Connecting to the grid
The Connection Process
The Connection Process is the AESO’s process used to connect projects initiated by market participants to Alberta’s transmission system. The following information is provided to assist market participants in connecting to the grid in a timely manner.Read about the AESO Connection Process
Initiating a project
Submitting a System Access Service Request (SASR) initiates a request for new or altered system access service to the transmission system. Prior to submitting a SASR, please review the SASR in detail for its requirements. The following are the initial steps to consider prior to submitting a SASR to the AESO:
- Determine the reason for requesting system access service (e.g., load growth, new generation, etc.) and the capacity to be served by the proposed project.
- Contact the Distribution Facility Owner (DFO) in the region where the proposed project will be located. The DFO will help determine if the proposed project can be supported through a connection to the distribution system. If not, a SASR will need to be submitted. The DFO will help determine who will submit the SASR.
- Determine who will act as the Integrated Project Manager (IPM) for the proposed project. The IPM can be the market participant, AESO, Transmission Facility Owner (TFO) or a consultant. See the SASR for more information.
- Determine who will act as the Study Consultant. The Study Consultant will work with the AESO on behalf of the market participant to perform connection studies for the project. See the SASR for more information.
- Read the Terms and Conditions for using the CEII Request Portal. Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (CEII) is required for connection studies, and Terms and Conditions for its use will need to be accepted when the SASR is submitted.
When ready to move the project forward, complete and submit the SASR.
Types of projects
Each project type outlined below follows a designated process. As the project moves forward and new information becomes available, the project type may change at the discretion of the AESO. The different project types can be found below. Please note:
- A project involving a distributed energy resource (DER) may be any of the project types below. If your project involves a DER, please talk to the distribution facility owner (DFO) in your area. A list of DFOs and their contact information can be found in the large distribution-connected generators section on the Joining The Market page.
- New, altered, or terminated System Access Service (SAS) agreements may result in a recalculation of the construction contribution for new or existing facilities. See Sections 8 and 9 of the ISO Tariff for more information.
A connection project requires new or altered transmission facilities which are built by the designated TFO upon receipt of regulatory approvals. The project may require a new or altered SAS agreement.
Market Participant Choice (MPC) Project
MPC is a variation of a connection project that meets the criteria outlined in the Transmission Regulation where the TFO and market participant agree that the market participant will build a portion (or all) of the transmission facility in lieu of the TFO, and where ownership of that portion is transferred to the TFO upon completion. See the Market Participant Choice page for more information.
Behind the Fence (BTF) Project
A BTF project involves a market participant altering their existing facilities connected to the transmission system which results in the market participant having to submit data to the AESO pursuant to Section 502.15 of the ISO rules. The project may arise from new, altered, or decommissioned market participant facilities. Alterations to transmission facilities are not required, but the project may require a new or altered SAS agreement.
Contract Capacity Change Project
A contract capacity change project alters or terminates an existing SAS agreement. Alterations to transmission facilities or the market participant’s existing facilities connected to the transmission system are not required.
Quick Reference Guide
Below is a connection process overview & metrics document, known as the Quick Reference Guide, which provides a high-level summary of the current process on one side and stage duration metrics on the other.
- Connection Process Quick Reference Guide [Posted: Aug. 20, 2020]
ID #2018-018T Provision of System Access Service and the Connection Process establishes the AESO’s practices for the efficient and effective processing and decision making about system access service requests.
Note: This ID replaces the former Connection Queue Business Practices and the Stage 2 On Hold document.
Looking for the Project List and Connection Queue? You can find them here.
For any questions relating to the project types below, please contact Customer Connections.
- Connection Projects
- Behind the Fence Projects
- Contract Capacity Change Projects
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