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February 13, 2012

AltaLink supports Critical Transmission Review Committee recommendations

Today, the Critical Transmission Review Committee released the report of its review into Alberta's critical North-South transmission reinforcement. AltaLink is pleased the Committee recognizes the importance of reinforcing the transmission grid in a timely fashion and appreciates the opportunity to have participated in the open and transparent process.
"The Committee has recognized the importance of thinking strategically and planning carefully," says Scott Thon, President & CEO AltaLink. "That is also our goal. The Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL) will directly tie together the area of the province generating the most energy to the area of the province requiring the most energy, and it does it efficiently," he adds.
AltaLink's Western Alberta Transmission Line proposes to connect the generation-rich area west of Edmonton (Genesee) to Langdon, east of Calgary. The preferred route parallels 220 kilometres of existing transmission lines west of Highway 2.
In the last 20 years, Alberta has welcomed more than one million new residents and our demand for electricity has doubled, yet the backbone of the transmission system remains largely the same.
The Committee reaffirms AltaLink's position that a reliable transmission system keeps costs low by connecting diverse sources of power generation to the grid. Transmission costs make up about 10 per cent of the average residential utility bill.
"WATL has a direct cost benefit for Albertans," Thon says. "An independent study confirmed that in the year 2020 the cost of WATL will be about one dollar per month on an average residential electricity bill. But, the increased efficiencies created by the new line will save Albertans at least $2.70 and up to about five dollars." Consumers won't see the cost of the new line on electricity bills until the line is energized.
For more information on the WATL project or to learn about how AltaLink is keeping the lights on for more than 85 per cent of Albertans, please go to AltaLink.ca.

For more information please contact:

Leanne Niblock
Manager, Communications
AltaLink Management Ltd.
Phone: 403.267.2110
E-mail: Leanne.Niblock@AltaLink.ca

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