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Neyaskweyahk Sundancer GP Ltd. Neyaskweyahk Sundancer Solar Project Phase 2 Expansion, AUC Decision 26372-D01-2021

Link to Decision Summarized

Solar – Facilities

In this decision, the AUC approved an application from Neyaskweyahk Sundancer GP Ltd. (“Neyaskweyahk”) to construct an expansion of the existing Neyaskweyahk Sundancer Solar Project (the “Project”), operate the expanded project, and connect the expanded project to the FortisAlberta Inc. distribution system.


Neyaskweyahk applied for permission to expand the Project, located on federal reserve lands within the Ermineskin Cree Nation, from 0.99 megawatts (“MW”) to 2 MW. The expansion is expected to be in service by December 7, 2021, with construction starting in the summer of 2021.

The first phase of the Project had been designated as a community generating unit and qualified as a small power plant in Decision 25626-D01-2020. With this expansion, the Project would no longer qualify as a small power plant within the meaning of Subsection 18.1(1) of the Hydro and Electric Energy Regulation. The Project consequently required a power plant approval and connection order.

Accordingly, Neyaskweyahk’s application included a participant involvement program (“PIP”), noise impact assessment, and solar glare hazard analysis considering the combined impacts of both phases of the Project. Neyaskweyahk also submitted a wildlife field reconnaissance memo in respect of the existing phase and an environmental review report prepared in respect of this expansion.

AUC Findings

The AUC determined that the application met the requirements of Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations and Hydro Developments. The AUC noted that no issues were raised after stakeholders located within 1,500 meters of the Project boundary were notified as part of the PIP, and a meeting with two Elders from the community was held to discuss the historical use of the land and any special considerations for the Project. The AUC further noted its expectation of Neyaskweyahk to acquire the necessary Indigenous Services Canada authorization and Band Council Resolution before proceeding with construction of the Project.

For the Project’s decommissioning and final reclamation monitoring, Neyaskweyahk committed to following the requirements of Indigenous Services Canada or any updated standards in place at the relevant time.

The AUC accepted the glare hazard analysis submitted. However, it noted its expectation that any glare issues associated with the Project will be addressed by Neyaskweyahk in a timely manner. As conditions of approval, the AUC required that Neyaskweyahk use an anti-reflective coating on the solar panels of the expansion and that a report describing complaints or concerns received regarding solar glare from the Project during expansion’s first year of operation, as well as its response to the complaints or concerns.

As final equipment specifications may change as a result of detailed engineering progresses, the AUC also required that Neyaskweyahk submit a letter with the AUC noting the details of the selected equipment and confirming that the final design does not change the details of the Project noted in this application. This letter is to be filed once the equipment has been selected and no later than one month before the scheduled start of construction.

The AUC was satisfied that the expansion would not result in changes to the community generating status of the power plant. The AUC approved the application to construct and operate the Project, and to connect it to the FortisAlberta Inc. distribution system. The approvals will be issued to Neyaskweyahk Sundancer GP Ltd. in its capacity as general partner of Neyaskweyahk Sundancer LP.

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