Alberta Utilities Commission launches inquiry into electricity generation

The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) announced it will hold an inquiry “into the ongoing economic, orderly and efficient development of electricity generation in Alberta.” The inquiry flows from the Alberta government’s recent order in council and regulation that paused approvals for new renewable electricity generation projects until February 2024.

The AUC has said the Inquiry “will include reviewing the role of municipal governments in land selection for project development and review.” The role of municipal governments in the siting of electricity generation projects and the AUC’s approval process is a subject of considerable debate in some parts of Alberta.

Module A, the first phase of the Inquiry, will look at impacts on land arising from electricity generation projects, including siting and reclamation issues. There will be opportunities to provide submissions this fall with an oral hearing to be held in mid-December 2023. While the AUC has said more details will come, it appears that Module A of the inquiry will include all types electricity generation projects and not be limited to renewable projects.

Module B, the second phase of the Inquiry, will focus on the growth of renewables and its impacts to generation supply and electricity system reliability. The AUC is expected to announce further details on Module B in the near future.

MLT Aikins has a depth of experience in AUC processes, including renewable and other electricity facility and rate hearings. With offices in Calgary and Edmonton, the firm understands the political, economic and legal issues involved in renewable and non-renewable power generation in the province. Municipal governments and others interested in participating in this Inquiry are invited to reach out to one of our authors with questions.