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Wind energy development in Alberta calls for higher grid capacity

With wind generation development in Alberta forecast to create upwards of an additional 2,700 megawatts during the next 10 years, new transmission lines and substations in the southern part of the province will be needed to handle the extra capacity. Alberta's electrical grid needs more capacity to allow power generated from new wind farm projects.

With wind generation development in Alberta forecast to create upwards of an additional 2,700 megawatts during the next 10 years, new transmission lines and substations in the southern part of the province will be needed to handle the extra capacity.

Alberta's electrical grid needs more capacity to allow power generated from new wind farm projects proposed throughout southern

Alberta to reach consumers, says AltaLink, which owns the tranmission system in the area.

The South Foothills Transmission Project is the proposed solution. It involves a new double circuit transmission line roughly 130-180 kilometres long - depending on the final route - running from south of Fort Macleod to north of High River.

"We can't do something like this without public input," said Kurt Kaminsky, an AltaLink consultant.

To determine the final route, AltaLink has been seeking feedback and consulting with communities that could be affected by the project.

"Now we really just need landowner input to determine the route of the power line," said Amber Churcott, a communications advisor with AltaLink who was at an open house at the Cultural-Recreational

Centre on Dec. 2. "They know the land best."

However,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

With wind generation development in Alberta forecast to create upwards of an additional 2,700 megawatts during the next 10 years, new transmission lines and substations in the southern part of the province will be needed to handle the extra capacity.

Alberta's electrical grid needs more capacity to allow power generated from new wind farm projects proposed throughout southern

Alberta to reach consumers, says AltaLink, which owns the tranmission system in the area.

The South Foothills Transmission Project is the proposed solution. It involves a new double circuit transmission line roughly 130-180 kilometres long - depending on the final route - running from south of Fort Macleod to north of High River.

"We can't do something like this without public input," said Kurt Kaminsky, an AltaLink consultant.

To determine the final route, AltaLink has been seeking feedback and consulting with communities that could be affected by the project.

"Now we really just need landowner input to determine the route of the power line," said Amber Churcott, a communications advisor with AltaLink who was at an open house at the Cultural-Recreational

Centre on Dec. 2. "They know the land best."

However, there weren't many Vulcan County residents who attended the open house to voice opinions or concerns.

"It was a smaller crowd in Vulcan than in other communities" where the open house was held, said Churcott.

But some people, like Paul DeClercq, who lives on a farm west of Champion, did come to ask questions. He wouldn't be affected if the final route selected was the eastern most route, but the western most route could have an effect.

"They're going to put it in regardless," DeClercq said about the future power route. "The best thing a guy can do is try to get the best position for it."

An open house in Nanton was cancelled on Friday due to weather conditions.

The South Foothills Transmission Project also involves an expansion of an existing substation on the Piikani First Nation, or a new Windy Flats substation in the area south of Fort Macleod, as well as a new Foothills substation located in an area at the north end of the new transmission line, says AltaLink.

Through open house consultations with municipalities that could be affected by the project, AltaLink says it wants to determine the route with the least overall impact.

Some factors that will help AltaLink decide the route with the least impact include variables like the number of people residing within 150 metres of a proposed line, environmental features, agricultural operations and other facilities such as well sites and buildings.

"It's a very long process," said Churcott, while walking the

Advocate through the open house. "It's just the beginning."

In a follow-up interview over the phone with the Advocate on Friday, she said that it was still early to say whether there was a consensus among communities regarding the proposed project.

The information that AltaLink has been accumulating through the open houses will be compiled and analyzed in order to refine the route options - or add a new proposed route, said Churcott.

"We'll be coming back in the spring and summer" to present new information during the second stage of consultation, she said, adding that one-on-one consultations with stakeholders on or adjacent to the potential routes will be available. "There are still plenty of opportunities for people to provide input."

AltaLink owns and operates approximately 11,800 kilometres of transmission lines and 270 substations, providing electric service to more than 85 per cent of Albertans.

Anyone who's interested in learning more about the project can visit www.albertaelectricityfuture.ca/satr or contact AltaLink at 1-877-767-4484.


Source: http://www.vulcanadvocate.c...

DEC 9 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/23540-wind-energy-development-in-alberta-calls-for-higher-grid-capacity
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