With consultations held in October, 2019, AltaLink has chosen to discard previously potential routes in favour of others for the proposed Provost to Edgerton and Nilrem to Vermilion (PENV) Transmission Development. AltaLink’s portion of this line is located in Flagstaff County, the Municipal District (MD) of Wainwright, the MD of Provost, the County of Minburn and the County of Vermilion River.
It includes two separate developments with the first running from Provost to Edgerton.
If approved it will be approximately 45-60 kilometres of new 240 kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the Hansman Lake Substation (located west of the Town of Provost) to the Edgerton Substation (located north of the Village of Edgerton).
AltaLink has removed several route segments from further consideration based on a number of factors including agricultural impacts, environmental impacts, residential impacts, cost considerations and stakeholder feedback.
The existing Hansman Lake Substation is located in SE-1-40-5-W4, approximately 20 kilometres northwest of the Town of Provost where AltaLink is hoping to install up to four new circuit breakers if approved.
The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) manages the Alberta electric system and has identified the need for this project to enhance the reliability of the transmission system in the area.
On April 10, 2019, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved the AESO’s Needs Identification Document (NID) for the Provost to Edgerton and Nilrem to Vermilion (PENV) project.
The AESO’s approved transmission development expands and enhances the transmission system in the Provost to Edgerton and Nilrem to Vermilion areas to maintain reliable electricity supply, accommodate load growth and provide reasonable options for future generation access in the area.
AltaLink has been directed by the AESO to identify potential locations for new electricity facilities and prepare a Facilities Application for this project.
The construction of the Provost to Edgerton development will be staged to align with generation and need milestones in the area.
Upon approval, Stage 1 construction will proceed. The AESO manages the Alberta electric system and will continue to monitor generation developments and the need for electricity in the area and will direct AltaLink when it is time to proceed with the construction of Stage 2.
As for the Nilrem to Vermilion portion, if approved, will have approximately 70-80 kilometres of new 240 kV transmission line from the Nilrem Substation (located southeast of the Town of Hardisty) to north of the Village of Irma where it will connect to a new line being planned by ATCO Electric.
The existing Nilrem Substation is located in NE-9-42-9-W4, approximately seven kilometres southeast of the Town of Hardisty. AltaLink needs to add up to two new circuit breakers but no modifications to the existing fence line are required. Monopole structures have been determined as the majority of proposed lines after stakeholder engagement has gathered and it allows for the opportunity to locate the line within road allowance, where possible and it has a similar cost to the H-frame structures.
“In select locations, we may use an H-frame or other two-pole structure if required from a technical perspective, for example when crossing rivers or other transmission lines, or at corner locations,” stated the latest stakeholder letter from the power company.”
A large number of routes are no longer being pursued based on higher potential environmental impacts, higher potential agricultural impacts and stakeholder feedback to name a few.
The power company assessed these route options, including various combinations, and determined that route segments connecting to the east connection point with ATCO Electric would result in higher overall impacts. AltaLink has added three new route segments for additional consultation and evaluation.
These options were identified based on stakeholder feedback and further assessment including B15-B16-B18-A40 which was added as an additional option for crossing the Battle River. B90-B97-B98 and B60-C43-C47-C48 were added as potential options to reduce agricultural impacts by moving the proposed transmission line into road allowance.
AltaLink has hosted public open houses to gather feedback as well as engage with stakeholders as best they can for the time being.
Based on that information collected, along with further engineering and field studies, they have refined the proposed route and structure options for each development.
“Stakeholder input is critical in our project planning as we know that the people that live and work in the area know the land best.
“Normally at this stage of a project, we would host additional open houses to be able to answer additional questions and go over details about the refined options project. As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our employees and our stakeholders is our priority so we have made the decision to not hold public stakeholder events for the project at this time.”
Anyone that has questions or would like to provide feedback to do so through the online feedback portal, found here: www.altalink.ca/projects/project-feedback.cfm. Individuals can also reach AltaLink at 1-877-267-1453 (toll-free) or firstname.lastname@example.org.