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ENMAX Independent Energy Solutions Inc. – Connection for the Downtown District Energy Centre Combined Heat and Power Unit, AUC Decision 26110-D01-2020

Link to Decision Summarized

Connection Order


In this decision, the AUC approved an application from ENMAX Independent Energy Solutions Inc. (“EIES”) for the connection of a 3.3-megawatt (“MW”) natural gas-fuelled combined heat and power generating unit located at ENMAX Corporation’s Downtown District Energy Centre to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (“AIES”) via ENMAX Power Corporation’s 25-kilovolt distribution system.

Background

EIES owns and operates the 3.3 MW natural gas fuelled combined heat and power cogeneration system (the “Power Plant”) at the ENMAX Downtown District Energy Centre in Calgary, pursuant to Approval 23243-D04-2018.

The construction and operation of the Power Plant was initially approved by the AUC in Decision 21247-D01-2016. However, the AUC deferred its decision on connecting the Power Plant to the AIES. The AUC found that an approval from ENMAX Power Corporation to connect the Power Plant to its 25-kilovolt distribution system was required, and that it would make a decision on connecting the Power Plant to the AIES when this approval was submitted to the AUC.

On November 24, 2020, EIES applied to the AUC for approval to connect the Power Plant to the AIES and included a copy of an Interconnection Agreement dated March 2, 2018, for the connection of the Power Plant to ENMAX Power Corporation’s facilities through ENMAX Corporation’s connection to the AIES.

On November 5, 2020, EIES, ENMAX Corporation and Calgary District Heating Inc. (“CDHI”) executed a confidential Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement (“APSA”), by which CDHI agreed to purchase, and EIES and ENMAX Corporation agreed to sell, the Downtown District Energy Centre business, including the facilities and equipment associated with the Downtown District Energy Centre and the Power Plant. EIES explained that during these transactions it discovered that it had inadvertently not filed a copy of ENMAX Power Corporation’s approval of the connection with the Commission as was required by Decision 21247-D01-2016, and as a result, the Commission’s decision on the connection remains outstanding.

The issuance of a connection order is one of a number of closing conditions of the APSA required to effect the transfer of the Power Plant to CDHI. EIES stated that an application for an ownership transfer of the Power Plant would be filed in due course.

Commission Findings

While the AUC noted that the Power Plant was connected to the AIES via ENMAX Power Corporation’s 25-kilovolt distribution system since March 2018, contrary to Section 18 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act, it accepted that this was unintentional on EIES’s part.

The AUC also considered that there were no objections to the Power Plant connection in the original proceeding; that the Power Plant has been connected to the AIES and operating since 2018 without complaint from stakeholders; and that the connection was made only after approval of the local distribution company was given in the signed Interconnection Agreement.

Based on the foregoing, the AUC approved the connection, finding that the project was in the public interest in accordance with Section 17 of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act.

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