EDMONTON — Alberta is giving two companies permission to begin work on proposed electricity transmission lines before the projects have been approved.
Alberta Energy says AltaLink LP and ATCO Electric will begin design and other work, including public consultations, for the Edmonton to Calgary lines.
Officials say following this work, the companies will apply to the Alberta Utilities Commission for approval to build and operate the two lines.
Energy Minister Mel Knight says the lines are needed to help distribute power that would be produced by new electricity projects in the future.
Earlier this year the government introduced a bill that has yet to pass that would allow the government to bypass hearings that were previously needed to justify the building of transmission lines.
Under the government’s plan consumers will pay the cost of such transmission upgrades.