The 240-kV line, which will extend from the Wabasca area to the Peace River region, is expected to be completed by March 31, 2010, at an estimated project cost of $210 million. The project includes expansion of two existing substations.
"ATCO Electric worked through the consultation process to identify and successfully address all potential concerns from affected communities and landowners along the proposed transmission route and we will continue to work closely with them through to completion of this project," said ATCO Electric President Sett Policicchio.
"This is a much needed project that will strengthen the transmission system for our customers in fast-growing northwest Alberta."
ATCO Electric began consulting with - and seeking input from - involved landowners and Aboriginal communities in the fall of 2006. Through consultation and close coordination, ATCO Electric developed a transmission route that minimized the impact on communities, landowners, and the environment in the area.
ATCO Electric continues to secure the necessary easements for the selected transmission route. Right-of-way clearing is scheduled to begin before the end of the year.
ATCO Electric filed for the project permit and licence last June following assignment by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). This project is the first of several developments identified by the AESO for the northwest region of the province.
The project is the first major transmission line for ATCO Electric since the 2004 award-winning Dover to Whitefish transmission line was completed in just 10 months instead of the normal two years.
Final approval for the project was received from the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board on Friday, Nov. 23.
The AESO acts as the independent system operator, directing the reliable and economic operation of Alberta's interconnected electric system. It plans the transmission development in Alberta by identifying present and future needs and directs transmission facility owners such as ATCO Electric to provide the needed transmission services and facilities.