Responsible Electricity Transmission for Albertans
Several Arguments Needed to Fight Lines
Based on data presented by EPCOR, AltaLink and the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), RETA does not believe the proposed Heartland power line and several other proposed lines are necessary (see postings and news articles elsewhere at this website).
However, because the Alberta Government has identified the Heartland line as “critical transmission infrastructure” (necessary) in legislation passed a year ago, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has said it will not hear any arguments on need for the line at hearings scheduled for next April. RETA therefore believes that concerned residents, associations and governments must ensure that this line and other lines are not overbuilt and that the best technologies are used to build the lines. We have argued for about two years now that these lines must be buried whenever they run near homes, schools, daycare centres, hospitals and environmentally sensitive areas. Burying high voltage power lines eliminates or mitigates all of the negative health, safety, property value, aesthetic and environmental impacts of overhead lines, and a partially buried Heartland line, for example, would cost no more than an overhead one.
In those cases where the lines would run within 800m of homes, schools, daycare centres, hospitals and environmentally sensitive areas, and would not be buried, RETA’s position is that the proponents must compensate affected parties fairly at replacement value. Compensation at market value would not be fair because public knowledge of the power line siting would already have significantly driven market value down.
In summary, more than one argument is required to make sure that power lines identified by the Alberta Government as “critical transmission infrastructure” are not built, but that if they are built they are not overbuilt and are built using the safest technologies.