Another 500kV Power Line Route Selected

There certainly appears to be a rush to build more 500kV power lines in Alberta. On December 8, hot on the heals of submitting its facility application for the Heartland Transmission Project, AltaLink announced its preferred and alternate routes for the 500kV direct current (HVDC) line from Genesee to Langdon (often referred to as the Western Alberta Transmission Line or Edmonton-Calgary line). RETA agrees with landowners located along the line, the Town of Crossfield, Enmax and many others who have repeatedly stated that the line is not needed. Even based on the Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO) own data, and the economic realities which have changed so dramatically since Alberta’s transmission plan was developed, this line is not necessary. Electricity generated closer to source of demand in southern Alberta will be able to handle any growth in demand. There is no need to transmit dirty electricity generated from burning coal in the Genesee area to southern Alberta.

So, although we in no way think that this line is needed, if the Alberta Government insists on it being built, RETA recommends that it be buried. Based on information we have from experts, HVDC lines are even less expensive than AC lines to bury, and considering the length of this line (365km), the capital cost would be no more than for an above ground HVDC line. And if you incorporate the lower maintenance and transmission loss costs for an underground line, a buried line would cost less than an above ground line over the life of the line. If this line is not buried, RETA strongly believes that landowners should be fairly compensated on the basis of replacement value if an above ground line runs near their homes or businesses.

If there are any landowners who live along the proposed Genesee to Langdon line who have not yet joined RETA but are interested in joining, you can do so on line at this website…it’s easy and it’s free. We currently have over 8,000 registered members, and growing.

~ by RETA on December 9, 2010.

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