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Montana-Alberta power line developers sell capacity, redraw route

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Developers of a proposed electric transmission line between Lethbridge, Alta., and Great Falls, Mont., said wind developers have bought one-half of the line's capacity and part of the route has been changed to satisfy federal regulators in Canada.

The tentative rerouting means the line would cross the international border at a different location than proposed earlier and the line's path between the border and Cut Bank, Mont., would change.

The rerouting will be discussed June 26 at a Cut Bank public meeting held by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Montana Alberta Tie Ltd., developer of the $90-million US project, intends to have representatives there.

Montana Alberta Tie wants to build and operate a 230-kilovolt, 306-kilometre power line that would start northeast of Lethbridge, extend to a NorthWestern Energy substation at Great Falls and tie in with existing transmission lines.

Vice-president Bob Williams said about one-half of the proposed line's capacity has been sold to companies intending to develop wind power. Great Plains Wind Energy and GE Wind have 15-year contracts, said a news release from Toronto-based Tonbridge Power Inc., owner of Montana Alberta Tie.

The power line's remaining capacity is up for bid and is drawing the interest of wind developers, Williams said Thursday from his office in Calgary.

The line's proposed rerouting in Alberta and at the border came... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The tentative rerouting means the line would cross the international border at a different location than proposed earlier and the line's path between the border and Cut Bank, Mont., would change.

The rerouting will be discussed June 26 at a Cut Bank public meeting held by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Montana Alberta Tie Ltd., developer of the $90-million US project, intends to have representatives there.

Montana Alberta Tie wants to build and operate a 230-kilovolt, 306-kilometre power line that would start northeast of Lethbridge, extend to a NorthWestern Energy substation at Great Falls and tie in with existing transmission lines.

Vice-president Bob Williams said about one-half of the proposed line's capacity has been sold to companies intending to develop wind power. Great Plains Wind Energy and GE Wind have 15-year contracts, said a news release from Toronto-based Tonbridge Power Inc., owner of Montana Alberta Tie.

The power line's remaining capacity is up for bid and is drawing the interest of wind developers, Williams said Thursday from his office in Calgary.

The line's proposed rerouting in Alberta and at the border came about after Canadian officials said the line should go around an elevated area, the province's Milk River Ridge, Williams said. The original plan had the line going over the ridge.

The rerouting moves the line's entry to Montana about 11 kilometres eastward, within two kilometres of the Glacier County-Toole County boundary, Williams said.

In Montana, the line would mostly cross private land, DEQ's Tom Ring said. Some state land is part of the route, as well.

Montana-Alberta Tie remains hopeful construction of the line will begin late this year, Williams said. The project requires federal approval in both the United States and Canada and provincial and state approval.

Ring said DEQ expects to release an environmental impact statement late this summer or in the fall. The agency will accept written public comment on the transmission line until July 10.


Source: http://www.canada.com/topic...

JUN 15 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3076-montana-alberta-power-line-developers-sell-capacity-redraw-route
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