Unnecessary New Power Lines Add to AltaLink Profits
The Calgary Herald reports that new high voltage power lines have added 30% to AltaLink’s first quarter earnings. This is great news for AltaLink, but bad news for residential, business and industrial electricity consumers who will see power price increases.
These new power lines include the 500kV Heartland Transmission Project and 500kV Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL), both extremely controversial. Many industry groups, university studies, municipal governments and responsible transmission advocacy groups have shown that these lines are not necessary; however, the Alberta government’s Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009 precludes Albertans from having any input on the need for the lines. This is particularly unfair considering power consumers pay 100% of the transmission infrastructure costs but AltaLink gets to own the infrastructure and is guaranteed a minimum 9% annual investment return.
Both AltaLink and its Montreal-based parent company, SNC-Lavalin, contribute political donations to the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party (see full story here).