Thank you to everyone who provided us with their input about this project.
We realize this project has required a lot of stakeholder participation and we appreciate your time. Since January 2010 we've had more than 4,500 discussions with stakeholders through open houses, information centres, one-on-one consultations, phone calls and written correspondence. Your input has been critical in our route selection process.
We continue to be available to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Phone: 1-877-267-5973 (toll free)
We will communicate with landowners during the construction phase to provide the most up-to-date information.We have four Right-of-Way Coordinators dedicated to landowners impacted by the Western Alberta Transmission Line. Please contact the Coordinator responsible for your area, as indicated on the list below, if you have any questions or concerns.
Genesee to Town Lake/ Winfield area - Dwane Stauffer - 403-588-3015
Winfield/ Town Lake to Benalto area - Blair Steeves - 403-506-5171
Benalto to Madden area - Tom Morgan - 403-863-8777
Madden to Langdon area - Jason Pigeon - 403-473-6661
Chad Huseby is also available at 403-877-1372
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does the project involve?
A. This project:
- Is a 500 kV (500,000 volts) Direct Current (DC) transmission line.
- Will be built between the Genesee and Langdon areas.
- Will include a converter station at each end of the line that changes electricity from DC to Alternating Current (AC) so the DC line can connect with the rest of the province's AC electricity system.
Q. How long will you be gathering stakeholder input?
A. Consultation is an ongoing process. AltaLink consulted with stakeholders about the preliminary route options through the winter and spring of 2010. Consultation about the refined routing options occurred in late summer and fall 2010.
We have used stakeholder input to determine preferred and alternate routes. We will include the preferred and alternate routes in the Facilities Application we plan to file with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) in early 2011. We welcome any further input you have before and after we file our application.
We will continue to communicate with stakeholders and answer their questions through all stages of the project, including the construction phase if the project is approved.
Q. What do you do with input provided by stakeholders?
A. We used stakeholder input to help identify preferred and alternate routes. All of the stakeholder input we gathered is collected in our databases. A summary of this information and stakeholder concerns will be included in our Facilities Application to the AUC.
Q. How can I provide my input?
A. You can provide your input in the following ways:
- Send us an email at westernline [at] altalink [dot] ca
- Phone us on our toll-free line at 1-877-267-5973
- Send us a letter to:
Attn: Stakeholder Engagement
2611 3 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2A 7W7
- Send us a fax at 403-267-5944
- Fill out a feedback form on our website
Q. Do you take stakeholder input into consideration? How?
A. Stakeholder input helps identify the route with the lowest overall impact for any proposed project. When stakeholders identify things along route segments that we were previously unaware of, those are recorded and taken into consideration as the various route options are evaluated. The results of the consultation process will be summarized in AltaLink's application to the AUC.
Q. Does AltaLink provide compensation if landowners want to hire representatives to engage in the consultation process on their behalf?
A. The consultation process is voluntary so we do not offer compensation if a landowner wants to be represented by a third party. However, once we enter the next phase of the project where we need to negotiate with landowners for an easement, AltaLink will consider and potentially negotiate compensation for the involvement of a representative with landowners.
Q. Does AltaLink consult with Aboriginal Peoples?
A. Yes. Alberta's consultation process with Aboriginal Peoples is guided by the Government of Alberta's First Nations Consultation Policy on Land Management and Resource Development, which serves as a guideline to companies conducting consultation.
Q. When will you file an application?
A. We anticipate filing our application with the AUC in early 2011.
Q. When will construction begin?
A. If our application is approved by the AUC, we expect to begin construction in 2012. The AUC must review and approve our application before construction can start.
Q. How long will construction take?
A. We anticipate the construction process to take between two to two and a half years.
Q. When will the line be in service?
A. If we begin construction in 2012, the line should be in service by late 2014.
Q. How did AltaLink identify preliminary route options?
A. AltaLink takes several factors into consideration in an effort to find routes with the lowest overall impact when identifying preliminary route options. These factors include, but are not limited to the following:
- loss of crops
- reduced efficiency of field operations
- kilometres of agricultural land crossed
- presence of irrigation systems
- loss of developable lands and constraints on development
- noise and TV interference
- number of residences potentially affected and their distance from the proposed line
- alteration of natural areas
- interference with outdoor educational opportunities
- proximity to large wetlands, environmentally significant areas, parcels of native vegetation
- construction cost and land acquisition costs
- factors contributing to cost including length of line, number of corner towers and land required
- reliability and reparability of the line
- opportunities to parallel existing transmission lines, utility corridors and major roads
- visual impact of towers and lines as seen from residences, farms, roads and recreational installations
- Special considerations
- electrical interference with radio transmitting stations and other telecommunication equipment, etc.
Q. What sort of information did AltaLink receive from stakeholders about the preliminary route options?
A. Some of the factors that stakeholders identified include:
- Number of residences
- Locations of new or previously unknown residences, barns or shops
- Agricultural operations
- Specific environmental features
- Oil and gas well sites and other facilities
- Approved development plans
- Future development plans
- If you support the line going on your property or not
- Anything else stakeholders feel we should know
Q. How did AltaLink refine the preliminary route options?
A. We used the information gathered from stakeholders and other information from activities such as field work to refine the route options in an attempt to find the lowest overall impact route. We removed several route segments and added new segments and presented these options to stakeholders during our second stage of consultation in the summer and fall 2010.
Q. How did AltaLink determine preferred and alternate routes?
A. When we began work on this project in January 2010 we looked at every quarter line in the study area, which is approximately 60 kilometres by 270 kilometres between the Edmonton and Calgary regions.
After considering every possible route, we identified preliminary route options with the lowest impacts and presented them to stakeholders. Stakeholder input is an important component in the route selection process. Some of the information we received from landowners included existing and planned residences and buildings, potential impacts to agricultural operations and new route options for consideration.
We used the input gathered from stakeholders during two stages of consultation and the results of in-depth studies and field work to identify preferred and alternate routes.
Of all the possible routes in the study area, we believe the preferred is the lowest overall impact route and the best solution for this project. The alternate route also presents a viable alternative for this project.
Q. Why does AltaLink identify two routes?
We identify preferred and alternate routes to provide options to the AUC for its consideration. We have also identified optional segments to the preferred and alternate routes (called optional route options) for this project. Please see the February 2011 stakeholder information package for more details about the preferred and alternate routes and the optional route segments.
After considering many factors including stakeholder input, there is often more than one route that may be a viable solution. We will include both routes in our Facilities Application, but we will only build one line if the AUC approves the project.
Q. Has stakeholder feedback been used to modify proposed transmission lines before?
A. Yes, AltaLink has modified routes for a transmission line based on stakeholder input and where the route cannot be modified, has worked with stakeholders to mitigate impacts. We understand that stakeholders have important information we need to consider when evaluating potential routes.
Q. How many structures would there be on a typical quarter section?
A. The average space between lattice structures will be 365 metres. This means there would be two to three lattice structures per quarter section.
Q. When a route option is located on the quarter line what side is it on?
A. To minimize the impact on agricultural land, AltaLink's preference is to straddle the quarter line. Structures are generally located half on one quarter and half on the other.
Q. What happens to a fence if the transmission line is running down the quarter line?
A. We remove the fence prior to construction and install temporary fencing for livestock control during construction. Once construction is complete we reconstruct the fence on the property line and the new fence would continue under the middle of the structures that are half on one quarter and half on the other.
Q. What is the right-of-way width?
A. Generally for a Greenfield option (an area with no other transmission lines) and where a line would parallel one existing transmission line, the right-of-way width is expected to be 55 metres. For route options that parallel more than one existing transmission line, the right-of-way width is expected to be 62.5 metres. There may be areas where the right-of-way width needs to be larger than these general guidelines.
Q. What kind of compensation do landowners receive for having transmission lines on their property?
A. There are two primary forms of compensation that landowners receive for having transmission facilities on their property:
- The easement purchase - one-time payment
- Annual Structure Payments - on-going payments
Q. How often does AltaLink review the compensation it offers?
A. We review our compensation rates and adjust them every five years. In response to landowner input we've increased compensation for structures between two and five times the 2006 rates.
Q. How do you determine the amount you will offer for an easement?
A. We pay fair market value for an easement that crosses a landowner's property while the landowner retains ownership of the land. We determine market value by studying sales, industry comparables (oil and gas) or appraisals of similar/comparable types of land within the areA.
Q. What is AltaLink offering for easements for this project?
A. The compensation AltaLink will offer for an easement varies depending on the fair market value of a given area. AltaLink will pay fair market value per acre for the total area of the easement. The one-time payments for an approved route include:
- $10,000 early access and routing consent payment: allows AltaLink to complete pre-construction surveys and is paid to landowners who sign an easement prior to AUC decision
- $250-5,000 per title entry fee payment: amount depends on the number of acres required for the transmission line
- $1,500 minimum general disturbance payment
- $5,000 (estimated per kilometre) total land damages payment
- 50% Pre-paid ($2,500 pre-construction; post-construction are paid if applicable) With the exception of the $10,000 early access payment and a $50 signing fee, all other one-time payments are subject to the Alberta Utilities Commission's approval of this project.
Q. How do you determine the amount you offer for Annual Structure Payments (ASP)?
A. We complete market reviews of how other industries are compensating landowners for similar sized above-ground facilities and base the rates we offer in part on those reviews.
Factors we take into consideration when determining ASP include the area it takes to construct the structure, the loss of use of the area enclosed by the structure once operational, the inconvenience and additional costs associated with weed control, additional operation time, additional seed, overlap of pesticide/herbicide and fertilizer used when farming around the structure and the intangible effect on cultivation. AltaLink makes payment on both cultivated and uncultivated lands at different rates.
Q. What is AltaLink offering for ASP for this project?
A. Our 2010 rates for this project (500 kV DC towers) are:
- $1,178 per structure per year on cultivated land
- $471 per structure per year on un-cultivated land
Q. Do all landowners receive the same amount?
A. Compensation is negotiated with landowners on a case by case basis. Easement compensation will vary depending on fair market value. The ASP rate depends on a number of factors including whether the structure(s) are on cultivated or uncultivated land and the size of structure(s). If all circumstances are the same, including fair market value, acres for the easement and land use (cultivated or uncultivated) then compensation should be the same.
Q. Do you offer property buyouts?
A. Yes, in circumstances where a landowner is directly impacted by the line, this is one of several alternatives. We will work closely with landowners in cases where the preferred route for this line is on their property and falls closer than 150 metres from a residence. Depending on the individual circumstance, we normally present the landowner with three options to mitigate the impact of the line: jog around the residence, relocate the residence on the property or buy out the property. AltaLink will submit the landowner's preference in its application to the AUC.
Q. What happens if you can't come to an agreement with a landowner?
A. Where AltaLink and a landowner or occupant fail to reach an agreement regarding entry or compensation related to a transmission project on privately owned or crown occupied lands, the Surface Rights Board, under the Surface Rights Act, may act to resolve the disagreement.
Q. Do transmission lines affect property values?
A. We understand people may be concerned about the impact of new transmission lines on property values and we take those concerns seriously. Previous studies indicate transmission lines have either a small or no discernable impact on property values in urban and rural areas, and where an impact is found, it tends to diminish rapidly with distance from the line and to dissipate over time.
Direct Current technology
Q. What is Direct Current (DC)?
A. In a DC transmission line, the current continually flows in the same direction, similar to the current in a flashlight or automobile battery. In a traditional Alternating Current (AC) line, the direction of the current alternates 60 times per second. DC is normally used for high capacity transmission over long distances.
Q. What are the benefits of a DC line?
A. A DC line can transmit power more efficiently than an AC line, requires less physical space and reduces the need to come back to landowners in the future to site additional transmission lines. DC transmission lines typically experience reduced line losses as well - power that's lost in the form of heat when a line is in operation.
Q. Are there DC lines in Alberta currently?
A. No, DC transmission lines are a new technology to Alberta, but are in operation in Manitoba and Québec as well as many other parts of the world. The first DC transmission line was built in the 1950s and today there are more than 100 lines in operation around the world.
Q. Why don't we have DC lines in Alberta?
A. The converter stations required for a DC line are more expensive than the substations used for AC lines, so DC lines are typically used for high capacity needs over longer distances as they become more economical. The converter stations are more expensive because of the equipment required to change electricity from DC to AC. Until now, the right application for a DC line hadn't presented itself in AlbertA.
Q. Isn't a DC solution only economical at a certain distance? Does this line meet that distance requirement?
A. A DC line is more economical at a longer distance when the increased cost of the converter stations is offset by the reduced cost in material for the structures and the circuits (line). The cost of the structures and the circuits of a DC line are less than an AC line because the structures are smaller.
Although DC lines are typically used over longer distances than this proposed project, DC is being proposed for this project based on its benefits of increased efficiency, reduced physical impact and scalability. DC is a long-term solution to meet our province's electricity needs.
Q. How does a DC line work with the rest of Alberta's electricity system?
A. Two converter stations (one either end of a DC line) change AC power to DC at one end of the line and DC power to AC at the other end of the line.
Q. Why not convert the existing lines in Alberta to DC?
A. The existing lines are not designed for DC transmission, so the structures would require significant modifications. The existing structures could only support a lower capacity, lower voltage DC line which isn't adequate to meet the increased need for power, and an additional line would still be required.
Q. Are you considering putting this line underground?
A. After investigating the technical feasibility of putting the line underground, gathering stakeholder input and reviewing a study conducted by the Government of Alberta, we've determined underground is not the best solution for this project and we will not be taking it forward as an alternative. For more information about underground, please click here.
Q. Can you use tubular structures?
A. We are proposing lattice structures for this project because they are the most economic solution. We studied the feasibility of using tubular structures and gathered feedback from stakeholders about this option during our consultation program.
Tubular structures are typically used in areas of high residential density. While we are not recommending tubular structures for this project, we will include information about them in our application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC).
Direct Current fields
Q. Are Direct Current (DC) fields different than Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) from Alternating Current (AC) power sources?
A. Yes. Because the current doesn't alternate as it does in an AC line, the fields from a DC line are referred to as static. Static fields from a DC line have the same characteristics as the static fields found in the natural environment.
The static electric field directly under a DC line is often higher than the natural electric field produced by the Earth under fair weather conditions. However, the static electric field from a DC line is lower than other natural sources of static electric fields such as the static electricity that builds up on a comb or brush, the static cling of clothing and the fields that are naturally produced by some weather conditions. Trees, shrubs and buildings block the static electric fields from a DC line.
The constant flow of DC current on a transmission line produces a static magnetic field similar to the field produced by the Earth. Depending on the orientation of a DC line, the static magnetic field produced near the line will either add to or subtract from the Earth's magnetic field. Most other sources of static magnetic fields including permanent magnets in a variety of appliances, toys, trains, and medical devices produce much higher fields than those from a DC transmission line. Magnetic fields are not blocked by most objects. The magnetic field from the DC line will be the same strength or weaker than the Earth's magnetic field.
Q. Do static DC fields pose health risks?
A. There are no known adverse health effects associated with exposure to the low levels of static electric fields or static magnetic fields typically produced by DC transmission lines.
Research has found that people exposed to static magnetic fields above 2 Tesla (20,000,000 milligauss or mG) might experience temporary sensations of vertigo and nausea, and this would apply primarily to those involved in research or those exposed to fields from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) devices.
The levels of static magnetic fields produced by the Earth (350 to 700 mG) or the proposed DC transmission line (350 mG) would be thousands of times lower than exposure limits proposed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) for the general public (400 milliTesla or 4,000,000 mG) or for workers with occupational exposures (2 Tesla or 20,000,000 mG).
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that international exposure guidelines, like ICNIRP, be adopted for exposure to static fields. Guidelines for exposure to static electric fields are designed to minimize static shocks from contact with ungrounded objects.
Q. Do static DC fields interfere with cardiac pacemakers?
A. According to recommendations of ICNIRP the static magnetic field of sources like the Earth or the magnetic field from the proposed DC transmission line would be too weak to affect cardiac pacemakers, ferromagnetic implants and implanted electronic devices. The recommended limit for pacemakers is about 10 times the strength of the Earth's magnetic field and the proposed DC transmission line.
Q. Do static DC fields interfere with radio and television reception?
A. A DC transmission line produces small amounts of radio and TV interference, mostly directly underneath or near a DC line. Interference may be noticeable for AM radio or analog television, but not for FM radio or cable television. As you move away, even a short distance from the line, interference problems are unlikely.
AltaLink will perform measurements to ensure the line complies with applicable interference guidelines after construction is completed. While it is unlikely the line will cause interference problems, AltaLink is committed to working with landowners to identify and mitigate sources of interference caused by its facilities.
Q. Do static DC fields interfere with GPS systems?
A. The DC line will be designed to meet applicable interference guidelines. Research shows that interference from the line on GPS systems is unlikely. AltaLink is committed to working with landowners to identify and mitigate sources of interference on GPS systems caused by its facilities.
Q. Do static DC fields produce audible noise?
A. The DC line will be designed to meet applicable audible noise rules (AUC Rule 012) at the right-of-way edge, which is the closest to the line that a dwelling could be built. AltaLink will complete post-construction audible noise measurements to show it is in compliance with the AUC Rule 012.
Q. Who pays for the project?
A. All Alberta consumers pay for transmission projects. Industrial and commercial consumers cover the largest portion of the costs (approximately 80 per cent combined), then residential customers (approximately 16 per cent) and farms (four per cent). To learn more about who pays for transmission, please visit the AESO's website.
Alberta ratepayers pay for transmission projects through their electricity bills. Transmission costs make up between five and 10 per cent of the average residential electricity bill.
Q. When will Albertans start paying for the project?
A. The cost of the project will not appear on customers' bills until the line is in-service and the costs have been reviewed and approved by the AUC.
Q. What project component represents the most significant project cost?
A. Materials and labour for the transmission line and converter stations represent the majority of the project costs. These portions of the project will go through a competitive bid process to make sure AltaLink constructs the project at the most competitive price.
Q. Does AltaLink make more money if the project comes in under budget?
A. If this development is built for a lower cost than originally estimated, AltaLink will not make a profit on this difference as we only earn a rate of return on the amount we actually invest. Ratepayers would benefit from reduced cost expenditure.
- AltaLink generates revenue on a project by earning a fixed return (interest charge) on the money we invest in the project.
- The amount of this return is determined by the AUC.
- This rate of return is set at nine per cent in 2010.
- AltaLink can only invest 35 per cent of the cost of the project with ratepayer dollars. The remaining cost of the project is raised through the public sale of debt (bonds).
- The costs AltaLink incurs to build a line must be approved by the AUC, ensuring AltaLink manages costs carefully.
Q. Does AltaLink consider the environment when identifying route options?
A. In its identification of preliminary route options and throughout the refinement of those options, AltaLink undertakes environmental studies. This analysis includes:
- Desktop review that focuses on regional environmental effects to determine potentially sensitive environmental features or locations.
- Field surveys (dependent on access to land) that focuses on wildlife, vegetation and terrain-related concerns.
Q. Since a formal Environmental Impact Assessment isn't mandatory, how will you manage environmental impact?
A. AltaLink is committed to reducing the impact of its facilities on Alberta's landscape. Environmental impacts are one of several important factors we take into consideration when we identify routes. We attempt to avoid significant environmental areas through route selection and avoid site specific environmental features through structure placement.
Environmental assessments, impacts and mitigations will be included in our application to the AUC. These will be reviewed and must be approved by the AUC before AltaLink can begin construction of the line. AltaLink also works closely with Alberta Environment and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD) during the planning and execution of its projects.
Q. What does AltaLink do to mitigate impacts to species at risk (plants and wildlife)?
A. We address impacts to Species at Risk and identify mitigation measures on a case-by-case basis. The environmental review process identifies Species at Risk prior to construction. Possible mitigation options include:
- Fencing the area to prevent entry/disturbance.
- Setback distances from species at risk habitat as per ASRD Guidelines
- Flagging access trails
- Placing restrictions on the timing of construction activities
- Placing tower structures in a non-sensitive area
- Selective tree removal
- Relocate a sensitive feature (i.e. nest/rare plant)
Q. I do not want environmental issues (Species at Risk/rare plants, etc.) on my land made public, what are my rights for privacy?
A. In our Facilities Application to the AUC, we only use Species at Risk information provided to us by a landowner or that is obtained through field observation. Species at Risk information will be represented in the Environmental Review in a manner that does not disclose the specific location of the particular species at risk. However if it is necessary to move a proposed line to avoid a Species at Risk, this may need to be disclosed in our application.
We only release Species at Risk information to Fish and Wildlife Management Division, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development for entry into their wildlife management database (FWMIS). This database supports the conservation and management of Alberta's wild species and their habitats.
Q. What is done if a Species at Risk is found during construction?
A. Prior to any construction project, AltaLink hires qualified environmental consultants to conduct detailed wildlife surveys and develop appropriate mitigation strategies. AltaLink will stop construction if those activities could be harmful to a Species at Risk and apply appropriate mitigation measures to ensure their protection.
Q. What does AltaLink do to prevent bird collisions with power lines?
A. All new power lines being built are assessed for their potential bird collision risk. New and existing lines in high risk areas, such as those spanning a water body or in close proximity to protected wetlands, will have markers installed to make the lines more visible to birds. AltaLink uses bird diverters on these high risk lines to increase visibility and minimize avian collisions.
Q. What type of markers does AltaLink use to reduce bird collisions?
A. AltaLink uses two types of marking devices, the bird flight diverter (BFD) and the Firefly. The BFD is most commonly used in windy areas, such as Ft. MacLeod, Lethbridge and Crowsnest Pass.
Both the Firefly and the BFD have been shown to reduce collisions by 60 to 90 per cent. The BFD is a small spiral device that wraps around the overhead shield wire. It works by providing a visual image that helps migratory birds avoid collisions.
The Firefly is a reflective tag that hangs from the power line. It has the advantage of being visible in low light conditions, the time when collisions are most common. In addition, the Firefly glows at night for up to ten hours, making it ideal for protecting night migrants.
Q. Can birds be electrocuted by transmission lines and facilities?
A. Yes, however electrocutions typically occur on distribution voltages which are less than 69 kV (69,000 volts) because the wires are closer together than transmission line wires.
Birds such as raptors (hawks, eagles, owls) commonly use utility poles for perching, roosting and hunting. A bird is at risk of being electrocuted if it contacts two energized components or an energized component and a grounded component. Interference with the overhead electrical system within a substation may also cause bird electrocutions.
Q. How does AltaLink prevent bird electrocutions?
A. AltaLink has completed a risk assessment of its system to determine if electrocutions on poles are an issue. Because AltaLink does not operate low voltage poles, the risk for electrocution on transmission lines is extremely low. For substations, AltaLink uses custom GREENJACKET™ fitted cover-ups to prevent momentary contacts between birds and energized electrical equipment.
Q. Do transmission lines have an impact on wetlands?
A. We consider wetlands when we identify locations for transmission towers. Typically wetlands are not impacted as wires span over wetland areas. Smaller wetlands can be avoided through structure placement.
If a structure must be placed into a wetland, AltaLink will obtain the necessary approvals from Alberta Environment. The foundations on a transmission structure will not affect ground water.
Q. What goes into your Facilities Application?
A. A Facilities Application (FA) includes technical details about the project and a consideration of environmental matters. It also includes information about our consultation program, including details regarding concerns raised by stakeholders and how such concerns were addressed.
Q. Who do you file your application with?
A. We file our application with the AUC. The AUC is the independent, quasi-judicial agency that ensures the fair and responsible delivery of our utility services.
Q. How do you notify stakeholders when you've filed an application?
A. We will notify stakeholders via mail that we have filed our application, and our application will be published on the AUC's public website.
Q. What happens after you submit your application?
A. Once we've submitted our application the AUC will review it for completeness. If the AUC has additional questions regarding the application, it can submit Information Requests (IRs) to AltaLink, and AltaLink will provide the further information. Once the application is deemed complete, the AUC will issue a Notice of Application or Hearing to stakeholders who may be affected by the application.
Q. How do I provide my input about the project once you've submitted your application?
A. AltaLink will continue to consult with potentially affected stakeholders after our application is submitted and will continue to attempt to resolve any outstanding concerns.
Stakeholders with unresolved concerns may also choose to participate in the AUC hearing process. By participating in the hearing process they can provide their input directly to the AUC. Once the hearing is complete the AUC decides whether to approve the application, approve the application with conditions or deny the application.
Stakeholders received a pamphlet about the AUC process in the packages AltaLink mailed out in January and July 2010. There is also information on the AUC website about how to participate in the process. If you would like further information about how you can participate in the AUC process, please contact the AUC directly at the information below:
E-mail: utilitiesconcerns [at] auc [dot] ab [dot] ca
Phone: 780-427-4903 (You can call toll-free by dialing 310-0000 before the number.)
Q. How can landowners have input when the government has already made a decision that this project will go ahead through the Electric Statutes Amendment Act (formerly known as Bill 50)?
A. The government passed legislation that designated this project as Critical Transmission Infrastructure (CTI). This means that for this project and a select few other CTI projects, the government has determined that the project is required.
While there will not be a 'need' application filed for this project, AltaLink will file a Facilities Application, which is the case on all projects.
AltaLink will work with stakeholders to attempt to resolve any concerns. If stakeholders have unresolved concerns, they can participate in the AUC hearing process, and submit that the application should be denied, or approved with certain conditions. The AUC has a process that encourages such participation by landowners, which includes funding for lawyers and experts for an AUC hearing.
Alberta's electricity system
Q. Is this line being built for export?
A. This line is not being built for export. The line is required to reinforce the transmission infrastructure in the Calgary to Edmonton corridor, which has not had a major upgrade for about 38 years.
Q. Why is this line required?
A. The average age of major transmission lines between the Edmonton and Calgary area is about 38 years old and Alberta has grown by almost two million people in that time. The existing infrastructure needs to be reinforced in order to meet the increased demand on the electrical system. The government of Alberta has designated this and other projects as Critical Transmission Infrastructure through the Electric Statutes Amendment Act.
Q. Why can't power be generated locally?
A. While local generation is an important part of the electrical system, it is also vital to have a transmission system that can move large amounts of power that exist across Alberta to other areas of the province where power is needed. Interconnecting the power sources encourages competition among those who generate power, ensures that new sources of power have a market (for example, wind farms) and is also necessary to ensure reliability throughout the province.
Q. Who is the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)?
The AESO is the independent, not-for-profit entity responsible for the safe, reliable and economic planning and operation of the Alberta Interconnected Electric System. If you have questions about electrical planning in the province of Alberta, please visit the AESO's website or contact them at the information below.
E-mail: stakeholder [dot] relations [at] aeso [dot] ca
Q. Who is AltaLink?
A. AltaLink is Alberta's largest transmission company, owning and operating the majority of the transmission system in southern and central AlbertA. AltaLink owns approximately 12,500 kilometres of transmission lines and 280 substations. We:
- build, own and operate transmission facilities in our service territory
- identify preliminary route options to provide a focus for stakeholder consultation, which is key to the route selection process for new transmission facilities
- apply to the AUC for permit and license to construct and operate the facilities
Q. What is AltaLink's role?
A. AltaLink is the Transmission Facility Owner in the area and is working with stakeholders to gather their input about this proposed project. Stakeholder input will help us identify the lowest overall impact route. AltaLink will eventually apply to the AUC to build and operate the transmission line.
To find out more about AltaLink, please visit www.altalink.ca.
AltaLink collects personal information, including your name, mailing address, land location and mapping of your property, as required by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). As such, AltaLink will disclose these details to the AUC. Other information that you provide to AltaLink may also be required by the AUC as part of its consideration of AltaLink’s application for the Transmission Project named in this document. If the AUC requires this information, AltaLink will disclose it to the AUC. AltaLink may also use and disclose the information that you provide during the regulatory process to clarify any disputed facts or any decisions made with respect to the Transmission Project. AltaLink may use the personal information collected in order to contact you regarding other transmission projects.
If the Transmission Project is approved, AltaLink will use this information to manage the construction or future maintenance and operation of the Transmission Project. AltaLink may use this information in an application with the Surface Rights Board. AltaLink will not rent or sell your personal information to any third party.
At times, AltaLink distributes information about the need of a project under direction of the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). AltaLink will only provide your concerns about the need for the project to the AESO if you consent to the disclosure of your personal information.
- About AltaLink Transmission Projects
- Project Map
- Project Listing
- For Landowners
- Maintenance Work Explained
- Transmission Line Construction