​All new electric transmission facilities (with the exception of a small number of projects classified as critical transmission infrastructure) require two separate approvals from the AUC: (i) an approval of the need for new facilities as set out in a needs identification document (NID) filed by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) under the Electric Utilities Act; and (ii) an approval of a facility application for the specific siting or routing of the new facilities, which is made by a transmission facility owner under the Hydro and Electric Energy Act. In NID applications, the AESO must demonstrate the need for new transmission, and propose a transmission solution to meet that need. A NID application may be considered by the Commission on its own or in conjunction with a related facility application.

  • The issues typically considered in needs identification document decisions include:
    • The rationale for new transmission, including:
      • Generation or load growth
      • Reliability
      • System access service
    • Choice of NID alternative  includes cost of alternative, high-level routing issues, technical feasibility of alternative.
    • Uncontested – applications with no outstanding objections, or objections were received and the AUC determined that the parties did not meet the test for standing.

Decisions for reference