Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL)

December 10, 2015 - The Western Alberta Transmission Line is in service

AltaLink’s Western Alberta Transmission Line, Alberta’s first in-service direct current (DC) line, is now transmitting electricity on the provincial power grid.

The Demand

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.


To have electricity throughout the province at a flick of a switch, an efficient and reliable transmission grid is needed.

The Solution

The transmission system between Edmonton and Calgary is being reinforced to avoid reliability issues for consumers in southern and central Alberta, to improve the efficiency of the transmission system and to avoid system congestion to allow the competitive power generation market to work.


Please visit here for more information on Consultation.


Please visit here for Regulatory Information.

The Western Alberta Transmission Line project

  • is a 500 kV (500,000 volts) 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 system.

Construction Details

Depending on where you are in relation to the project, you may see or hear:

  • noise and construction crews
  • tree and vegetation clearing
  • transmission structure construction
  • wire stringing on the transmission structures
  • work at an existing substation
  • construction of a new substation

We will continue to communicate with landowners during the construction phase to provide the most up-to-date information.

Detailed Project Schedule

Activities completed
Winter/Spring 2010 First stage of consultation - included open houses, information centres and one-on-one consultation as requested by stakeholders.
Spring 2010 Used stakeholder feedback to refine potential routes.
Summer/Fall 2010 Second stage of consultation - included open houses, information centres and one-on-one consultation with stakeholders who have property or reside on or directly adjacent to the refined route options.
Fall 2010 Used stakeholder feedback to help us identify preferred and alternate route options.
December 2010 Notified stakeholders of preferred and alternate routes.
March 2011 Filed application with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC).
Spring 2011 Land negotiation along the preferred route began.
Spring 2011 to Spring 2012 AUC process: the AUC will review our application for completeness, schedule and notify stakeholders of the project hearing, conduct the hearing and can either approve, approve with conditions or deny the application.
June to July 2012 AUC hearing
December 2012 AUC approved the majority of the preferred route submitted in AltaLink's application
Winter 2013 Construction start date
December 2015 WATL in service 


Project Status:

Anticipated Project Schedule

Winter 2013 Start Construction
Q4 2015 Complete Construction

Although we attempt to follow the anticipated project schedule, it is subject to change. We will continue to provide you with updated schedule information as the project progresses.

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