This page outlines each phase that is involved in connecting your distributed generation project to the Alberta grid.
Our team taps into decades of experience to design and build the distribution infrastructure needed to safely connect your generation facility to the Alberta grid. From planning and design to construction and maintenance, our team of in-house experts will work with you every step of the way to get your distribution project connected and manage your energy needs.
Ready to connect to the grid?
There are a few actions to complete before we can connect you to the grid. The following documents provide all the details power producers need to understand the technical and operating requirements. Please review before requesting connection.
- Alberta Distributed Generation Interconnection Guide
- Meter Data Manager Requirements for Distributed Generators
- Technical Interconnection Requirements for Inverter-Based Generation
- AESO DER Ride-Through Performance Recommendations
- Effective Grounding and Transient Study Info Sheet
Please note: DER are subject to Tripping and Ride-Through requirements as published by the AESO in the link above. Where ATCO and AESO tripping and ride-through requirements in the documents differ, AESO requirements shall apply.
Distributed Generation Interconnection Process
We work with power producers in our service area to safely connect generation facilities to the distribution system and ensure generation does not disrupt service reliability or pose safety risks.
Connecting to our system is a six-stage process outlined in the following phases:
Phase 1 - Application and Feasibility Assessment
What do I do first? Now that you know the basics, it's time to fill out the application form. Make sure you have the size and type of generator and the requested location of interconnection handy. Once we receive your complete application and fees, your project will enter our project queue and the interconnection process can begin.
What happens during this phase? The Phase 1 Feasibility Assessment is a technical project review to determine the distribution and transmission scope of work required to connect your project. There is also an initial assessment of the interconnection costs and commercial obligations. A further detailed review is done in a later phase of the project.
Next, we perform a high-level feasibility study and a cost estimate for the interconnection of the generator and will create a proposal based on our findings. We will then review this with you. Fees for the next phases of the process are based on the scope required and whether the project requires a submission to the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) for a Behind the Fence Connection and if transmission studies are required.
What will it cost? Application fees start at $4,300 and are assessed based on your project needs.
What's next? Once you’ve reviewed the proposal and would like to move forward, full acceptance of the Phase 1 Interconnection proposal and payment of identified fees is required to proceed to Phase 2.
Phase 2 & 3 - Detailed Distribution and Transmission System Interconnection Assessment
Phase 2 includes a detailed distribution design and a more in-depth estimate and proposal. Estimated fees for Phases 2 and 3 will be determined after Phase 1 is complete. The fees vary based on the scope of the project, but generally range from $40,000 to $95,000.
In the next phase of the process, a transmission protection and control study for the local transmission interconnection will be prepared.
Under certain criteria, your project may require an application for System Access to the AESO as a Behind the Fence Connection, and additional power flow studies may be required. We can help you establish that. Additional transmission studies will be completed by ATCO.
Phase 4 - Final Interconnection Proposal and Acceptance
Upon completion of the detailed studies and estimates in both Phases 2 and 3, we will provide you with a Final Interconnection proposal, which has the detailed distribution and transmission project scope and estimates, and any additional transmission-related estimated costs for interconnection to the system.
Phase 5 - Construct & Prepare to Energize
Full acceptance of the Final Interconnection proposal and payment of the estimated costs is required to proceed to the execution phase of the project.
Before energization, the Electric Service Agreement, as well as the Interconnection and Operating Agreement, will be finalized.
Phase 6 - Commission, Energize & Close
Once all the pre-commissioning and interconnection requirements have been fulfilled, the Interconnection is commissioned and energized. The final project costs will be reconciled, and the project can be closed.
The application fee is required prior to ATCO commencing the preparation of a cost estimate for the interconnection of the generator. Application fees vary depending on the project and start at $4,300 + GST per study site.
Complete the Phase I Application Form.
Generation Hosting Capacity Maps
Generation Hosting Capacity Maps are intended to provide an estimate of how much new generation can be installed in an area of the distribution system. The estimated ranges displayed in the maps were calculated to ensure no significant system parameter (e.g., voltage, conductor ampacity, or apparatus rating) violation occurs.
The amount of potential generation reported in the maps is an approximation and is based on general system assumptions. For example, system loading information, existing generator operating modes, and nearby connected loads are all assumed as typical system behaviour, and not necessarily custom to a particular site. Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) currently in queue are also excluded. To confirm the amount of generation that can be interconnected to a site, an application must be filed with ATCO and all necessary system information will be used to generate a feasibility study.
The values displayed in the maps represent potential amounts that may be accommodated by the distribution system in its existing form and does not consider any upgrade that could be undertaken to significantly expand these values.
Click on the button below to view the Generation Hosting Capacity Maps.