• Lorna Hamilton

Alberta Utilities Commission And Grizzly Bear Creek Wind Power Project


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The Grizzly Bear Creek Wind Power Project which has been in development for several years is slated to begin construction in late 2021 and be operational by the end of 2022. The current locations for the project are in the Counties of Vermilion River and Minburn. The Project, as it is referred to, was originally owned and developed by E.ON Climate and Renewables Canada until it was acquired by Enel Green Power (EGP) in 2019.

In May 2016, The Project was fully permitted by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) while under the ownership of E. ON Climate and Renewables Canada. At that time the specifications were for 50 - 2.4 MW wind turbines with a total capacity of 120 MW, but under the current development of EGP, amendments to the project layout propose to increase the overall project capacity.

“The project received a permit from the Alberta Utilities Commission after an extensive public consultation process. An amendment is required to update the permit for new technology, and we are pursuing county permits as well,” stated Ryan O’Connor, senior business development manager at Enel Green Power.

According to a January 2021 newsletter released by EGP, the increase in capacity can be achieved with a reduction in the number of wind turbines. In 2016 the turbine listed to be used by E.ON was the Nordex N117/2400 with 50 turbines to be used with a total project maximum output to the Alberta Grid of 120 MW. Under the EGP proposed 2021 layout the company has six-turbine models under consideration with a maximum of 36 turbines in the layout for a total project maximum output to the Alberta Grid of 154 MW. With the reduction of turbine numbers to up to 36, it will reduce the length of access roads and the electrical collection system.

On July 19 Enel Alberta Wind Inc. applied to amend the Grizzly Bear Creek Wind Power Plant and its associated Grizzly Bear Creek 708S Substation (collectively, the Grizzly Bear Creek Wind Power Project or the project) under the Hydro and Electric Energy Act, Proceeding 2667, Applications 26677-A001 and 26677-A002 through the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC).

According to the application notice, the power plant would consist of no more than 36 wind turbines (based on 41 candidate locations) with a total generating capability of 154 MW. It also states that while Enel has not selected a turbine model, the final turbine will be rated at no more than 5.5MW, and that the applicant anticipates the turbine will have a hub height between 110 and 120 meters and a rotor diameter between 155 and 165 metres. The power plant would also include a 34.5-kilovolt gathering system which would be used solely for collecting the electric energy generated by each turbine and transmitting the electric energy to the Grizzly Bear Creek Substation.

The project would be located in the counties of Minburn No. 27 and Vermilion River, approximately 6.4 kilometres south of the Village of Mannville. The Grizzly Bear Creek 708S Substation would be wholly located in the southeast quarter of Section 21, Township 49, Range 8 west of the fourth Meridian.

If you are someone who feels as though you may be affected by these applications you can provide your input to the AUC to review. Written submissions are due by September 10, 2021. The applications and any associated documents are publicly available and can be accessed from the eFiling System on the AUC website, www.auc.ab.ca . If you would like to participate in this proceeding visit the website login to the eFiling system, go to Proceeding 26677, and register to participate under the registered parties tab. You can also contact the AUC at 310 4AUC (310- 4282 or email infor@auc.ab.ca for more information or assistance filing your submission.

Submissions must include your name, address, phone number, legal land location, description of your land in relation to the proposed development, and a description of your interest in the land, your business, or your activities that may be affected by the proposed project. They also ask you to briefly describe the issues you would like the AUC to consider when making its decision.