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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.

    • 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.

    • 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:


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


      • 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
    • 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