Alberta makes changes to electricity pool as it moves away from coal

The Alberta Legislature on Feb. 26, 2016. Wes Rosa, Global News

The Alberta government is making more changes to how it handles electricity as it transitions out of coal-fired power.

The province is giving the entity that brokers the electricity system —known as the balancing pool — the ability to borrow money from the province to manage its funding obligations so those costs don’t get passed on to consumers.

READ MORE: Alberta changing how it produces and pays for electricity

The balancing pool was set up when Alberta deregulated electricity two decades ago, but Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says that was a flawed approach.

She says power companies are now returning money-losing power contracts to the balancing pool and any outstanding costs are passed on to ratepayers.

McCuaig-Boyd says other changes will keep electricity costs low and stable as Alberta shuts down all coal-fired electricity by 2030.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Alberta makes deal with power producers to phase out coal by 2030

The province has also hired Robert Bhatia, a former senior civil servant, to be the new chairman of the balancing pool’s board of directors.