Throughout our discussions with stakeholders, various concerns and questions were brought forward. The feedback gathered during personal consultations was documented and included in the Facility Application filed with the AUC. This section outlines the feedback received from stakeholders – broken into key themes – and our responses.
We understand the new transmission line will have some impact on residents in the area. In order to reduce the potential visual impacts associated with the project, where possible, existing linear disturbances (roads, and existing transmission and distribution lines) were followed or overbuilt. When determining the routing options, we also strived to minimize impacts to residences, while still accommodating existing and planned underground utilities, road and infrastructure development.
Health and Safety
Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF)
We recognize that people have concerns about EMF as it exists everywhere there is electricity. We treat these concerns very seriously and are guided by EMF research that is compiled and reviewed by national and international health agencies. After more than 40 years of research that includes thousands of studies and numerous reviews by health agencies, Health Canada and the World Health Organization have not concluded that typical exposures to EMF from overhead power lines have any known health consequences. If you would like more information about EMF, please contact us or see the links below.
Although unlikely, transmission lines have the potential to cause induction in metal objects that can result in shocks. These shocks are typically harmless and similar to the shocks you may receive after walking across a carpet. To eliminate these mild shocks, metal objects and fences can be grounded. As a part of this project, we have contracted an independent company to complete an induction study prior to construction. The purpose of the study is to identify potential areas where induction may occur. During construction we will assist landowners with investigating the need to ground metallic objects under or near the line.
Contact with an overhead or downed power line
We are committed to the safety of our customers and employees. We ensure that our existing and proposed electrical facilities adhere to all applicable electrical and safety legislation, guidelines, standards, codes and regulations.
Underground Route Options
Burying a power line is more expensive to build and maintain than an above-ground power line. Because we are obligated to propose a route with the lowest overall impact to customers – including cost – we are proposing an overhead power line.
Based on the feedback we received from several residents who specifically asked for the transmission line to be buried, we have included preliminary cost estimates for burying various segments of the proposed routes underground in our Facility Application.
If the project is approved, construction is planned to begin in Summer 2019 and finish in Summer 2020. We anticipate work will generally happen Monday to Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.; however occasional evening and weekend work may also be required. We will provide customers affected by construction with more detailed information regarding potential impacts, including possible power outages, prior to any work starting.
All proposed work spaces for the project will be safe and secure, and construction activities will comply with City of Edmonton bylaws, Occupational Health and Safety requirements, and our strict health, safety and environment program.
We understand that construction impacts can be challenging; however, they are generally short in nature. Our construction team will work as quickly and safely as possible to minimize potential impacts.
We avoided impacts by proposing to build the new transmission line in areas specifically designed for powerline development like the Transportation Utility Corridor along the Anthony Henday, and utilizing existing rights-of-way, where possible.
The addition of a transformer at the Poundmaker substation will increase noise levels at the substation, but will not exceed permissible sound levels (PSL). No increase in noise is expected as a result of the upgrades to the Meadowlark substation. As part of the AUC's requirements, a Noise Impact Assessment (NIA) has been completed for the project and submitted with the Facility Application to ensure that the proposed project will not exceed permissible sound levels (PSL). No noise is anticipated from the operation of the proposed 72 kV transmission line.