The Alberta Utilities Commission has entered its last week of testimony from landowners who are concerned with how a major power line project will have an impact on them.
The three-member commission has been holding a hearing on the Western Alberta Transmission Line project since mid June at the Holiday Inn on 67th Street in Red Deer.
AltaLink proposes to build a 500 kV (500,000 volts) line, connecting the Genesee area west of Edmonton to the Langdon area east of Calgary, within the next several years due to power demands of Alberta’s growing population.
The hearing is expected to continue on Wednesday.
James Kent, part of the Langdon group, told the panel on Monday about how one of the proposed routes would affect his property about five km east of Chestermere Lake, located near Calgary.
Currently, there are no transmission lines on his property.
His lands are mainly used for growing wheat, barley and canola, plus they have native pasture, and they use a fair amount of the grass for family recreational activities.
Kent said he selected a place that was close to the city of Calgary, and since then they have developed strong friendships with neighbours over the years.
“Deep down in my heart is what happens to my grandchildren,” said Kent.
The commission is receiving a wide range of concerns from landowners, including visual changes to the landscape and negative impact on property values.
Kent is part of the group that’s opposed to the preferred/alternate route, which is one section of the project where it’s essentially the same.
Her group would rather see the Langdon Option, located east of this preferred/alternate route, go ahead.
The preferred route is generally on the west side of Hwy 2 while the alternate is mainly on the east side.
But there are points along the way where there are options to both the alternate and preferred routes.
In total, there are six main alternatives — Eckville, Crossfield Tie Option, West of Crossfield, Kathryn, Langdon, Pine Lake — within the project. The Kathryn and Langdon options occur on both the preferred and alternate routes, but the others are on either of those main routes.
There’s also 35 smaller site-specific options where a route may jog around a wellsite, small wetlands, and the like.