Facilities – Natural Gas and Steam
In this decision, the AUC approved the application from Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. (“Tidewater”), on behalf of WCSB Blockchain Infrastructure Ltd. (“WCSB”), for the construction and operation of the 84-megawatt (“MW”) natural gas and steam-fired combined-cycle Ram River Isolated Power Plant (the “Power Plant”).
The Power Plant will consist of two natural gas-fired turbine generators, two heat recovery steam generators, and one steam turbine generator. The Power Plant will be located within the existing Ram River Gas Plant, approximately 50 kilometers southwest of the town of Rocky Mountain House.
The Power Plant will not be connected to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System and will be used to supply on-site data centers. Both the Power Plant and data centers would be owned and operated by WCSB.
The application included a participant involvement program, a noise impact assessment (“NIA”), air quality assessment report and an environmental evaluation report. The application also included confirmation that Tidewater has a site-specific emergency response plan for the Ram River Gas Plant.
AUC Discussion and Findings
The AUC determined that the application provides the information required by Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines.
The NIA indicated that the nighttime cumulative sound level would be 40.8 A-weighted decibels (“dBA”), which exceeds the nighttime permissible sound level of 40 dBA. Tidewater committed to installing an intake air silencer or acoustic louvers on the intake air penthouse, an addition or upgrade to the silencers on the proposed gas turbine exhausts, and the upgrading of cooler fans to achieve compliance with the permissible sound level.
The NIA also found that the Power Plant would exceed low frequency noise situation thresholds outlined in Rule 012: Noise Control. However, as there are no residences within 1500 meters of the Power Plant, an exceedance at the nearest residence was determined to be unlikely. Tidewater committed to conducting a comprehensive sound survey if a noise complaint from a residence is received. The AUC was satisfied with this evaluation and commitment.
The AUC acknowledged that Tidewater applied for an exemption pursuant to Section 13 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act (“HEEA”). However, the AUC has decided to issue an approval under Section 11 of the HEEA because of the capability of the Power Plant.
The AUC approved the application to construct and operate the Ram River Isolated Power Plant pursuant to Section 11 of the HEEA.