Power line hearing back on

A public hearing previously suspended on AltaLink’s Western Alberta Transmission Line application has been rescheduled in Red Deer.

A public hearing previously suspended on AltaLink’s Western Alberta Transmission Line application has been rescheduled in Red Deer.

The hearing begins on June 11 at 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn at 6500 67th St.

The application is the development of a 500-kilovolt, direct-current transmission line, with associated substations and converter stations proposed to run west of Sylvan Lake.

The Alberta Utilities Commission, which regulates routes, tolls and tariffs of energy transmission, began to review the application of AltaLink’s Western line in January 2011 but suspended the process at the request of the provincial government.

“They wanted to review the approach to critical transmission infrastructure in general and an independent committee looked at that,” said Jim Law, director of external relations with the Alberta Utilities Commission.

Following recommendations from the Critical Transmission Review Committee, the province requested that the Alberta Utilities Commission resume consideration of the application, Law explained.

“When the project was suspended, we were at the point where a hearing had been scheduled but it hadn’t occurred so we are resuming the process to review the application, so the next stage of that is a public hearing,” Law said.

During the hearing, the Alberta Utilities Commission will look at the proposed routing and whether it is in the public interest given the environmental, social and economic impacts. The public hearing will be quasi-judicial, much like a court proceeding.

“The applicant will present the evidence and case for the route that is proposed and interveners may support or oppose it, often using evidence and expert witnesses,” Law said.

To be a party of the hearing, individuals or organizations would have had to have made a submission to the Alberta Utilities Commission.

The hearing on ATCO Electric’s Alberta Transmission Line will take place on July 23 at 9 a.m. in Brooks.

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com