ATCO held an Open House for their Buffalo Creek Transmission Project at the Mannville Recreation Centre on October 16.
Part of a larger project of the Alberta Electric System Operator, ATCO will work in collaboration with AltaLink to complete the project. The project includes installation of a new transmission development to expand and enhance the system from Vermilion to Nilrem and Provost to Edgerton. It is expected to maintain reliable electricity supply, accommodate load growth and provide reasonable options for future generation access in the Lloydminster area.
Five possible route concepts for the transmission line were examined and area land owners and residents had the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
“Better connectivity creates a stronger system,” said Environment and Land Departments consultant Laurie Jenkin.
The 144 kilovolt transmission line will run on steel monopoles from the existing 7L65 Transmission Line near the Village of Mannville into a new substation, which will be known as Drury. From there, a new single circuit 240 kilovolt transmission line will be constructed on wooden H-frame structures to the service territory boundary. ATCO plans to potentially begin construction in 2021.
Area landowner Alice Stafinski said that one of the questions she had was why they weren’t putting the lines underground. She said the response she had been given was because they have issues with corrosion.
“Steel posts make a lot more sense than the wood posts. Making things better is always a good thing, but there is always somebody that’s going to be affected by it. We are very lucky in Alberta that the Alberta Utilities Commission makes sure there are hearings and that projects have to address concerns. I appreciate that I got the information package mailed to me ahead of time because I was able to come with questions prepared. ATCO has several representatives here and all of my questions have been answered,” said Stafinski.
The reason for having the multiple route concepts was to ensure after eliminating possible concerns like proximity to residences, environmentally sensitive areas, wetlands, planned developments, existing infrastructure, agricultural operations, etc. that ATCO would select the least obstructive route.