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The History of AltaLink's Transmission System

In 2002, AltaLink assumed control of Alberta’s largest transmission system from TransAlta, marking the beginning of a new era in the Canadian electricity industry. With the completion of this transaction, our newly established company became the first independent transmission provider in Canada.

Our employees are comprised of experienced transmission professionals and other industry experts, blending the tried with the new in developing integrated programs and innovative strategies to approach our business. We are proud of our expertise and experience, and have established safety and operational excellence unsurpassed in the Canadian electrical industry.

1911 First transmission line to Calgary completed by Calgary Power Company Ltd.
1927 Transmission system extended north to Olds and east to Strathmore.
1930 138 kV transmission line constructed from the Ghost Lake hydroelectric plant to Edmonton.
1951 138 kV transmission line built from the Bow River area to Crowsnest Pass.
1953 Transmission line built to interconnect Medicine Hat to the provincial transmission system and other areas of the province.
1956 First 240 kV lines built and operated at 138 kV between the coal-fired generation facilities at Wabamum and Edmonton, and the Ghost Lake hydroelectric plant and Calgary.
1962 First 240 kV lines built from Wabamum to Edmonton and Calgary.
1965-68 696 kilometres of 240 kV and 854 km of 138 kV lines built in Southern Alberta.
1969 240 kV from Calgary to Stavely built to strengthen the southern Alberta electricity grid.
1986 500 kV intertie with British Columbia commissioned.

A major snowstorm caused $13 million in damage to southern Alberta’s transmission system. 110 steel towers and 272 wood structures were destroyed.
1987 A tornado on the east side of Edmonton caused $8 million in damage to the transmission system.
2000 Alberta’s electricity industry successfully oversaw the transition to the new millennium – Y2K.
2002 AltaLink acquired Alberta’s largest transmission system from TransAlta (the successor to Calgary Power), marking the beginning of a new era in the Canadian electricity industry, and becoming the first independent electricity transmission company in Canada.
2003 The Josephburg substation north of Fort Saskatchewan constructed at a cost of $20 million to step down voltage from 240 to 138 kV to facilitate industrial growth in the Heartland region. This was AltaLink’s first significant project and the first major substation built in 10 years in Alberta.
2005 More than 270 wood transmission structures were destroyed by high winds in the Empress area.
2008 The South Keephills, Ellerslie and Genesee (KEG) Conversion Project was completed in which AltaLink upgraded the transmission lines between Edmonton and coal-fired generation facilities in the Wabamun area from 240 kV to 500 kV volts.
2010 AltaLink began consultation on the proposed Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL). We had more than 4,000 conversations with stakeholders regarding the proposed project.

Construction of the Southwest 240 kV Project was completed. The 90 kilometre transmission line between Pincher Creek and Lethbridge is a vital link in Alberta’s electricity transmission system.

AltaLink restored service after southern Alberta was hit by a series of spring storms that interrupted electricity service to 50,000 households, farms and businesses.

AltaLink and EPCOR submitted the Facilities Application (FA) to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) for the Heartland Transmission Project.
 2014 AltaLink L.P. (AltaLink) announced on May 1, 2014, that Berkshire Hathaway Energy reached an agreement to purchase SNC-Lavalin’s equity in AltaLink. Click here to read the news release.
  On December 1, 2014, Berkshire Hathaway Energy purchased 100 per cent of the equity ownership in AltaLink. Click here to read the news release.
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