The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) received approval for its plan to reinforce electricity transmission throughout east central Alberta, allowing for the connection of up to 700 MW of wind power and supply forecasted demand of about 970 MW.
The regulatory approval was announced by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) when they accepted the AESO's preferred alternative to construct a single extended 240- kV alternating current (AC) looped system.
"We are pleased with the AUC's approval of our application," says Shan Bhattacharya, AESO Vice-President of Transmission. "This reinforcement will provide a transmission highway to wind farms spread over a wide geographic area throughout east central Alberta while at the same time, meeting demand for electricity caused by industrial development in the area."
The AESO estimates the total cost of this project to be approximately $1 billion. It will be developed in two stages; stage I is targeted to be in service by 2012, and stage II is targeted to be in service by 2017.Alberta currently has 629 MW of wind power connected to the Alberta electric system representing about five per cent of the total installed capacity of 12,502 MW