Power plant self-supply and export consultation

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Consultation has concluded


The AUC has recently concluded that, under Alberta legislation, there are limited circumstances where the owner of a generating unit is allowed to consume electricity produced from that generating unit on their own property while also exporting the electricity produced by that generating unit for exchange through the power pool. Where no exemptions apply, the owner of a generating unit is prohibited from using that unit to supply on-site load and export electricity generated for exchange through the power pool.

While the AUC is satisfied that the statutory scheme prohibits self-supply and export, it recognizes that the legislation was enacted prior to the recent increase in distributed generation and the availability of economic, small-scale generating units.

In Bulletin 2019-16, stakeholders were asked to comment on the following options for addressing the self-supply and export issue in the future:

  1. Option 1: Status quo – no change to the statutory scheme is required.
  2. Option 2: Allow limited self-supply and export – this requires a change to the statutory scheme. This exemption could be similar to the micro-generation exemption where operators are required to size their plant to meet internal need on an annual basis, but will be allowed to export excess energy to the grid to a certain percentage of annual production. Comments on the concept and an appropriate export threshold will be helpful.
  3. Option 3: Unlimited self-supply and export – this requires a change to the statutory scheme and may require changes to existing transmission and distribution tariff structures.

The AUC received 33 thoughtful submissions in response to Bulletin 2019-16, the majority of which favoured Option 3: Unlimited self-supply and export. While the AUC has no authority to amend the statutory scheme, it has shared these submissions with the Department of Energy. In response, the Department of Energy requested that the AUC follow up with a second round of consultation focused on the market and tariff implications of unlimited self-supply and export.

Accordingly, the AUC issued Bulletin 2020-01 and requested parties provide additional feedback on market concerns and tariff issues if self-supply and export were allowed.

In June, the AUC published the Self-supply and export – Alberta Utilities Commission discussion paper, which includes a summary of the submissions it received from this consultation, and provided the discussion paper to the Department of Energy. At this time, the AUC understands that the Department of Energy is still considering this issue.


The AUC has recently concluded that, under Alberta legislation, there are limited circumstances where the owner of a generating unit is allowed to consume electricity produced from that generating unit on their own property while also exporting the electricity produced by that generating unit for exchange through the power pool. Where no exemptions apply, the owner of a generating unit is prohibited from using that unit to supply on-site load and export electricity generated for exchange through the power pool.

While the AUC is satisfied that the statutory scheme prohibits self-supply and export, it recognizes that the legislation was enacted prior to the recent increase in distributed generation and the availability of economic, small-scale generating units.

In Bulletin 2019-16, stakeholders were asked to comment on the following options for addressing the self-supply and export issue in the future:

  1. Option 1: Status quo – no change to the statutory scheme is required.
  2. Option 2: Allow limited self-supply and export – this requires a change to the statutory scheme. This exemption could be similar to the micro-generation exemption where operators are required to size their plant to meet internal need on an annual basis, but will be allowed to export excess energy to the grid to a certain percentage of annual production. Comments on the concept and an appropriate export threshold will be helpful.
  3. Option 3: Unlimited self-supply and export – this requires a change to the statutory scheme and may require changes to existing transmission and distribution tariff structures.

The AUC received 33 thoughtful submissions in response to Bulletin 2019-16, the majority of which favoured Option 3: Unlimited self-supply and export. While the AUC has no authority to amend the statutory scheme, it has shared these submissions with the Department of Energy. In response, the Department of Energy requested that the AUC follow up with a second round of consultation focused on the market and tariff implications of unlimited self-supply and export.

Accordingly, the AUC issued Bulletin 2020-01 and requested parties provide additional feedback on market concerns and tariff issues if self-supply and export were allowed.

In June, the AUC published the Self-supply and export – Alberta Utilities Commission discussion paper, which includes a summary of the submissions it received from this consultation, and provided the discussion paper to the Department of Energy. At this time, the AUC understands that the Department of Energy is still considering this issue.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

We recommend not including your email and phone number so we can respond to your questions publicly.