AESO announces initiative to improve Alberta's transmission system

CALGARY, ALBERTA – - CALGARY, ALBERTA – The Alberta Electric System Operator AESO is launching an innovative new approach that will elevate competition to the provinceÂ’s electricity transmission industry.

For the first time in Alberta, interested parties will have the opportunity to participate in a fair and open competition that will identify the party who will develop, design, build, finance, own, operate and maintain a major transmission facility, the Fort McMurray West 500 kV Transmission Project. This project will consist of approximately 500 kilometres of transmission line and associated facilities between the Edmonton and Fort McMurray regions.

“The introduction of this competition into the transmission industry is a very important and exciting milestone,” says David Erickson, AESO President and Chief Executive Officer. “Over the next 20 years, our province is going to require double the amount of generation capacity that exists on our system today. We need to have a robust and reliable transmission system in place to ensure that investment, market access and economic development are not compromised. The Competitive Process will assist in putting downward pressure on transmission costs as we expand the transmission system.”

The AESO was mandated by the Government of Alberta to develop a Competitive Process and to have that process approved by the provincial electricity regulator, the Alberta Utilities Commission. The AESO received the approval from the regulator on February 14, 2013.

The first stage of the Competitive Process, the Request for Expressions of Interest, will help generate interest in the project. This will be followed by a Request for Qualifications stage, which is intended to shortlist up to five proponents to advance to the Request for Proposals stage. At the Request for Proposals, the final stage, the qualified proponent who can undertake the project at the lowest cost will be identified.


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