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    Connecting to the grid

    The Connection Process

    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 the project type of the proposed project.

      When ready to move the project forward, complete and submit the SASR.

    • Types of projects

      Each project type outlined below follows its own process. As the project moves forward and new information becomes available, it is possible for the project type to change at the discretion of the AESO. When completing the SASR, the project type is selected based on the information available at the time of submission. The following describes the different project types:

      Connection Project

      A connection project is a type of project that requires changes to the transmission system to respond to the SASR. These projects generally require the designated TFO to build the required transmission facilities upon receipt of regulatory approvals.

      Market Participant Choice (MPC) Project

      An MPC project is a variation of a connection project where the market participant builds 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 is a type of project where a market participant is altering their existing facilities connected to the transmission or distribution system but no changes to the transmission system are required.

      Contract Capacity Change Project

      A contract capacity change project is a type of project which alters the contract capacity of an existing System Access Service (SAS) agreement and does not require changes to the transmission system. This includes terminating SAS agreements.

    • Information document

      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.

    Contact us

    For any questions relating to the project types below, please contact Customer Connections.

    • Connection Projects
    • Behind the Fence Projects
    • Contract Capacity Change Projects

    Phone: 403-539-2793