Lavesta Group calls for halt to Heartland line

A group of landowners is calling on the province and the Alberta Utilities Commission to halt proceedings on the Heartland power transmission line pending an appeal relating to a separate project.

A group of landowners is calling on the province and the Alberta Utilities Commission to halt proceedings on the Heartland power transmission line pending an appeal relating to a separate project.

A public hearing relating to the Heartland project is scheduled to open on Monday in Edmonton.

Rimbey town Councillor Joe Anglin, leader of the Lavesta Group, issued a press release on Thursday stating the Alberta Court of Appeal will allow Lavesta to appeal a decision related to Calgary-based AltaLink’s original application to build a high-voltage transmission line from the Genesee power plant to Langdon.

The application process ultimately failed and AltaLink has since redrawn its proposal and started over, with the Alberta Utilities Commission to schedule a public hearing on its new proposal later this year.

Anglin says the Lavesta Group is appealing an Alberta Utilities Commission decision related to the failed application and announced on October 2009, stating that the commission was biased in favour of AltaLink.

In one section of the decision, published on its website, the commission recognizes that the Alberta Electric System Operator hired AltaLink to build the line and had backstopped the failed project for $35 million in the event that it did not go ahead.

AltaLink applied to recover $38.6 million in costs from its rate base, effective Dec. 31, 2007.

The utilities commission denied the request in its 2009 decision, but stated that AltaLink should not suffer harm as a result of the project being cancelled.

It directed AltaLink to recover the $35 million through its agreement with AESO, with the surplus amount of $3.6 million to be recovered as a revenue expense over 2009 and 2010, “to minimize the burden on ratepayers.”

Utilities commission spokesman Jim Law said he cannot comment on the accusation because it is before the courts.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com