AltaLink, L.P.

AltaLink, L.P.

July 11, 2007 19:12 ET

AltaLink: NDP Allegation Detracts From the Real Issues

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 11, 2007) -

NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

Today, AltaLink President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Thon responded to an allegation made by Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason. In a statement, Mr. Thon said:

"Earlier today, the Alberta NDP suggested that a conflict of interest exists between AltaLink and the Government of Alberta, and that the conflict of interest has brought into question the legitimacy of the proceedings on the Edmonton to Calgary 500 kV transmission line.

The allegation is misinformed and shows a lack of understanding of the process in place for the approval of regulated transmission facilities in Alberta, a robust process that has already taken more than three years and will likely not conclude before year end.

The allegation serves only to distract Albertans from the real issue that faces us all. Alberta's transmission infrastructure hasn't kept pace with the province's growth. If the line isn't built, homes and businesses between Edmonton and Calgary and from Calgary south to the U.S. border will face power outages."

The need for these facilities is clear. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has determined that the transmission system south of Edmonton will be operating below North American reliability standards by the fall/winter peak of 2009-2010, increasing the likelihood of rotating power outages for the more than 1.5 million Albertans living south of Edmonton.

The AESO is an independent, not-for-profit agency established to plan the development of Alberta's transmission grid to meet the needs of all Albertans. After identifying the need for these 500 kV facilities, the AESO applied to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) in early 2004 to have the need approved.

After a public hearing, the need was approved in early 2005 and AltaLink was directed by the AESO to site and construct the line between Genesee, the Lochend area and Langdon. After just more than a year of consulting with landowners, government agencies and First Nations groups, AltaLink submitted a permit and licence application to the EUB to build and operate the facilities on a specific route. The oral portion of that public hearing closed on June 28, 2007.

Added Mr. Thon, "AltaLink reports to two independent agencies - the AESO and the EUB - when building and operating transmission facilities in Alberta. Those agencies, not AltaLink or the Alberta government, determine what facilities are needed and approve those facilities only after a rigorous examination of the facts.

After more than three years since the original need application was filed, it is clear that further delay of this line will put Albertans at risk of rotating power outages. As a public utility with a mandate to keep the lights on, we believe rotating outages are unacceptable. We will not be distracted from this mandate and remain focused on building and operating the lines millions of Albertans rely on every day."

AltaLink, Canada's only fully independent transmission provider, is responsible for the maintenance and operation of more than 11,600 kilometres of transmission lines and approximately 260 substations in Alberta. As Alberta's largest supplier of safe and reliable transmission, AltaLink is moving forward to provide a transmission system that will continue to meet the growing needs of Albertans.

Contact Information

  • AltaLink Management Ltd.
    Media Relations
    Scott Schreiner
    Manager, External Communications
    (403) 267-2176
    Email: Scott.Schreiner@AltaLink.ca