Western Alberta Transmission Line Not Needed
Although the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) hearing on the Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL) is over, opposition to the line continues.
Joe Anglin, Wildrose Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA and Wildrose Critic for the Environment, Water and Utilities, says the line is unnecessary at this time and a waste of money. He said, “AltaLink says this line is needed based on a congestion free policy but on an economic and practical level there is no proof it’s needed” (Strathmore Standard). Anglin indicates its the fact electricity generators are not being held accountable that causes the need for a congestion free system. Without the free market billing there would be no need for congestion free systems which are uneconomic. He also points out there are no cost controls for the recent spate of 500kV lines legislated by the Alberta P.C. Government, and that the public has intentionally been excluded from any needs assessment for these lines.
Without a proper public needs assessment there is no proof that all these new high voltage power lines are necessary, writes Ken Wall in his letter to the Strathmore Standard. Wall indicates the majority of electricity is used by industry, and the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta has indicated to the Alberta Government that the WATL is not needed, would lead to job losses because of the high power and transmission costs, and would drive industrial users to produce their own power rather than pay the higher costs. He concludes by indicating that ratepayers will pay AltaLink to build these new lines on a cost plus basis, with AltaLink retaining ownership after they’re built. Wall says, “What a sweetheart deal for the contractor and costly for us taxpayers.”
RETA could not agree more.