Electricity – Facilities
In this decision, the AUC approved the application from ATCO Electric Ltd. (“AE”) to discontinue operation and to decommission and salvage the Narrows Point Power Plant (the “Power Plant”). The AUC declined to strike the isolated generating units comprising the Power Plant from Part A to the schedule of the Isolated Generating Units and Customer Choice Regulation. (“IGUCCR”). The AUC found that section 27 of that regulation, which would require striking the isolated generating units, does not apply in the circumstances of this application.
The Power Plant served the isolated community of Narrow Point near Slave Lake, has a generating capacity of 201 kilowatts and is comprised of four diesel generating units.
AE stated that increasing capital maintenance costs brought a need to connect the community to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (“AIES”), which followed in July 2020. As a result of the connection, the Power Plant was no longer needed. Decommissioning of the Power Plant was scheduled to start as early as January 2022, with a targeted completion date of March 2023.
The AUC found that the decommissioning application met the requirements of Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations and Hydro Developments. The AUC found the decommissioning and salvage of the Power Plant to be warranted because the community that it served is now connected to the AIES. It further accepted AE’s commitment to remediate and reclaim the Power Plant site to a condition deemed acceptable to Indigenous Services Canada, Alberta Environment and Parks, and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guidelines.
The AUC determined that Section 27 of the IGUCCR does not apply to the circumstances described in AE’s application. Section 27 applies where an isolated generating unit will be replaced or an additional unit is required, while in this case, the units are only being decommissioned. Accordingly, the AUC found it could not approve striking the four generating units of the Power Plant from Part A of the schedule to the IGUCCR. As AE further stated that it intended to sell the generating units of the Power Plant, the AUC determined that they would be struck from Part A of the schedule under section 20 or 21 of the IGUCCR when the requirements of either of those sections are met.