Routes for power lines not settled

Central Alberta landowners who faced the prospect of a new set of power lines in their backyard several years ago may not find themselves on the route this time.

Central Alberta landowners who faced the prospect of a new set of power lines in their backyard several years ago may not find themselves on the route this time.

The location of the proposed 500-kilovolt lines proved a hot topic when the project was last proposed. Some landowners in a north-south corridor that runs through the Spruce View area bristled at the prospect of a third set of electricity towers cutting across their land. Two 240-kilovolt already run from generation plants west of Edmonton to Calgary.

Alberta Electric System Operator spokesman Dick Way said the routes for the new $3-billion project has yet to be determined.

“Everything is back on the table. We outlined some fairly broad areas,” said Way, senior director of strategic projects.

“The next phase will determine where within those areas is the best spot for the lines.”

One power line will run from generation plants in the Wabumun Lake area west of Edmonton through Central Alberta to the Calgary area.

The other line would go from the Heartland industrial area northeast of Edmonton to a converter station in Brooks in a 100-km wide corridor along a Castor and Hanna line.

The Wabamun route straddles Hwy 2, extending past Hwy 21 to the east and about 25 km out from Hwy 2 in the west.

There will be public consultation on routes and tower sites, but a schedule has not been set, said Way.

“It won’t be imminent. It won’t be in the next month or two.”

Previously, it was proposed that one of the two existing lines and sets of towers that run side by side through Central Alberta west of Sylvan Lake could be replaced with the new line to avoid three rows of towers.

“That is still something we’re hopeful to do,” he said. There re still some technical issues to iron out to ensure that configuration will maintain local reliability.