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ATCO Electric Ltd. Sweeney Creek Telecommunications Tower Site Project, AUC Decision 28360-D01-2023

Link to Decision Summarized

Communications – Facilities

Application

ATCO Electric Ltd. (“AE”) applied to the AUC for approval to construct and operate the new Sweeney Creek 1090 Telecommunications Tower Site (the “Project”), located on Crown land, approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Worsley, Alberta.

Decision

The AUC approved the facility application from AE for the Project.

Pertinent Issues

The Project consisted of a 110-meter self-supported steel lattice telecommunications tower, associated control buildings and, electric and telecommunications equipment. AE submitted that the Project was needed to improve the reliability and capacity of AE’s telecommunication network in the northwest area of the province. The site will complete a communication loop between AE’s existing Sock Lake and Clear Hills telecommunications tower sites.

To provide power to the site, AE intended to install a hybrid power system consisting of a solar array, a battery energy storage system and a generator. The solar array will have a power generation output of 61 kilowatts. The site will not be connected to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System and AE did not file a power plant application as the capability of the system was less than one megawatt and the generated power was intended for AE’s own use.

The AUC determined that the application satisfies the information requirements specified in Rule 007. The AUC found that the participant involvement program for the Project met the requirements of Rule 007 and was satisfied there were no outstanding concerns. The AUC accepted that the environmental impacts of the proposed development were expected to be minimal, since the Project had a small footprint and AE committed in the environmental evaluation and the environmental protection plan to implementing mitigation.

The AUC accepted that an application for a hybrid power system is not required, as per s 4.1 of Rule 007, given that the requirements of s 13 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act “(HEEA”) were met. The AUC found the Project in the public interest in accordance with s 17 of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act (“AUC Act”).

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