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2113260 Alberta Ltd. Community Generation Designation for Oyen Community Solar Project, AUC Decision 24845-D04-2020

Link to Decision Summarized

Qualification as Community Generating Unit – Solar Power Plant


In this decision, the AUC considered whether to approve an application from 2113260 Alberta Ltd., operating as Oyen Solar Partners (“OSP”), to qualify its 15-megawatt solar power plant, designated as the Oyen Community Solar Project (“Project”), as a community generating unit. The AUC approved the application and qualified the power plant as a community generating unit.

Background

The AUC approved the application to construct and operate the Project in Decision 24845-D01-2020. In this decision, the AUC considered OSP’s request for the Project to be designated as a community generator under section 3 of the Small Scale Generation Regulation (“SSG Reg”). In support of its application to be qualified as a community generating unit, OSP provided a community benefits agreement signed by OSP and the Town of Oyen.

The distribution owner, ATCO Electric Ltd. (“ATCO”), confirmed that it had qualified the Project as a small-scale generator under the SSG Reg. ATCO stated that it would be responsible for the metering of the Project should the AUC approve the community generating unit application. ATCO stated that it was waiting for the AUC’s confirmation that the Project would be designated as a community generator prior to finalizing the costs associated with the interconnection of the Project.

AUC Findings

The AUC noted that section 3 of the SSG Reg allows a small-scale power producer who owns a small-scale generating unit that is the subject of a community benefits agreement to apply to the AUC to have the small-scale generating unit qualified as a community generating unit. The AUC further noted that section 3 of the SSG Reg requires that the application include the community benefits agreement or community benefits statement that applies to the small-scale generating unit.

The AUC explained that, upon receipt of an application, the AUC determines whether the small-scale generating unit qualifies as a community generating unit. If it does qualify, the AUC determines the amount of costs for which the distribution owner should be compensated, as described in either Subsections 5(2)(a) or (3)(a)(i) of the SSG Reg.

The AUC noted that OSP filed its application in the form established by the AUC and included the community benefits agreement with its application. The AUC, therefore, qualified the Oyen Community Solar Project as a community generating unit under the SSG Reg.

The AUC further noted that section 5 of the SSG Reg specifies the costs for which a small-scale power producer is responsible. Specifically, in the case of a community generating unit that is not within an isolated community, as is the case with OSP’s generating unit, Subsection 5(3)(a)(i) requires that the distribution owner purchase the meter that is installed for the community generating unit, to a maximum of one meter per facility. The AUC indicated that the distribution owner, ATCO, is therefore entitled to recover the costs incurred to purchase the meter for the project (estimated to be $60,000). Accordingly, the AUC imposed the following condition:

a. Once the distribution owner has purchased the meter for the community generating unit, OSP must provide the Commission with written confirmation of the actual cost to purchase the meter.

Decision

The AUC qualified the Oyen Community Solar Project as a community generating unit.

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