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Enerfin Energy Company of Canada Inc. and AltaLink Management Ltd. Winnifred Power Plant Connection Project, AUC Decision 26707-D01-2022

Link to Decision Summarized

Electricity – Facilities

Application

Enerfin Energy Corporation of Canada Inc. (“Enerfin”) has permission to construct and operate the 122.32-megawatt (“MW”) Winnifred Wind Power Plant (the “Power Plant”) and the associated Hoslom 1054S Substation.

The AUC approved the needs identification document application filed by the Alberta Electric System Operator (“AESO”), which proposed a single-circuit, 138-kilovolt transmission line (“Line 498L”) to connect Enerfin’s Holsom 1054S Substation to AltaLink Management Ltd. (“AML”)’s Bullshead 523S Substation and to upgrade the Bullshead 523S Substation. Enerfin and AML filed facility applications requesting approval from the AUC to meet the identified need.

Decision

The AUC approved the application from Enerfin to construct Line 498L. The AUC also approved the application from AML to connect the existing Bullshead 523S Substation to Line 498L and to upgrade the Bullshead 523S Substation to accommodate the connection.

Applicable Legislation

Alberta Utilities Commission Act, SA 2007, c A-37.2 – s. 17.

Hydro and Electric Energy Act, RSA 2000, c H-16 – ss. 14, 15, 18, and 19.

Transmission Regulation, Alta Reg 86/2007 – ss. 24.31.

AUC Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines

Pertinent Issues

Initially, Enerfin had proposed various route alternatives for Line 498L. Following consultation with participants and stakeholders, Enerfin ultimately settled on a route along the corridor of Township Road 120 and Highway 3 southwest of the City of Medicine Hat.

The route proposed by Enerfin crosses more native grasslands than other possible routes. The AUC was satisfied with the measures proposed in Enerfin’s environmental protection plan to mitigate impacts on native grasslands. Nonetheless, the AUC emphasized the importance of native grasslands and the proper implementation of mitigation measures by Enerfin to protect this ecosystem.

At the time of the application, Enerfin had not completed a clubroot management plan but confirmed its plan to develop and implement a plan before beginning construction. Accordingly, as a condition of approval, the AUC directed Enerfin to file a copy of its finalized environmental protection plan 30 days prior to the start of construction.

The AUC determined that Enerfin’s application met the requirements of Rule 007. The AUC was also satisfied that the application was consistent with the need approved by the AESO and the requirements of the AESO functional specifications. The AUC therefore approved the applications.

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