AltaLink, L.P.

AltaLink, L.P.

August 25, 2009 17:42 ET

AltaLink Ready to Begin Work on New Transmission Line Between Edmonton and Calgary Areas

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 25, 2009) -


AltaLink is preparing to work on a major transmission line between the Edmonton and Calgary areas after the Government of Alberta announced the transmission system in the area needs to be reinforced.

In consultation with Alberta's independent, non-profit electricity planning agency, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), the Government of Alberta has concluded that two new transmission lines are required between the Edmonton and Calgary areas - a west and an east route. AltaLink will begin work on the west route once directed by the AESO.

"It's important that Alberta's transmission system keeps pace with our province, serving the needs of the millions of Albertans that rely on electricity every day," says Leigh Clarke, AltaLink's Senior Vice President of External Engagement.

The AESO has forecast approximately 5,000 megawatts of new generation sources will be needed by 2017 from across all regions of the province.

"A new and technologically smarter transmission system is the glue that holds all of this new generation together and enables Alberta's electricity future," says Mr. Clarke. "Together with finding new ways to conserve electricity, increasing energy efficiency and new generation projects from key regions in Alberta coming online, including wind, natural gas and other sources, we can continue to operate an electricity system that has served Albertans so reliably."

The new transmission lines between Edmonton and Calgary are expected to use High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology. The lines will be the first of their kind in Alberta and can transport large volumes of power more efficiently than traditional Alternating Current (AC) lines.

"In the past, we've heard loud and clear that landowners want to reduce impact on their land," says Mr. Clarke. "An HVDC solution has a smaller physical footprint. It allows the capacity of the line to be increased as Alberta's need for power grows and it reduces the need to return to landowners for the access to build another transmission line."

Once AltaLink receives direction from the AESO, we will identify potential route options and begin to consult with landowners.

"We begin our process by identifying preliminary routes and seeking feedback from stakeholders about the route options," says Mr. Clarke. "We understand that new power lines have an impact on people and land. Through environmental study, technical research and good, old-fashioned talking to people, we will work with Albertans to reduce that impact. That's going to mean listening to and learning from landowners to help us make the best decisions as we identify potential routes."

AltaLink will begin seeking feedback from stakeholders about the preliminary route options in the coming months.

AltaLink, Canada's only fully independent transmission provider, is responsible for the maintenance and operation of more than 11,800 kilometres of transmission lines and approximately 270 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. AltaLink has been a proud supporter of Alberta 4-H since 2003, and as a Legacy Builder it is the title sponsor of all regional, district and provincial communications and public speaking programs.

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