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On February 1, 2008, the government of Alberta passed the Micro-Generation Regulation. This regulation allows Albertans, using renewable resources or alternative energy, to generate their own environmentally friendly electricity and receive credit from any excess electricity they send into the electricity grid. The intent of the regulation is for the micro-generator to be self-sufficient.

The AUC was tasked to overseeing the implementation of this regulation as well as developing processes to simplify approvals and interconnection agreements with customers and wire service providers.

In Alberta, micro-generation is defined as being the generation of electrical energy from a generating unit with a total capacity of one megawatt (MW) or less, is connected to the distribution system, exclusively uses sources of renewable or alternative energy (such as solar photovoltaic, small-scale hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal and fuel cell) and the electrical energy output is intended to meet all or a portion of the customer’s electricity needs. Owners of electrical distribution systems are expected to provide connection services for micro-generators.

There are two categories of micro-generation:
Small – less than 150 kilowatts in generation capacity
Large – greater than 150 kilowatts, but less than one-megawatt in generation capacity
More detailed information for customers interested in installing a micro-generator is available in the Micro-Generator Application Guideline.

 

How to become a micro-generation customer

Due to an amendment to the Hydro and Electric Energy Regulation in June 2013 (see Bulletin 2013-16), prospective generation applicants should refer to the checklist below to determine which generation category they belong to.

Checklist:
1. Determine the generating unit capacity:
a) If the generating unit capacity is over one-megawatt, then follow procedures stated in AUC Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, and Industrial System Designations to submit an application to the AUC for approval.
b) If the capacity is less than or equal to one-megawatt proceed to step 2.

2. If the generating unit is less than or equal to one-megawatt, then:
a) Check to ensure the generating unit is meeting the following micro-        generation requirements (as per subsection 1(1)(h) of the Micro-Generation Regulation):
(i) exclusively uses sources of renewable or alternative energy, 
(ii) is intended to meet all or a portion of the customer’s electricity needs,
(iii) is, at the time of construction, or installation, of the generating unit, sized to the customer’s load or anticipated load or a portion of it, as evidenced by a total nominal capacity of the generating unit that does not exceed the rating of the customer’s service,
(iv) has a total nominal capacity not exceeding one MW, and
(v) is located on the customer’s site, on a site owned by, or leased to the customer that is adjacent to the customer’s site;

b) If the generating unit meets all the above micro-generation requirements, then follow the procedures stated in the Micro-Generator Application Guideline.
If the generating unit does NOT meet the micro-generation requirements, then follow the procedures stated in the Distributed-Generation Application Guideline.

There are four steps to become a micro-generator in Alberta:

  1. Become familiar with the contents of the Micro-Generator Application Guideline which will help you in understanding the process and technical requirements of interconnecting your micro generation unit to the distribution system.

  2. When you are ready to proceed with your micro-generation project, complete all the required fields of the generation project (less than 1 MW) notice form. Please note that missing or incomplete information may cause delays in processing your application.

  3. Send in your completed application form with all the wire service providers required documentation to your wire service provider for approval (for example: if your micro-generation project located in the city of Edmonton you will need to send your application to EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc.).

  4. Notify your electric retailer. You must advise your retailer of the micro-generation connection date and arrange for compensation for any excess electricity generated.


Please note that if your micro-generation project does not meet the requirements of AUC Rule 007 and AUC Rule 012: Noise Control, as well as applicable environmental requirements, or has received objections from landowners or residents, an application must be submitted to the AUC for approval if you would like to proceed with the project.
Questions on micro-generation projects with a capacity of less than one-megawatt should be directed to your local wire service provider. Please follow the procedure as stated in AUC Rule 007 and file an application with the AUC if your micro-generation project's capacity is greater than one-megawatt.