Ligni Bel fights $85K penalty from Nova Scotia Power
Ligni Bel Ltd. had a hearing with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board yesterday to fight the $85,000 penalty its sawmill was fined for ignoring an emergency request to shut down power on January 23, 2011.
The company said it responded as soon as it received the request, but Nova Scotia Power said it should have responded to an earlier request, 20 minutes later, a request Ligni Bel said it did not receive.
Gilbert Carre, manager of Ligni Bel Ltd., said the sawmill wasn’t operating at the time, but several employees were on hand preparing for a start-up and would have heard the phone ring.
Ligni Bel is one of about 25 large industrial customers in Nova Scotia that are taking part in the utility’s interruptible program. They agree to be on standby in case Nova Scotia needs to reduce its load during peak times. In exchange, the companies receive a credit of about $7,000 per month on their electricity bill.
The notification phone call is automated. Zak van Vuren, Nova Scotia Power’s senior technical adviser, testified yesterday that he investigated and found no problems with the automated phone system.
Ligni Bel said it can not afford the penalty. The sawmill has been shut down since November 2 because all of the sawmill’s wood supply had been coming from NewPage Port Hawkesbury, which is currently not operating. Carre said a penalty of this size would definitely impact their start-up date. The company would be willing to negotiate a settlement with Nova Scotia Power, but is unable to do so because the interruptible tariff, including the penalties, is set by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
Two other unidentified companies have been fined for not responding to the emergency call on the same date. Both companies have said they also didn’t receive the calls, but they are paying the penalty.
Ligni Bel and Nova Scotia Power will both submit their final written submission to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in late January.
Sawmill disputes fine from Nova Scotia Power (Chronicle Herald)
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