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October 31, 2012

AltaLink's approved substation upgrades will help meet electricity demand

CALGARY, Alberta - AltaLink has been given the go-ahead from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to upgrade six substations in and around Red Deer as part of the Red Deer Area Transmission Development. The development includes proposed transmission system reinforcements in the Red Deer, Wetaskiwin and Didsbury areas. The substation upgrades are the first stage of the regional development that will reinforce the aging transmission system to meet growing demand for electricity.

"The majority of the transmission system in the Red Deer area was built between 40 and 50 years ago," says Leanne Niblock, AltaLink's Manager of Communications. "Since then the population in the area has grown by more than 100,000 people and demand for electricity has significantly increased. These substation upgrades will help to reinforce the transmission system and make sure communities in the area continue to have a reliable supply of electricity."

The six substations will be upgraded with new equipment that will help to improve their capacity in order to meet the increasing pressure caused by greater consumer demand on the system. The equipment will also help to ensure the safety and reliability of the substation equipment and the overall transmission system.

Construction at the substations is scheduled to begin this winter and is expected to take about eight months to complete. Businesses and residents near the substations may see and hear construction crews at the substation, but disturbance in the area should be minimal.

"We schedule our typical construction work days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to limit the length of time nearby residents and businesses are impacted by construction activities," says Niblock. "We also develop our safety standards and practices to make sure that our employees, contractors and the public are safe during the construction process."

The Red Deer Area Transmission Development is divided into four stages. The substation upgrades are Stage 1 of the development. Stages 2 and 3 involve rebuilding existing transmission lines and building new substations and transmission lines. Consultation on these portions of the development is currently underway and AltaLink plans to file applications for both Stages 2 and 3 in the coming months.

"Stakeholder input helps identify the lowest overall impact solution for any transmission project," says Niblock. "We know that people living and working in the area know the land best and can bring things to our attention that we were previously unaware of. This input is very important to us."

Stage 4 involves removing existing transmission lines that will no longer be needed after the project is complete. Consultation on this stage of the project is expected to begin in early 2013.

The Red Deer Area Transmission Development will help to safely and reliably meet growing demand for electricity in the region. Reinforcing the transmission system in central Alberta will ensure that residents and businesses will continue to have the electricity that they rely on every day.

For more information please contact:

AltaLink Management Ltd. - Media Relations
Amanda Sadleir
Communications Advisor
403.267.6166
Amanda.Sadleir@altalink.ca

http://www.altalink.ca/  

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