Facilities – Wind Power
In this decision, the AUC approved the application from Cypress Renewables Energy Centre GP Inc. (“Cypress GP”) and Cypress 2 Renewable Energy Centre GP Inc. (“Cypress 2 GP”, collectively, “Cypress”), to alter the Cypress Wind Project.
Cypress applied for permission to expand the Cypress Wind Power Plant (the “Power Plant”), located in the Medicine Hat area, from 201.6 megawatts (“MW”) to 248.4 MW in two phases. It further requested approval to change the turbine specifications and locations.
Cypress submitted that the applied-for change to the turbines is to bring the Power Plant up to date with advancements in wind turbine technology. The changes would result in minor changes to the design of the Power Plant but increase the generating capacity.
Cypress applied to split the Power Plant into two phases to be developed concurrently and for an ownership change. Phase 1 would continue to be owned by Cypress GP on behalf of Cypress Renewable Energy Centre Limited Partnership and would consist of 39 turbines. Phase 2 would be owned by Cypress 2 GP on behalf of Cypress 2 Renewable Energy Centre Limited Partnership and would consist of nine turbines.
The Cypress Wind Power Project had been approved but not yet constructed. Accordingly, the AUC considered any incremental impacts that may result from amendments and time extensions. As the changes included changes to the hub height and rotor length of the turbines, the AUC evaluated changes in the shadow flicker impacts. A revised shadow flicker assessment demonstrated that dwellings would not experience more than 18.4 hours of shadow flicker per year. The assessment concluded that 19 dwellings might experience the same or decreased annual shadow flicker impacts, and 14 dwellings may experience minor increases in annual shadow flicker impacts. Cypress contacted each affected stakeholder to discuss the revised assessment and confirmed that there are no objections or concerns arising from the revised assessment.
The AUC found that there were no outstanding public or industry objections or concerns related to the proposed changes. It found the changes to be in the public interest in accordance with Section 17 of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act, the AUC approved the applications pursuant to sections 11 and 19 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act.