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    Contract Process Changes

    This page is intended to provide Market Participants familiar with the Contract Process with a high-level overview of noteworthy changes resulting from the Amended 2018 ISO Tariff Compliance Filing, together with additional process efficiencies being implemented by the AESO. The following is not intended to be a comprehensive explanation of all changes; rather it is meant to facilitate awareness and understanding of key Contract Process changes that may be of importance to your project.

    Throughout this page, the tariff which became effective on January 1, 2021 will be referred to as the “Proposed Tariff”, and can be found here. The tariff that was previously in effect can be found here.

    An overview of the Contract Process can be found in the Quick Reference Guides section on the Connecting to the grid page.

    Questions or clarifications beyond what is captured on this page can be directed to your project manager or to customer.connections@aeso.ca

    • Acronym Reference
         

      AUC

      Alberta Utilities Commission

      CCD

      Construction Contribution Decision

      DFO

      Distribution Facility Owner

      DTS

      Demand Transmission Service

      GFO

      Generation Facility Owner

      GUOC

      Generating Unit Owner’s Contribution

      ISD

      In-Service Date

      MC

      Maximum Capability

      MP

      Market Participant

      NID

      Needs Identification Document

      P&L

      Permit & License

      SAS

      System Access Service

      SASR

      System Access Service Request

      STS

      Supply Transmission Service

      TFO

      Transmission Facility Owner

    • SASR Critical Information
      • What’s changing?

        Specific information provided in the SASR, including location, capacity, and ISD, is now identified as “critical information” in the Proposed Tariff. The AESO relies on the accuracy of this information to plan the connection for a project. MPs are required to submit a project change proposal to amend the SASR for any changes to the critical information. The AESO will evaluate the impact of the changes to determine the response. In some cases, the AESO may cancel the project if the changes are significant.
      • What’s the impact?

        Although critical information is now clearly described in the Proposed Tariff, the process for providing and changing this information remains the same. While the impact on projects is therefore minimal, MPs will have better visibility and understanding of the critical information process.
      • Why the change?

        Clarifying which information is critical and the consequences of changing it will incent MPs to provide accurate information at the beginning of the process. This will minimize changes later in the project, and better support the AESO in its planning decisions.
      • When is it changing?

        Critical information will be provided in SASRs that are submitted on or after the effective date of the Proposed Tariff. For projects that are in-flight on the effective date of the Proposed Tariff, the critical information will be taken from the SASR on file or, if applicable, from an approved change proposal for the project.
      • Where can I find more information?

        Critical information is described in subsection 3.2 and 3.9 of the Proposed Tariff. A new SASR template and guide, and corresponding change proposal form, will be posted on the AESO website by the effective date of the Proposed Tariff. These materials will provide a detailed explanation of the specific critical information being requested by the AESO.
    • SAS Agreement Timing
      • What’s changing?

        The SAS agreement will now become effective immediately upon execution in Stage 3/4/5 of the process.
      • What’s the impact?

        As SAS agreements are typically executed in the Contract process shortly before the contract capacity start date, there should be minimal impact to projects. MPs should be aware that if they do execute the SAS agreement further in advance of the contract capacity start date, the AESO and MP are bound by the SAS agreement terms and conditions when the agreement becomes effective upon execution.
      • Why the change?

        This change aligns the process with the BTF Process and provides the AESO with increased certainty that the project will proceed to the requested ISD and contract capacity. This additional certainty supports better planning decisions and minimizes changes to the AESO’s system transmission plans and to the connection plans of other projects.
      • When is it changing?

        Projects that have not executed their SAS agreement as of the effective date of the Proposed Tariff will have their SAS agreement become effective immediately upon execution. Projects that have already executed their SAS agreement will not be affected.
      • Where can I find more information?

        SAS agreement execution is discussed in subsection 3.6 of the Proposed Tariff, and SAS agreement effective dates are discussed in subsection 3.7. Details on the provision of system access service can be found in the Rate DTS and Rate STS proformas and Section 2 of the Proposed Tariff.
    • Project Inclusion Criteria
      • What’s changing?

        A project will now be accounted for in the studies performed by other projects once the SAS agreement for the project is effective, which occurs upon execution in Stage 3/4/5 of the process.
      • What’s the impact?

        Study inclusion will occur later than in the existing practice of inclusion upon completion of Gate 2. MPs will now need to execute their SAS agreements and therefore be bound by the terms and conditions of the SAS agreement before meeting the inclusion criteria.
      • Why the change?

        This change aligns the Contract Process with the Connection Process and BTF Process, and prevents the inclusion of projects that later withdraw their SASR, or change their ISD or contract capacity before execution of the SAS agreement.
      • When is it changing?

        Projects that have not passed Gate 2 as of the effective date of the Proposed Tariff will be included in the studies for other projects using the new criteria. Projects that have already passed Gate 2 are already included in studies and will not be impacted.
      • Where can I find more information?

        The project inclusion criteria will be detailed in an update to ID 2018-018T Provision of System Access Service and the AESO Connection Process, which will be posted prior to the effective date of the Proposed Tariff.
    • Proposal to Proceed
      • What’s changing?

      • The AESO will now provide the MP with a Proposal to Proceed letter near the end of Stage 2, which will confirm that the project can proceed as requested in the SASR. The MP will be required to review and acknowledge this letter before moving into Stage 3/4/5.
      • What’s the impact?

        MPs will have formal documentation from the AESO that an assessment has been completed and that the project may proceed as requested.
      • Why the change?

        There was no consistent process for notifying MPs of the results of the assessment for a Contract Project. Issuing a Proposal to Proceed letter provides consistency, and aligns the Contract Process with how the preferred alternative is presented to the MP in the Connection Process.
      • When is it changing?

        Projects that have not passed Gate 2 as of the effective date of the Proposed Tariff will be issued the Proposal to Proceed letter before completing Stage 2. Projects that have passed Gate 2 will not be affected.
      • Where can I find more information?

        Details on where the Proposal to Proceed letter fits into the process can be found in the Contract Process Quick Reference Guide.
    • CCD Timing
      • What’s changing?

        A CCD will now be provided to the MP in Stage 1 of the process, and updated if required in Stage 2.
      • What’s the impact?

        MPs will have visibility of project costs before studies are completed in Stage 2, which will allow them to assess the financial viability of their project earlier in the process.
      • Why the change?

        Existing investment at a substation can often be a significant financial barrier for the viability of a project. Providing this information to the MP before performing studies allows that assessment to occur before performing potentially unnecessary work and incurring the related costs.
      • When is it changing?

        Projects that are in early Stage 1 as of the effective date of the Proposed Tariff will be provided the Stage 1 CCD. Projects in late Stage 1 or in Stage 2 may request their CCD from their AESO project manager, or wait until the Stage 2 documents are typically issued.
      • Where can I find more information?

        The Stage 1 CCD is listed in the Contract Process Quick Reference Guide.