Power Plant – Diesel Generators
eStruxture Data Centers (“eStruxture”) applied for approval to expand the CAL-1 power plant (the “Power Plant”) by adding one 3-megawatt (“MW”) standby diesel generator. eStruxture is the owner and operator of the CAL-1 power plant and has an exemption from s 11 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act (“HEEA”) to operate the power plant.
The exemption from the requirements under s. 11 of the HEEA for own-use power plants is no longer available as of April 25, 2022, as detailed in AUC Bulletin 2022-04. The AUC, therefore, issued a power plant approval for the Power Plant and granted eStruxture the approval to expand the Power Plant.
Alberta Utilities Commission Act, SA 2007, c A-37.2 – ss. 9 and 17.
Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act
Hydro and Electric Energy Act, RSA 2000, c H-16 – ss. 11, 13, 19 and 23.
AUC Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines
AUC Rule 012: Noise Control
AUC Bulletin 2022-04: Regulatory streamlining of all new power plants equal to or greater than one megawatt and less than 10 megawatts and exemption to file an application for own-use power plants eliminated
eStruxture is the owner and operator of the Power Plant and had an exemption from s. 11 of the HEEA to operate the Power Plant. The Power Plant is located in the City of Calgary and consists of three 3-MW standby diesel generators. With the requested addition, the Power Plant will have a combined generating capability of 12 MW. eStruxture stated that the increased generation is required due to an expansion of the data center that the Power Plant serves. The Power Plant will continue to supply only the eStruxture data center only as backup power if service from the utility is lost and will not be connected to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System. eStruxture expected the expanded Power Plant to be in service in October 2022.
The AUC found that the Power Plant will not significantly affect the environment and wildlife because the Power Plant is located within the data center. The Power Plant will only run during utility power loss or monthly testing. The AUC noted that the Power Plant uses diesel to power the generators. Still, an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act approval is not required because the generators are only used for backup power.