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​We're constructing a new 72 kilovolt (kV) above-ground transmission line from the Strathcona substation (5140 99 Street) to the Dome substation (2720 Parsons Road). Have a look at our latest update from June 2019.

Project update

Since September 2017, we have discussed the project with over 660 stakeholders. We assessed the input we received from businesses and landowners through one-on-one consultations completed in person, at an open house, over the phone or by email. As a result of discussions with stakeholders and additional assessments of routing options, we identified preferred and alternate routes. These changes were included in a project update package distributed to stakeholders near the project in March 2018.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the consultation process.

 

​In June 2018, we filed a facility application with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) (proceeding 23641) outlining the project details and our preferred and alternate routes.

On March 8, 2019, we received approval from the AUC to construct and operate the proposed 72 kV transmission line and make the modification to the Dome and Strathcona substations (Decision 23641-D01-2019). As part of the approval, the AUC made the final decision on routing.

Next steps

We're preparing for the construction phase of the project. Construction is scheduled to commence in late summer/early fall 2019. The facilities are to be completed and operating by June 2020. Please note the timing and details may be adjusted as activities are finalized.

We'll send out updates and information on the construction process to stakeholders near the project once plans are finalized. Anyone directly impacted by construction work, for example by power outages or temporarily blocked accesses, will be contacted prior to the impact occurring.

Project overview

We're:

  • Constructing a new 72 kilovolt (kV) above-ground transmission line from the Strathcona substation (5140 99 Street) to the Dome substation (2720 Parsons Road). The transmission line will be approximately 3.8 km long.
  • Adding a 240 kV/72 kV transformer, 240 kV circuit breaker, and 72 kV circuit breaker; and associated switches and equipment to the Dome substation.

This upgrade will allow us to improve the reliability of our transmission system and reduce the risk of outages to our customers. As demand for power continues to grow within Edmonton, so does the need for transmission improvements like this project.

Dome substation upgrades

To accommodate the proposed transmission line, upgrades are needed at the Dome substation, including:

  • Adding a 240 kV/72 kV transformer, 240 kV circuit breaker and 72 kV circuit breaker with associated disconnect switches.
  • Expanding the fence at the Dome substation by approximately seven metres by six metres on the east and south sides of the substation.

The new section of fence will match the existing fence. Trees within the expanded fence line will be removed to meet safety clearance requirements.

Definitions

Transmission lines and substations

Transmission lines are like highways, moving high-voltage electricity from generating stations to distribution points (called substations) where the high-voltage electricity gets stepped down to lower voltages.

Distribution lines

Once voltages are stepped down at a substation, the electricity travels along lower-voltage distribution lines. These lines are the ones that leave a substation and make their way to our homes or businesses.

Approved route

Transmission line route

In an effort to find transmission line routes with lower levels of overall impact, we refined the route options to take into consideration a variety of factors, including:

  • Input from local stakeholders
  • Health, safety and environment
  • Electrical requirements
  • Cost
  • Existing infrastructure
  • Visual impacts
  • Special constraints

Taking into account these factors, we identified a preferred route and alternate route for the transmission line. The AUC approved the preferred the route as shown on the map below.

The new 72 kV line will need to cross three existing 240 kV transmission lines owned by AltaLink south of 31 Avenue on Parsons Road. For this segment, we are burying a portion of the new 72 kV line underneath the 240 kV lines. The buried section will be approximately 75 metres in length:

The line will be on the east side of 99 Street, except for approximately 0.7 km between 35 and 39 Avenues where it will be on the west side of the street.

Structures

Structure types

The transmission line will use wood, steel or composite poles, ranging in height from approximately 18 to 26 metres.

The diameter of the typical structures at the ground's surface will range between approximately 0.65 to 1.0 metres. The diameter of non-typical structures will range between approximately 1.0 to 1.5 metres.

Here are examples of structures we anticipate using for this project. Note, images are not to scale.

Structure A — Transmission Only

Portions of the route will be primarily single-circuit, meaning they will have three wires strung across them and one overhead shield wire on top. This is the most common pole type.

Structure B — Transmission Only

Where aerial clearance is limited, a structure that has three wires strung to one side may be used.

Structure C — Transmission and Distribution

Portions of the routes follow existing distribution lines. For these sections, we're removing some of the current poles (approximately 14 metres tall) and installing new poles (as mentioned above ranging from 18 to 26 metres in height) that will have the new transmission line on top and the existing distribution line(s) underneath.

Structure D — Single-Pole Vertical Dead-End

A larger pole such as this is required where the transmission line turns corners.

Structure E — Riser Structure

Where the new 72 kV line crosses under the existing 240 kV lines, this structure will be used to convert the line from aerial to underground.

Responding to feedback
​Throughout our discussions with stakeholders, various concerns and questions were brought forward. This section addresses the feedback we commonly heard.

What to expect during construction

Construction is planned to begin in late summer / early fall 2019, and the facilities are to be completed and in operation by June 2020. We anticipate our hours of work to be Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; however, occasional evening or weekend work may be required. We will provide more detailed information regarding potential construction impacts prior to any work starting.

During construction, you can expect typical activity such as vehicles, equipment and crews in the area. We understand that construction impacts can be challenging; however, they are generally short-term in nature and our construction staff will work as quickly and safely as possible to minimize any potential inconvenience.

Temporary lane closures

We anticipate needing to temporarily close a lane of traffic on the side of the road where crews will be working. Our goal is to maintain access to businesses during construction. We will attempt to provide advance notice of any work in the area.

Power interruptions

During construction of the transmission line, temporary power outages may be required to allow us to complete work safely. The timing and extent of outages will be determined as we complete detailed engineering. We understand this is an inconvenience to our customers, and will work with affected customers to minimize the impact of the outages and ensure customers are notified in advance.

Vegetation

In some areas, we may need to trim or remove trees or other vegetation near transmission poles, wires or guy lines. This is to ensure that we meet minimum safety clearance requirements per the Alberta Electrical Utility Code.

Visual impacts

We are taking several steps in routing and siting the line to reduce the potential visual impacts associated with the project. Where possible, we propose to:

  • Follow existing linear disturbances (roads, transmission/distribution lines).
  • Overbuild on existing wood pole distribution lines rather than add a separate line.
  • Build taller structures or place poles to reduce obstruction of commercial signage.

Noise

Work will create typical noise associated with construction. We will take measures to ensure we comply with the City of Edmonton's Community Standards Bylaw for Noise Control. If it's necessary to temporarily exceed acceptable noise levels, we will work with the City of Edmonton to obtain the required permits.

Concerns about potential communications interference

Some stakeholders asked about the potential impact of the project on wireless signals such as radio and television transmitters, wireless internet and cellular phone networks. We do not anticipate any interference with most types of signals resulting from the transmission line, as they are typically broadcast at much higher frequencies, whereas transmission lines are classified as extremely low-frequency (the same as household appliances and wiring). There is the potential for interference with AM radio and analog television signals; however, any potential interference diminishes significantly with distance from the line.

Timeline

 

The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is responsible for determining the proposed transmission development, which involves adding the transmission line and the equipment to the Dome substation. The AESO submitted a needs identification document (NID) with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) in mid-2018 in support of this project.

Our project team filed a facility application with the AUC in June 2018. Feedback we receive from stakeholders regarding the project was incorporated as part of the facility application.

On March 8, 2019, we received approval from the AUC to construct and operate the proposed 72 kV transmission line and make the modification to the Dome and Strathcona substations (Decision 23641-D01-2019). As part of the approval, the AUC made the final decision on routing.

We're preparing for the construction phase of the project. Construction is scheduled to commence in late summer/early fall 2019. The facilities are to be completed and operating by June 2020. Please note the timing and details may be adjusted as activities are finalized.

Regulatory process

​We're committed to consulting with stakeholders about projects that affect them and welcome your comments and questions. Your feedback regarding this project is important to us and was incorporated into the facility application that we filed with the AUC. Below is more information about who is involved in the regulatory process, and how you can get involved.

 

About the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO)

The AESO is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for the safe, reliable and economic planning and operation of the provincial transmission grid. For more information about why this project is needed, please see the AESO's Need Overview, or visit www.aeso.ca. If you have any questions or concerns about the need for this transmission development you may contact the AESO directly or you can make concerns known to an EPCOR representative who will communicate them to the AESO on your behalf.

For more information about the project need, please contact:

Alberta Electric System Operator
Phone: 1 (888) 866-2969
Email: stakeholder.relations@aeso.ca
Website: www.aeso.ca

About the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC)

Alberta’s electric utilities are regulated by the AUC. The AUC is an independent quasi-judicial agency that ensures that the delivery of Alberta’s utility service takes place in a manner that is fair, responsible and in the public’s interest. For more information about the AUC, please visit the AUC’s website.

For more information about the regulatory process and how you can participate, please contact:

Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC)
Toll-free: 310-0000 
Phone: (780) 427-4903
AUC booklet: Public involvement in a proposed utility development

 

About EPCOR

EPCOR, through its subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks; water and wastewater treatment facilities; sanitary and stormwater systems; and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 70 employer.

Privacy

EPCOR respects your right to privacy. Any personal information we collect about you — including your name, address, phone number and email address — will be used only in regards to this project. In accordance with AUC Rule 007, this information will be filed with the AUC and may be available to the public through their website during the regulatory proceeding for this project. Please visit www.auc.ab.ca/AUCPublicInvolvement for more information about the AUC's public involvement process for proposed utility developments. View our Privacy Policy for more information.