This section outlines the requirements for applications to construct or alter transmission facilities, including transmission lines, substations, telecommunication facilities, and fibre optic facilities.
Applications to construct and operate
transmission facilities are made pursuant to sections 14 and 15 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act.
Applications by a market participant to consruct and temporarily operate a substation or transmission line are made pursuant to
Section 24.31 of the
Any application to construct and operate a substation or transmission line must include the information outlined in subsection 7.2.1.
If the proposed development includes both a substation application and a transmission line application, and there is duplication between the requirements (for example, if one participant involvement program was completed for the project and each application requires a summary of the participant involvement program), the applicant must satisfy those requirements in full in one of the applications, and may refer to that application in the other application.
A separate application form should be submitted for each transmission facility and interconnection application as part of a single proceeding.
If a new connection to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System is also necessary, a connection order application must also be made, pursuant to Section 18 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act, and include the information indicated in Section 11.
Applications to discontinue, dismantle or remove an approved transmission facility are made pursuant to Section 21 of the Hydro and Electric Energy Act. The information requirements for these applications can be found in Section 9.
7.2.1 Information requirements
Please use the
Transmission/substation facility application form
to assemble the information requirements for the project. Transmission/substation facility is abbreviated as TS below.
TS1) Provide a description of the proposed project.
TS2) Confirm if the application is for a customer project or an application related to a proposal for a market participant under Section 24.31 of the
TS3) Provide details of the ownership structure, including the names of all companies having an ownership interest in the project and their ownership share, and if applicable, the name of the operator of the facilities that is seeking to acquire the permit or licence. Confirm that the applicant is a qualified owner.
TS4) Provide a list of existing approvals for facilities directly affected by this project, if any.
TS5) Provide a copy of the ISO direct assignment letter pursuant to the
Electric Utilities Act. Alternatively, if a needs identification document was not required, provide a copy of the ISO approval letter pursuant to the abbreviated needs approval process, or provide a statement in the application that the project was exempt pursuant to the
Transmission Regulation (as described in subsection 7.1 of this rule).
TS6) Provide the most up-to-date functional specification issued by the ISO.
TS7) Describe the design and ratings of the transmission line and major elements of the substation.
TS8) If the ISO requires the facility applicant to determine the choice of conductors, describe the conductor size and arrangement selected and the basis for the conductor selection.
TS9) If the application is not direct assigned by the ISO, provide the rationale for the rating/size of any proposed conductor or piece of major substation equipment.
TS10) Describe the proposed transmission line structure type, including height and spacing; if more than one type of structure is proposed, state where each type will be used.
TS11) State the right-of-way width and the basis for determining the width.
TS12) Describe all major substation equipment being applied for, including the height of any telecommunications structure, and provide a list of the final major equipment that would be in the substation.
TS13) Describe the switching and protection features of the proposed
TS14) Describe the electrical interaction of proposed
transmission facility with other facilities, such as pipelines, railways, telephone, radio and television
transmission facility, and other surface structures.
TS15) Describe the changes to existing facilities required to accommodate the proposed facilities.
TS16) Describe any transmission line routing alternatives to the proposal, and compare the relative effects (environmental, social and economic, including any associated distribution costs) of these alternatives with the proposal. If the alternatives are segmented, include a comparison of the effects of each segment to the effects of its corresponding alternative segments.
TS17) Provide an electric single-line diagram or switching map showing new facilities in place in the system. In the case of a substation, provide an electric single-line diagram and a substation layout diagram, including major items of equipment and the fenced boundary of the substation, with units of measure/scale.
TS18) Discuss the construction schedule, equipment and method of construction, and method of eventual right-of-way maintenance.
TS19) Provide the requested approval date from the AUC, the expected construction start date, the expected in-service date of the project and the requested construction completion date to be stipulated in the project permit(s) and licence(s).
TS20) If available, provide the location of any required temporary or permanent workspace areas and access roads, and state whether these locations are requested to be listed in a permit and licence.
TS21) Provide the following drawings and maps with units of measure/scale and the direction of north specified:
A legible map defining the study area and state the reasons for the chosen area.
Legible maps of the proposed facilities showing:
- The preferred transmission line route and any alternative routes or segments.
Location of the transmission line on the right-of-way.
Location of the transmission line relative to property lines.
Kilometre points along each transmission line route.
Legible maps and air photo mosaics upon which the proposed transmission line route(s) and/or substation have been imposed and showing the residences, landowner names, and major land use and resource features along the routes and/or adjacent to the substation (e.g., agricultural crops or pasture, topography, soil type, existing land use, existing rights-of-way, existing or potential historical, archaeological or paleontological sites, and superficial and mineable resources).
Legible maps showing the most relevant environmental features, wildlife and aquatic habitat, ecological communities, environmentally sensitive areas, protected areas and designations present in the local study area.
TS22) Provide a Keyhole Markup Language (.kml/.kmz) file that contains the geographic data of the transmission line centrelines for all applied for transmission route options and substation locations. This file should reflect the information shown on the drawings and maps submitted to address information requirement TS21.
TS23) If applicable, describe the measures proposed to minimize potential visual effects of the proposed development, including the identification of project components and locations that require screening and the screening measures (e.g., fences, earth berms, painting, landscaping) to be used.
TS24) Submit an environmental evaluation of the project. The environmental evaluation must:
Describe the present (pre-project) environmental and land-use conditions for the proposed route, substation location and any alternatives.
Identify and describe the potential effects of construction and operation of the project on the environment. In particular, describe any potential adverse effects on soils, terrain, vegetation species and communities, wetlands, wildlife species and wildlife habitat, aquatic species and habitat, groundwater, surface water bodies and hydrology, environmentally sensitive areas, and land use within the local study area following and referencing published Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) guidelines if applicable.
Describe the methodology used and any field surveys conducted to identify, evaluate, and rate any potential environmental effects and determine their significance, along with an explanation of the scientific rationale for choosing this methodology.
Describe the mitigation measures the applicant proposes to implement during the life of the project to reduce the potential adverse effects.
Describe the predicted residual adverse effects of the project and their significance after implementation of the proposed mitigation.
Describe any monitoring activities the applicant proposes to implement during the life of the project to verify the effectiveness of the proposed mitigation.
List the qualifications of the individual(s) who conducted or oversaw the environmental evaluation.
Present an overall
comparison of the proposed routes, in particular, identify the environmental
features and any potential environmental effects (e.g., on native
vegetation communities, rare plants, wetlands, topography, unique terrain
features, sensitive soils, wildlife species setbacks and wildlife habitat, and
environmentally significant areas), and identify land use and resource features
(e.g., agricultural, residential, recreational, forestry, trapping and hunting
areas, protective notations, and existing or potential archaeological sites)
for each route in a table with stated units (kilometre, total number, etc.).
Summarize the compatibility of the proposed facility with various municipal services if a proposed transmission line passes through or immediately adjacent to an urban centre.
If the project crosses agricultural land, describe any plans to prevent the spread of weeds and pests on agricultural land.
If the project involves the modification or repair of an existing substation, describe any current or past on-site use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and summarize any site-specific incident spill records. Where soil disturbance will occur on or immediately adjacent to the substation site, describe any soil sampling or contamination assessment to be undertaken and describe any plans to safely manage, transport and dispose of contaminated soils.
TS25) For projects wholly or partially located on federal lands (First Nation reserves, national parks or military bases), provide a copy of the environmental impact analysis completed for the corresponding federal government department. Indicate whether the project has the potential to cause effects that may cross into another jurisdiction. Environmental effects that originate on federal lands, but cross into another jurisdiction, must be addressed as part of the environmental review process. Projects on federal lands may be subject to provincial laws, standards and permits. The applicant must address how it has considered AUC Rule 007 and Rule 012 and describe the steps taken, if any, to address specific requirements set out in these rules.
TS26) Submit a stand-alone, project-specific environmental protection plan (or environmental management plan) that itemizes and summarizes all of the mitigation measures and monitoring activities that the applicant is committed to implementing during construction and operation to minimize any adverse effects of the project on the environment.
TS27) Describe any decommissioning
transmission facility and describe the
reclamation plan that will be carried out, including for any temporary workspace areas and temporary access roads following commissioning.
TS28) Provide a noise impact assessment in accordance with Rule 012 for new substations and transformer additions within an existing substation, clearly indicating the impact of the new substation and/or transformer addition.
Approvals from other agencies
TS29) Identify any other acts (e.g., Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Water Act, Public Lands Act
and Wildlife Act) that may apply to the project, identify approvals the project may require, and provide the status of each of these approvals.
TS30) For the preferred route and possible alternatives, applicants must provide a summary of feedback received to date from AEP (including the local wildlife biologist of AEP) addressing the environmental aspects of the project, and confirmation that AEP is satisfied with any proposed mitigation measures and monitoring activities, or identify any unresolved project aspects where agreement with AEP was not achieved.
TS31) Confirm that a
Historical Resources Act approval has been obtained or has been applied for. If a historic resource impact assessment is required, briefly describe any known historical, archaeological sites, palaeontological sites, or traditional use sites of a historic resource nature. If a
Historical Resources Act approval has been obtained, provide a copy of it.
Participant involvement program
TS32) Summarize the participant involvement information, including a description of the activities undertaken and include any engagement materials provided. (See Appendix A1 – Participant involvement program guidelines and Appendix A1-B – Participant involvement program guidelines for Indigenous groups).
TS33) List all occupants, residents and landowners within the appropriate notification radius as determined using Appendix A1 – Participant involvement program guidelines, as well as Indigenous groups and other interested persons that were notified or consulted as part of the participant involvement program.
TS34) Supply a list of contact information for all persons who had been contacted as part of the participant involvement program in a spreadsheet in accordance with the template included in Appendix A1 – Participant involvement program guidelines.
TS35) Summarize consultation with local jurisdictions (e.g., municipal districts, counties).
TS36) Identify all persons who expressed a concern(s) about the project. For each person, include the following information:
The specifics of the concern(s).
Steps taken to resolve the concern(s).
Whether the concern(s) was resolved.
TS37) Provide an AACE Class 3 cost estimate for the preferred route and all alternatives on a common basis, in accordance with the requirements in ISO Rules Section 504.5 and the AESO Information Document #2015-002R, Service Proposals and Cost Estimating. The format of the cost estimate provided must take the form of the estimate summary that is obtained by completing the AESO's cost estimate template (available on the AESO web page). Where identifiable, include costs to be borne by persons other than the applicant and the applicant's customer(s) in the comparison. This information requirement may not be applicable to market participant and merchant line applications.
Market participant choice
TS38) In addition to the above, if the applicant is a market participant applying under Section 24.31 of the
Transmission Regulation, the applicant must also:
Provide confirmation that all required agreements are in place with the TFO including the asset transfer agreement, the written agreement with the TFO for the temporary operation of the transmission facility, if available, and confirmation of ISO approval of the connection proposal.
Specify the temporary period for which the market participant expects to hold the operating licence, which may not exceed the term specified in the written agreement with the TFO for the temporary operation of the transmission facility.
7.2.2 Amendment process
This section outlines the process for
transmission facilities that have received AUC approval and require an amendment. Depending on the scope of the proposed changes in relation to the original application, an applicant can proceed to amend its transmission facilities approvals without filing an application, by submitting a checklist application or an amendment application.
No application is required if there are no changes to the existing permit and licence and the project meets all of the following conditions:
It is considered a minor alteration.
There are no adverse effects on a person or the environment.
If a decision is required by the AUC, a letter of enquiry application or an amendment application should be submitted.
If no application is required, proponents shall retain a project record for information purposes that includes a project description, the need, nature, extent and the timing of the project, and the criteria used to determine that the project was a minor alteration with no adverse effects on a person or the environment. The project record could be requested by the Commission in the event that there is a complaint related to the project. Further, the project record may be subject to a subsequent compliance review by the AUC.
Examples of projects that would likely be considered minor alterations have no adverse effects on a person or the environment, and would therefore not require an application, include:
Addition or replacement of equipment in a substation that is not considered major substation equipment.
A like-for-like replacement of major substation equipment where there is no change to the substation's fenced area or noise profile.
A like-for-like transmission tower replacement with no change to the transmission line's approved right-of-way.
Most maintenance to substations, transmission lines and telecommunications towers.
If the project is a minor
alteration and there are no adverse effects on a person or the environment, but
the project requires the amendment of an existing permit and licence, or
requires a decision by the AUC, the application should
be filed as a checklist application in lieu of a letter of enquiry application.
A letter of enquiry application is stipulated pursuant to Section 11 of Hydro
and Electric Energy Regulation.
The applicant must file a checklist application, confirming that all the regulatory requirements for the proposed amendment have been met and a draft of the amended permit and licence, including an updated transmission line route map. All applications for minor transmission facility alterations must be filed as a checklist application using the checklist form. The checklist form contains questions respecting the need, nature, extent and the timing of the alterations and confirmations that the proposed alterations do not have any adverse impacts on the environment and people.
Applicants are not required to file any other related supporting documents (e.g., environmental evaluations, participant involvement program summaries), however, applicants are required to retain all related supporting documents. The Commission will continue to ensure compliance with its requirements via an audit review process.
The Commission will assess eligibility for an application to be filed as a checklist application and will issue a decision within five business days of receiving a properly completed checklist application. Applicants may be asked to file supplemental information for applications that are not eligible to be filed as checklist applications.
Please use the
Electric transmission checklist application form
and accompanying instructions to assemble the information requirements for a transmission facility alteration.
If an applicant is making changes that are not a minor alteration, or there are potentially adverse effects on a person or the environment, the applicant must file an amendment application with the AUC that provides all applicable information required within subsection 7.2.1.