Standby Generators

Our goal is to make sure your project is connected safely and efficiently.

Standby Generators are designed to provide backup power during a utility outage; these devices are not intended to export power onto the electrical system. You can work with your electrician to determine how much load you need to backup, how long you need to provide backup power, whether you want manual or automatic transfer, and if your standby generation should be configured as Open Transition (break-before-make) or Closed Transition (make-before-break). Your generator must be sized based on your load and set up to meet your backup requirements.

Your electrician must also be involved to set up any type of standby generation. In all cases your electrician must review and comply with Section 10 of FortisAlberta’s Service and Metering Guide and connect the generator with a Canadian Standards Association approved utility transfer switch.

Battery Backup can provide a specific amount of standby power for a specific length of time.

Portable Generators are generators that must be moved into position, connected, and started up to provide backup power. In many cases, the transfer switch must be operated manually to transfer your load onto the portable generator and to transfer your load back onto the utility supply (when the outage is over). An extended outage requires refilling the generator with fuel.

GenerLinks are meter mounted transfer switches that facilitate connection of a portable generator at your residential or farm meter box. A GenerLink establishes the utility transfer switch, instead of the electrician wiring in a utility transfer switch. Your electrician needs to confirm that your meter box is a size that accommodates GenerLink connection before you or your electrician purchases a GenerLink. For your safety, we will coordinate the installation of the GenerLink with your electrician. GenerLink information, along with a list of portable generators that are compatible with GenerLink, can be found on their website www.generlink.com. Once your electrician has the GenerLink in-hand along with any required permits, the process is quite simple: your electrician makes an appointment to meet a FortisAlberta Power Line Technician on site to install the GenerLink.

Fixed Generators are permanently installed outside your home or business and are connected to a large fuel supply such as natural gas, propane, or diesel. The fuel supply allows backup for longer outages. Automatic transfer switches are more common for fixed generators, and it is possible to have either an open transition (break-before-make) or closed transition (make-before-break) system.

Critical Services Generators are typically larger fixed generators that are configured as closed transition (make-before-break) to back up critical loads such as hospitals, schools, municipal waterworks, and senior centres. Any site proposing to configure as a closed transition must fill out the Standby/Backup Generation - Interconnection Requirements form and e-mail the form to OpEngineeringPC@fortisalberta.com.

Closed Transition configurations must parallel the utility system for less than 100 milliseconds (ms). Generators that parallel the system for more than 100 ms do not qualify as a standby generator, they are non-export generators and must work through the distributed generation process.

If you have any further questions or inquiries about a potential project, please contact FortisAlberta at generation@fortisalberta.com, 310-WIRE (9473) or 1-855-310-WIRE (9473).