Electricity – Battery Storage Facility
TA Alberta Hydro Inc. (“TA Hydro”) applied for permission to construct and operate the 180-megawatt (“MW”) WaterCharger Battery Storage Facility (the “Project”). The Project will be located 15 kilometres west of Cochrane. The Project area is approximately four hectares of land owned by TA Hydro’s parent corporation TransAlta Corporation.
The AUC approved the application.
Alberta Utilities Commission Act, SA 2007, c A-37.2 – s. 17.
Constitution Act, 1982, c 11 – s. 35.
Electric Utilities Act, SA 2003, c E-5.1.
Hydro and Electric Energy Act, RSA 2000, c H-16 – ss. 11 and 18.
AUC Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines
AUC Rule 012: Noise Control.
The AUC granted full participation rights to the Cottage Club Community Group, Stoney Nakoda Nations, and Stoney Nakoda Land Management Ltd. (collectively, “Stoney Nations”).
The Stoney Nations submitted that under the terms of the Alberta Natural Resources Transfer Agreement, the Stoney Nations have a constitutional right to receive water power rental payments for hydroelectricity generated at the Ghost Dam. The Stoney Nations submitted that water power rental payments are amounts paid by TransAlta, the operator of hydroelectric dams on the Bow River and Kananaskis River, to Canada and Alberta for the benefit of the Stoney Nations. They also stated that the amount they are entitled to receive for water power rental payments should increase if the Project proceeds.
While the Stoney Nations submitted an affidavit in the proceeding, W. Snow, who swore to the affidavit, did not attend the hearing. As a result, the AUC could not test the evidence in the affidavit.
TA Hydro stated that the Stoney Nations’ claim for water power rental payments concerned an obligation owed by the Crown to the Stoney Nations and not by TA Hydro as the operator of the dam. The AUC agreed with the submissions by TA Hydro and their argument that the matter of monies claimed by or owed to the Stoney Nations by the Crown on account of rental payments made by TA Hydro to the Crown is beyond the scope of this proceeding and beyond the AUC’s authority. The proper venue for addressing this concern would be the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta. In addition, the AUC found that the affidavit provided by the Stoney Nations did not indicate if or how the Project would impact the rights to water power rental payments. Rather, submissions by TA Hydro indicated that the volume of water flowing over the Ghost Dam would not change. The AUC therefore approved the application.