to procure transmission and generation used to ensure system reliability.

  • Drafted and/or reviewed merchant transmission proposals in Alberta, Ontario, New England and the Maritimes.

  • Negotiated reliability management and reliability criteria agreements with the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.

Distribution and Retail:

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., the receiver, in connection with the multi-jurisdiction, multi-purchaser sale of RNG Group Inc.’s cross-Canada distribution business and its subsidiaries following the receivership of RNG Group Inc.

  • Regularly act for underwriters in respect of the public debt offerings of Toronto Hydro. As such, we have become thoroughly familiar with all of Toronto Hydro’s operations,

  • Drafted Alberta's second-generation forward-market participant agreement and the second-generation ancillary service agreement.

  • Worked closely with Alberta's independent system operator and market operators to design an effective and efficient market in Alberta.

  • Advised and assisted a U.S.-based electricity utility in becoming licensed and authorized to participate in Ontario's deregulated wholesale electricity and ancillary services markets.

  • Advised electricity brokers in Calgary, Toronto and London, England, on all aspects of their activities.