Wind Farm – Electricity
In this decision, the AUC approved the application from BA4 Wind GP Corp. (“BA4”) to construct and operate the Buffalo Atlee Wind Farm 4 wind power plant and to connect the power plant to FortisAlberta Inc.’s 25-kilovolt distribution system (the “Project”).
The Project consists of two wind turbines operated at 5.0 MW, with a hub height of 102.5 meters and a rotor diameter of 145 meters. The Project includes access roads, an underground collector system, a control building and control equipment and is located primarily on private lands. BA4 filed a letter from FortisAlberta Inc. indicating that FortisAlberta Inc. is prepared to connect the power plant to its 25-kilovolt electrical distribution system pending the final execution of an interconnection agreement.
Discussion and Findings
The AUC found that the application included all information required by sections 11 and 18 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act (“HEEA”), Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations and Hydro Developments and Rule 012: Noise Control.
Considering issues found in the renewable energy referral report issued by Alberta Environment and Parks Fish and Wildlife Stewardship (“AEP”) regarding adverse impacts to wildlife, the AUC imposed conditions to minimize the Project’s effects on tame grassland. As a condition of approval, the AUC required that BA4 does not perform any constructions activities between April 1 and July 15, as described in the Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects. Further, if construction activities are to occur in this area between July 16 and August 24, an experienced wildlife biologist shall conduct nest sweep surveys and implement mitigation measures as outlined in the environmental evaluation for the Project if active breeding bird nests are detected.
To comply with Rule 033: Post-Approval Monitoring Requirements for Wind and Solar Power Plants, BA4 is required to submit a post-construction monitoring survey report to AEP and the AUC. This report is to be submitted within 13 months of the Project becoming operational and, as required by AEP pursuant to Rule 033, on or before the same date every following year.
The AUC determined that through compliance with these conditions and through the implementation of the mitigation measures suggested by AECOM Canada Ltd. in its environmental evaluation report, filed as part of BA4’s application, residual environmental effects of the Project will be limited.
The AUC approved that application to construct and operate the Buffalo Atlee Wind Farm 4 pursuant to Section 11 of the HEEA. Pursuant to Section 18 of the HEEA, the AUC granted the order to connect the wind farm to FortisAlberta Inc.’s distribution system.