On February 1, 2008 the Government of Alberta issued the Micro-Generation Regulation. This regulation allows Albertans to generate their own environmentally friendly electricity and receive credit for any power they send into the electrical grid.
The Alberta Utilities Commission will oversee the implementation of this regulation and has developed processes to simplify approvals and interconnection agreements between customers and owners of electrical distribution systems.
In Alberta, micro-generation is defined as being the generation of electrical energy from a generating unit with a total nominal capacity of one megawatt (1 MW) or less, is connected to the distribution system, exclusively uses sources of renewable or alternative energy to generate electrical energy and the electrical energy output is intended to meet all or a portion of the customer’s electricity needs. Customers who generate their own electricity will be credited for any excess electrical energy sent into the distribution system. There are two categories of micro-generation: less than 150 kilowatts in generation capacity (small) and greater than 150 kilowatts, but less than 1 MW in generation capacity (large). Owners of electrical distribution systems are expected to provide connection services for small micro-generators no later than January 1, 2009. Micro-generation units must produce electricity using a renewable, environmentally friendly fuel source such as solar panels, small-scale hydro, wind, biomass, micro-cogeneration and fuel cells.
Information for customers interested in installing a micro-generator is available in the Micro-Generator Application Guideline.
AUC Rule 024 Rules Respecting Micro-Generation
AUC Rule 024 was developed to define the business rules and processes to enable customers interested in micro-generation to connect into the distribution system. Documents related to the development of Rule 024 are provided below.
Subsection 1(1)(h) of the Micro-Generation Regulation defines a “micro-generation generating unit” to be one that:
(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 1 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.
It is important for a micro-generation proponent to conduct a self-assessment to ensure its project meets the Micro-Generation requirements as stated in the Micro-Generation Regulation.
How To Become a Micro-Generation Customer
There are four steps to become a micro-generator:
1. Become familiar with the contents of the Micro-Generator Application Guideline, which will help 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 as stated in a micro-generation application form. (Note - missing or incomplete information on the Micro-Generation application form will cause delays in providing service)
3. Send in an application form with all the required documents to your wire service provider (e.g. if your micro-generation project is in the City of Edmonton, then send in your application to EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc.)
- If the MG capacity is less than 10 kW, wire service provider will be responsible for approval.
- If the MG capacity is over 10 kW, wire service provider will be responsible for preliminary assessment to ensure the project meets all MG requirements. Once the project is determined as a MG, the MG proponent must follow Section 4 of AUC Rule 007 to submit an application.
4. Notify your electric retailer. You must advise your retailer of the micro-generation connection date and arrange for compensation for excess electricity generated.
Questions on micro-generation project can be directed to Raymond Lee (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).