Transmission line faces more opposition

AltaLink’s recommendation to place a high-voltage transmission line mainly on the west side of Hwy 2 received more opposition from landowner groups on Friday.

AltaLink’s recommendation to place a high-voltage transmission line mainly on the west side of Hwy 2 received more opposition from landowner groups on Friday.

James Laycraft, a Calgary lawyer representing the West of Crossfield group of landowners southwest of Carstairs, and Gavin Fitch, a Calgary lawyer representing the 566 Corridor Group, appeared in front of the Alberta Utilities Commission panel in Red Deer to question the company’s recommendation for the Western Alberta Transmission Line between the Calgary and Edmonton areas.

Both groups are part of the Red Route Coalition which is opposed to the preferred route. This route is generally on the west side of Hwy 2 while the alternate route is mainly on the east side. The company plans to build and operate a 350-km, 500 kV (500,000 volts) transmission line from the Genesee generators southwest of Edmonton to Langdon near Calgary. The preferred route would parallel 211 km of existing 240 kV lines.

Laycraft asked how landowner consultations were handled for the preferred and alternate routes.

Hudson Foley, director of siting for AltaLink, replied that 65 per cent of landowners have negotiated deals with AltaLink. This percentage represents properties where they parallel other existing transmission lines.

“When we’re comparing lines, we have to know how many can be bought out on both lines,” said Laycraft. “Wouldn’t you agree?”

“I don’t believe so,” replied Foley.

Foley said he has examples on the alternate, as well as the preferred route, where the proposed line directions have changed as a result of consultation with landowners.

AltaLink spokesman Scott Schreiner said for the entirety of the preferred route, deals have been reached with 55 per cent of landowners. He said they didn’t want to spend extra money on the alternate route.

“Where landowners have agreed to allow us on their land in advance, we’ve been able to do preliminary surveying and environmental work,” said Schreiner later. “We wanted to be able to maintain our schedule to get our line in service.”

The landowner groups favour the alternate route, in part because most of the power line would straddle quarter section lines instead of running through farmer fields. Fitch represents eight families who own land immediately south of Hwy 566, which is the east-west highway just north of CrossIron Mills shopping outlet near Balzac.

“We think the (alternate) route has less environmental impact, less agricultural impact, it’s cheaper and the residential impact is essentially comparable between the two,” Fitch said later. “So we see the fairer and objective weighing of the various criteria tips you towards (the Crossfield Tie Option).”

Earlier this week, Alberta Utilities Commission ruled it wouldn’t adjourn the western transmission hearing because the Alberta Court of Appeal hadn’t yet ruled on issues arising from last year’s Heartland power line hearings.

The commission ruled that proceeding now will not be a waste of time, as asserted by some parties. The evidence is relevant, regardless of the outcome of the Alberta Court of Appeal decision, it added.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer Festival of Trees raises over $1 million

Festival of Trees held last month at Westerner Park

Growing drug-fuelled emergencies at Red Deer’s Buffalo transitional housing complex

City council approves two additional mental health staffers at complex

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

VANCOUVER — Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager in British… Continue reading

China, US discuss plans for trade talks

BEIJING — China’s economy czar and U.S. trade envoys discussed plans for… Continue reading

‘We’re going to have a deal very soon’: Staff briefed on possible ServiCom buyer

SYDNEY, N.S. — The sudden closure of a Cape Breton call centre… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Review: Too much Spider-Man? Not in the Spider-Verse

You might be forgiven for feeling superhero overload this holiday season. Had… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’s’ Sarah Hyland had second kidney transplant

LOS ANGELES — “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she had a… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Most Read