Alberta's power grid received a major boost as ATCO Electric energized a new 240-kV transmission line in the Peace River area in northwest Alberta. The Wesley Creek to Meikle transmission project completes phase II of the three-phase Northwest Transmission Development Project and is a critical addition to the province's interconnected electric system.
Responsible project management, greater access to materials and reduced labor costs have resulted in cost savings of more than 40 per cent on this major new infrastructure for Alberta.
"ATCO Electric's completion of this project demonstrates our company's ability to build sizeable transmission projects in a timely and cost-effective manner," said Sett Policicchio, President, Capital Projects, ATCO Electric. "The discipline and practices we brought to this project are standards ATCO Electric will continue to apply to all our future projects."
The 126-km transmission line strengthens electrical service to residents and industry in northwestern Alberta. Electricity on the line currently flows at 144 kV, but was built to carry 240 kV of power, allowing for more electricity to be delivered as the needs in the region increase.
Phase II of the Northwest Transmission Development Project also included upgrades to the existing substations in Wesley Creek and Hotchkiss, and construction of the new switching substation in Meikle. Phase I, construction of a 226-km 240-kV line from Brintnell to Wesley Creek, was completed earlier this year. Phase III, development of a 144-kV transmission line from Arcenciel to Ring Creek is in the consultation phase.
The need for the new facilities was identified by the Alberta Electric System Operator and was approved in 2006 by the Alberta Utilities Commission. ATCO Electric started construction of the new transmission line and substations in 2008 after consulting with and seeking input from involved landowners and First Nations communities.