Conditional Power Plant Approval – Industrial System Designation – Interconnection Application
In this decision, the AUC approved the application from Osum Production Corp. (“Osum”) to construct and operate a power plant designated as the Orion Organic Rankine Cycle Power Plant, for an order to connect the power plant to ATCO Electric Ltd.’s 25-kilovolt distribution system, and for an industrial system designation (“ISD”) for the Orion Commercial Plant (collectively, “the Project”). Osum also requested an ISD encompassing all the proposed facilities at the Orion Plant, including the proposed plant and distribution facilities and equipment.
The proposed power plant would consist of one Organic Rankine Cycle turbine with a nameplate capacity of 19.4 MW. Osum stated that seasonal weather, ambient temperature and operational conditions would affect the output of the proposed power plant, resulting in an anticipated output range between 9.5 MW and 16 MW.
The Project would be located within the boundary of the existing Orion Plant. The proposed power plant would be a closed-loop system. Osum submitted that the only adverse environmental impacts from the proposed power plant could be from contingency conditions, such as a fluid leak that would be contained within the Orion Plant.
The power plant was not predicted to result in significant environmental impacts, and an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act amendment application would not be required. A completed noise impact assessment determined that the combined sound levels of the proposed power plant and existing Orion Plant facilities would exceed the nighttime permissible sound level at one receptor. Noise mitigation would therefore be required for the Project to comply with Rule 012: Noise Control. Noise mitigation measures such as a building or sound absorbing wall was proposed. It was concluded that, with the noise mitigation measures, the Project would meet permissible sound levels at all receptors.
The ISD proposed would encompass the facilities within the Orion Plant, including the proposed power plant and distribution facilities and equipment operating at 25 kV or less within the contagious area of the Orion Plant.
Osum provided an economic analysis of the Project that compared the proposed industrial system to the Orion Plant receiving all electric energy from the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (“AIES”). The analysis concluded that the cost of electricity for the project would be approximately $62.34/megawatt hour, while the cost of receiving electricity from the AIES would be $84.27/megawatt hour.
Osum planned for the Project to be in service within the first quarter of 2022.
The AUC determined that the technical, siting, emissions, environmental and noise aspects of the power plant meet the AUC’s requirements, provided that the recommended noise mitigation is implemented.
The AUC found that the Project would meet the permissible sound levels stipulated in Rule 012 if the noise mitigation identified in the noise impact assessment is implemented. As such, the AUC’s approval was conditional upon Osum’s implementation of noise mitigation to ensure compliance with Rule 012.
The AUC was satisfied that the approval of the Project is consistent with the applicable principles set out in Section 4 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act (“HEEA”), that the ISD will support an efficient exchange of electricity within the interconnected electric system and that the application meets all the requirements for an ISD.
The AUC approved the power plant application and the interconnection application pursuant to Sections 11 and 18 respectively of the HEEA. The ISD application was approved pursuant to Section 4 of the HEEA and Sections 2(1)(d) and 117 of the Electric Utilities Act.