What Happened to Edmonton’s Innovative Approach to Burying Power Lines?

RETA Edmonton City logoOn February 11, 1958, the Edmonton Journal reported that Edmonton’s Electric Light and Power Department was among the first in Canada to pioneer new methods and equipment by installing 2 underground power pipelines – one from the power plant north to the Namao substation and the other south from the power plant to the Strathcona substation. Edmonton was the third city in Canada to install such an underground system.

How is it that Edmonton possessed so much foresight and was so innovative back in 1958 by starting to bury power lines, but is so unwilling to bury power lines today, such as the Heartland transmission line which will have significant negative impacts on residents, schools, daycares, businesses and the environment in Edmonton, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County? This is hard to understand, especially considering how much more advanced undergrounding technologies are today and how much cheaper it has become to bury power lines. Many have speculated that EPCOR and other transmission companies in Alberta make far more money continually repairing overhead power lines – the costs for which are passed on to customers –  than they would if these lines were buried. When you combine capital, maintenance and transmission loss costs over the life of a line, underground transmission lines are cheaper than overhead lines.

~ by RETA on February 12, 2013.

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