Alberta Transmission Line Permit and License (8-AB-c)
The Commission regulates transmission lines pursuant to the Alberta – Hydro and Electric Energy Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. H-16 and the Alberta – Hydro and Electric Energy Regulation, A. Reg. 409/83.
When the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) identifies a transmission need in Alberta, the AESO submits a needs identification document to the Commission for approval. R.S.A. 2003, c. E-5.1, s. 34 (1). If the Commission approves the needs identification document, then the AESO may request proposals from the transmission facility owner in the region where the identified transmission need is located. R.S.A. 2003, c. E-5.1, s. 35 (1). If the AESO accepts a proposal, then AESO may specify a time within which the approved transmission facility owner (developer) must apply to the Commission for a Transmission Line Permit and License under the Hydro and Electric Energy Act. R.S.A. 2003, c. E-5.1, s. 36.
Transmission Line Permit and License Process
8-AB-c.1 to 8-AB-c.2 – Does an Exemption Apply?
- Proposes to transmit electric energy over their own land solely for their use by means of a line that does not cross a public highway; or
- Owns an industrial system and proposes to transmit electric energy over land or across a public highway dividing land that is owned or leased by the owner of the industrial system for the use solely by that industrial system. R.S.A. 2000, c. H-16, s. 16 (1)(b)-(a).
8-AB-c.3 – Prepare Project Information Package
A developer must prepare a project information package as part of a participant involvement program prior to submitting a Transmission Line Permit and License Application to the Commission. Rule 007 p. 48. The participant involvement program entails distributing a project-specific information package, responding to questions and concerns, and discussing options, alternatives, and mitigation measures. Rule 007 p. 49. The developer must develop comprehensive project-specific information and must make it available to all stakeholders through the participant involvement program. Rule 007 p. 48. A stakeholder is a person whose rights may be directly and adversely affected by a proposed development. Rule 007 p. 47. The developer is expected to include any information that would assist stakeholders understand the development of the transmission project. Rule 007 p. 49. The project information package must also include:
- The developer’s name and contact information;
- The location of the proposed facilities, including a site-specific map;
- A description of the need for the transmission facility and how the facility fits within existing and future plans;
- A discussion of the potential restrictions regarding developing lands adjacent to the transmission facility such as setbacks;
- A description of the on-site equipment;
- A project schedule for Commission application, construction, and start up;
- A Commission brochure of the Transmission Line Permit and License Application process.
8-AB-c.4 – Consult Affected Parties
A developer must personally consult with occupants, residents, and landowners on or directly adjacent to the proposed right-of-way for the project. Rule 007 p. 49. “Directly adjacent” means any adjacent property that is within 100 meters of the right of way or site boundary. Rule 007 p. 53. A company representative with full knowledge of the overall plans and direction of future development options must be made available to answer questions either in person or by telephone. Rule 007 p. 52.
8-AB-c.5 – Transmission Line Permit and License Application
A developer must file a Transmission Line Permit and License Application (Application) with the Commission electronically using the Commission’s e-Filing System that is accessible via the Commission Website. Alberta Utilities Commission – e-filing Webpage. For more information on how to obtain and access the e-Filing System refer to the Alberta Utilities Commission – e-Filing System User Guide.
8-AB-c.6 to 8-AB-c.7 – Review Application Materials for Approval
When a developer files an Application with the Commission through the e-Filing System, the Commission creates a proceeding, which initiates a formal process to consider the application filed. Alberta Utilities Commission – Review Process Steps Webpage. The Commission reviews the application to ensure the required information is included. Alberta Utilities Commission – Review Process Steps Webpage. If the required information is not provided, the Commission may choose to close the application or request more information from the developer. Alberta Utilities Commission – Review Process Steps Webpage.
8-AB-c.8 to 8-AB-c.9 – Provide Notice of the Application
The Commission must provide notice of the Application to all persons whose rights may be directly and adversely affected by the transmission project. The Commission must also give these persons a reasonable opportunity to comment on the Application. Rule 007 p. 49; R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 2. The developer must allow persons notified or consulted a minimum of 14 days to receive, consider, and respond to notification of the Application. Rule 007 p. 53. Any outstanding objections/concerns that the developer becomes aware of must be attached as a written summary of the outstanding issues to their Application. Rule 007 p. 50.
8-AB-c.10 – Hold Hearing (If Applicable)
The Commission may hold a hearing on the Application at its discretion. Rule 001 p. 20. If a decision made by the Commission on an Application may directly and adversely affect the rights of a person, the Commission must hold a hearing. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 9 (2)(c). The Commission is not required to hold a hearing if a hearing has not been requested, unless it is satisfied that the developer’s Application has met the relevant Commission rules. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 9 (3). The Commission is not bound in the conduct of its hearings by the rules of law concerning evidence that are applicable to judicial proceedings. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 20. The Commission may require a witness’s attendance at a hearing if that person’s attendance is deemed desirable by the Commission. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 19 (1). A person that wishes to participate at the hearing must complete and file a Statement of Intent to Participate (Form RP2). Rule 001 p. 8.
8-AB-c.11 to 8-AB-c.13 – Review Application Materials for Approval
The Commission has 180 days after receipt of a complete application to review the Application materials submitted and decide on all parts of the proposed development if approval is sought for multiple developments or parts of a development. R.S.A. 2000, c. H-16, s. 15.2 (1). The Commission must consider whether the proposed transmission line is in the public interest, regarding the social, economic, and environmental effects of the development. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 17 (1). When considering an Application to meet a need previously identified by the AESO and approved by the Commission, the Commission must give weight to a certification by AESO that the technical aspects of the Application meet the requirements set out in the needs identification document. R.S.A. 2000, c. H-16, s. 15.1. If the Commission cannot decide within 180-days, the Commission must notify the developer before the period expires, explain why a decision has not been made, estimate when it reasonably expects to decide and make the reasons and estimate public. R.S.A. 2000, c. H-16, s. 15.2 (2)(a). The Commission must make its decision within 90 days after the expiry of the 180-day period. R.S.A. 2000, c. H-16, s. 15.2 (2)(b).
8-AB-c.14 – Appeal Decision (Optional)
A developer or other hearing participant may appeal a Commission decision or order to the Alberta Court of Appeal. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 29 (1). An appeal must be filed and served within 30 days of the decision or order. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 29 (2). The appellant (e.g., developer or other hearing participant) must give notice of an application to appeal to the parties affected by the appeal and to the Commission. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 29 (3). Upon permission to appeal, the appeal must proceed in accordance with the practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 29 (8). On the hearing of the appeal, the Court of Appeal must proceed to confirm, vacate, or give directions to vary the decision or order that is being appealed, and where the Court vacates or gives directions to vary the decision or order, the Court shall refer the matter back to the Commission for further consideration and redetermination. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 29 (11)(c). If on appeal, a decision or order is vacated, or a variation is directed, the matter must be reconsidered and redetermined by the Commission and the Commission must vary or rescind its decision or order in accordance with the judgement of the appeal decision. R.S.A. 2007, c. A-37.2, s. 29 (14).
8-AB-c.15 – Progress Reports
A developer must submit a progress report on construction to the Commission once every three (3) months if directed by the Commission to do so. A.Reg. 409/83, s. 3.
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- Alberta Utility Commission Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations and Hydro Developments
- Alberta Utilities Commission – e-Filing System User Guide
- Alberta Utilities Commission – e-filing Webpage
- Alberta Utility Commission Rule 001: Rules of Practice
- Alberta Utilities Commission – Review Process Steps Webpage
- Alberta Utilities Commission – Statement of Intent to Participate in a Hearing (Form RP2)