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Equinix Canada Ltd. 25.75-Megawatt Emergency Standby Generators, AUC Decision 27343-D01-2022

Link to Decision Summarized

Electricity – Facilities


Equinix Canada Ltd. (“Equinix”) applied to construct, alter and operate emergency standby generators. Equinix applied for approval of an exemption under ss. 11 and 13 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act (“HEEA”).

Equinix requested approval to add two 3.5-megawatt (“MW”) diesel generators to an existing data centre in the city of Calgary. Equinix stated that in both instances, the electricity generated from all the generators in the facility is exclusively for its own use at the data centre.


The AUC approved the application from Equinix to construct, alter and operate the Equinix emergency generator facility and issued Power Plant Approval 27343-D02-2022.

Applicable Legislation

Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives

Alberta Utilities Commission Act, SA 2007, c A-37.2 – s 9.

AUC Rule 012: Noise Control.

Hydro and Electric Energy Act, RSA 2000, c H-16 – ss 11 and 19.

Pertinent Issues

The AUC determined that the noise impact assessment submitted by Equinix meets the requirements of Rule 012: Noise Control. The AUC also found that the generators will comply with the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives and it was satisfied that there would be no adverse effect on the environment from routine generator testing at the facility.

The proposed generators will be installed adjacent to the existing building, will only be used as backup generators, and there are no residences within two kilometres of the facility. As a result, the AUC accepted Equinix’s conclusion that it did not require a public consultation process.

Under s. 13 of the HEEA, the previous exemption for own-use power plants is no longer available as of April 25, 2022. Accordingly, the AUC will issue a power plant approval for the Equinix emergency generator facility.

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