Alberta Electric System Operator

Alberta Electric System Operator

March 08, 2007 11:16 ET

AESO 10-Year Plan Identifies Potential $3.5 Billion Transmission Investment

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - March 8, 2007) - The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has released a new 10-Year Transmission System Plan outlining about $3.5 billion in potential transmission upgrades that may be needed to keep pace with the forecast demand for power and to ensure Albertans continue to receive reliable electricity.

"The economy in Alberta has been growing at a tremendous clip and that translates into a greater need for electricity," says Neil Millar, vice-president, Transmission. "In the last four years demand for power has grown at a rate about equal to adding two cities the size of Red Deer every year."

The power grid is capable of handling Albertans current demand for electricity; however, timely development of the transmission system is required to provide for greater efficiency and reliability and in the future to meet the requirements of continued growth and the power needs of all Albertans.

The AESO's report reflects current and expected growth patterns in Alberta, both in terms of the need for power and the potential development of new generation during the 10-year period. Changes in the location, timing or type of generation in the province as well as consumer demand will affect the timing and development of future transmission infrastructure.

If all the potential concepts examined in the plan are required and built, this investment in critical infrastructure would result in less than a $5 charge to the wires portion of a residential power customer's monthly bill at the end of the study period. Transmission costs do not appear on a customer's bill until after the facilities are up and running.

It is important to note that the potential concepts identified in this 10-year plan require further study, detailed planning and consultation before they can be considered for regulatory review.

This current plan is part of the AESO's comprehensive and proactive planning process for the provincial electric system, which also includes a 20-Year System Outlook and project-specific Need Applications filed with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) to determine the need for each proposed transmission development. An update of the 10-year plan is filed with the EUB every two years for information purposes.

Stakeholder consultation is an important part of developing the plan and generators, transmission facility owners, municipalities and other industry groups provided feedback on the latest plan while it was created. The AESO also consults with stakeholders on other planning reports and project applications. The AESO's reports are available on the company's website at www.aeso.ca.

The Alberta Electric System Operator is Canada's first customer-focused exchange for electricity. As an independent system operator, the AESO leads the safe, reliable and economic planning and operation of Alberta's interconnected power system. The AESO also facilitates Alberta's competitive wholesale electricity market, which has about 200 participants and approximately $7 billion in annual energy transactions.

Contact Information

  • The Alberta Electric System Operator
    Doug Downs
    Alberta Electric System Operator
    (403) 539-2546
    Cell: (403) 617-3708
    Email: doug.downs@aeso.ca