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    Cluster Assessments

    The AESO is implementing changes to the AESO Connection Process effective April 3, 2023. For further details and background on these changes, stakeholder engagement material can be found on the AESO Engage page for the Connection Process Streamlining initiative. Stakeholder engagement is on-going, and you may register on that page to stay informed.

    The AESO is currently finalizing the details of the Cluster Assessment Process. The following information is provided to explain key elements of the process. As new information is developed, it will be posted on this page.

    Note: Based on learnings from Cluster 1, the AESO will be updating and clarifying the process and requirements for acceptance into Cluster 2, including the system access service request (SASR) and project data update package (PDUP) requirements as well as the timing of the processing fee payment. Submitting a SASR for Cluster 2 prior to the updates being made may result in the AESO requesting additional information and/or a revised SASR. The AESO expects to communicate the updates in January 2024.

    • AESO Connection Process Overview

      To see how Cluster Assessments fit into the overall AESO Connection Process, see the graphic.

    • Cluster Assessment Overview

      Cluster Assessments will be a new way for the AESO to assess projects. Instead of assessing projects individually, projects will be batched (i.e. clustered) and assessed together simultaneously. This is a common industry practice across many other North American ISOs.

      The cluster assessment will include generation and storage projects injecting 5 MW or more into the Alberta interconnected electric system (AIES) at the facility’s connection to the AIES (i.e., the transmission or distribution system, as applicable). The first Cluster Assessment will assess projects with energization dates up to Aug. 31, 2028.

      A graphical overview of the Cluster Assessment process is being developed and will be posted here when it is available.

    • Key Dates for Cluster 1

      Intake Window

      SASR submissions for Cluster 1 with energization dates up to Aug. 31, 2028 will be accepted from 12:01am MST on April 3, 2023 to 11:59pm MST on Aug. 31, 2023. SASR submissions for Cluster 2 will be accepted starting on Sept. 1, 2023.

      Note, to be considered for Cluster 1, a complete SASR must be received by 11:59pm MST on Aug. 31, 2023. See the SASR Guide below for a description of a complete SASR. Failure to submit a complete SASR by the SASR submission deadline for Cluster 1 may result in the SASR being processed for Cluster 2.

      Processing Fee Dates

      The Processing fee will be invoiced following submission of a complete SASR according to the schedule for 2023 below.

      SASR Submission Date Invoice Issue Date Payment Due Date
      April 3 – May 16 May 24 June 23
      May 17 – June 14 June 21 July 21
      June 15 – July 17 July 24 August 23
      July 18 – August 16 August 23 September 22
      Aug 17 – August 31 September 12 October 12

      Preliminary Assessment Fee Dates

      For all SASRs submitted during the intake window for Cluster 1, the AESO will issue an invoice for the preliminary assessment fee on September 12, 2023. Payment is due 30 days after the issuance of the invoice, on October 12, 2023.

      Detailed Assessment Fee Dates 

      All projects in Cluster 1 will receive an invoice for the detailed assessment fee with their Preliminary Assessment Package. The AESO is targeting December 31, 2023 to issue the Preliminary Assessment Packages. The target payment due date for the detailed assessment fee is January 29, 2024. 

      Project Change Proposal Dates 

      Upon review of the Preliminary Assessment Package, the market participant may wish to submit a Project Change Proposal. The target due date for Project Change Proposal submission is January 12, 2024. See the Project Change Proposal Guidelines for more information. 

    • Projects in Cluster 1

      For a list of projects in Cluster 1, please refer to the Connection Project List on the Connection Project Reporting page.

    • Key Dates for Cluster 2

      Intake Window

      SASR applications for Cluster 2 with energization dates up to May 31, 2029 can be submitted starting at 12:00am MDT on September 1, 2023. The intake window is estimated to close on May 31, 2024, subject to timely completion of Cluster 1.

    • Fees

      See the Fee Guideline for more information about fees and their associated deadlines.

       

    • Recent Templates and Documents
    • Stage 0 Process

      Required deliverables:

      • SASR
      • Processing Fee
      • Preliminary Assessment Fee

      Roles and Responsibilities:

      Applicant

      • Submits SASR
      • Submits Processing Fee payment
      • Submits Preliminary Assessment Fee payment

      AESO

      • Reviews SASR
      • Issues Processing Fee invoice
      • Assigns project name, number and AESO Project Manager
      • Issues Preliminary Assessment fee invoice
      • After completing all Stage 0 required deliverables by the appropriate deadlines, the AESO issues a letter acknowledging the project is included in the Stage 1 preliminary assessment
    • Stage 1 Process

      Required Deliverables:

      • Project Plan
      • Preliminary Assessment Study Scope 
      • Preliminary Assessment Package which includes: 
        • Preliminary Assessment Report
        • Class 5 Cost Estimate
        • CCD (if necessary)
        • Invoice for Detailed Assessment Fee
      • Detailed Assessment Fee

      Roles and Responsibilities:

      Market Participant

      • Reviews Project Plan and Study Scope 
      • Submits Detailed Assessment Fee payment 

      TFO

      • Reviews Project Plan and Study Scope 

      AESO 

      • Initiates project kick-off meeting 
      • Completes Preliminary Assessment Study Scope  
      • Issues Preliminary Assessment Package 
      • Issues Detailed Assessment Fee invoice 
      • After completing all Stage 1 required deliverables by the appropriate deadlines, the AESO issues a letter acknowledging the project is included in the Stage 2 detailed cluster study 

      Additional Information: 

      • Upon review of the Preliminary Assessment Package, the market participant may wish to submit a Project Change Proposal. See the Project Change Proposal Guidelines for more information.  
    • In-Flight Projects

      See the In-Flight Project Guideline for more information about in-flight projects.

       

    If you have any questions about Cluster Assessments, please contact customer.connections@aeso.ca.