The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has approved several components that fall under AltaLink's Red Deer Area Transmission Development project.
"Over the past three years we've had personal consultations with 1,200 stakeholders and held 14 open houses and information centers that allowed us to hear stakeholder views that assisted us in our project siting and planning," says Ed Rihn, VP Customer and Regional Projects.
The approved components in the AUC's decision include:
Stage 2 - rebuilding three existing transmission lines in the Red Deer and Sylvan Lake areas
- 80L transmission line rebuild - between the north and southwest edges of Red Deer
- 755L transmission line rebuild - between southwest Red Deer and the Nova Chemicals plant south of Joffre
- 648L and 637L transmission line rebuild - between Benalto and southwest Red Deer
Stage 3 - new substations and transmission lines in the Ponoka, Innisfail and Didsbury areas
- new Wolf Creek Substation and transmission line east of Ponoka
- new Hazelwood Substation east of Innisfail and a new transmission line connecting the substation to an existing substation west of Innisfail
- new Johnson Substation and transmission line northwest of Didsbury
This development will ensure Red Deer and the surrounding areas have a reliable supply of electricity for years to come.
"The majority of the transmission system in the region was built 40 to 50 years ago," says Rihn. "Since that time the local populations have grown by more than 100,000 people and the strain on the electric system has increased. Reinforcing the transmission system will help to meet growing demand for electricity in the area."
Construction planning and preparation is expected to get underway in the coming weeks with construction anticipated to begin in most areas in September 2014. Construction in the Innisfail area is scheduled to begin in the summer or fall of 2015. Construction on all project components is expected to be complete by the summer or fall of 2016.
Although the projects have been approved, AltaLink will continue to communicate with stakeholders during the entire construction process.
"We have built relationships with the people in these project areas over the past few years, and we intend to continue to address any questions or concerns they have and update them as the project progresses," says Rihn.
The AUC's decision can be found on its website here. For more information about the approved project, visit the project page at www.altalink.ca/reddeer.