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AltaLink hopes to replace 23km of transmission wire through the Bow Valley

AltaLink is looking to replace 23 kilometers of the line as soon as spring 2021, should the project be approved, as the company said the line is nearly 70 years old and requires maintenance.
Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 9.11.16 PM
A map indicating the line which AltaLink intends to replace. SUBMITTED

CANMORE – A prominent energy supplier wants to replace overhead wires that span over Canmore, the MD of Bighorn, Kananaskis Improvement District and Bow Valley Provincial Park in the next year.

AltaLink is looking to replace 23 kilometres of the line as soon as spring 2021, should the project be approved, as the company said the line is nearly 70 years old and requires maintenance.

“The line was constructed in 1953, so it needs to be replaced to ensure it can continue to deliver a safe and reliable source of power for years to come,” wrote AltaLink’s communication manager, Amanda Sadleir, in an email.

“The existing line will be removed and the new line is proposed to be constructed on the same alignment. We do not anticipate any disruption to power service while the transmission line is being rebuilt. If the project is approved, we anticipate construction activities to take place starting in Spring 2021.”

During Committee of the Whole in Canmore on Tuesday (Feb. 18), John Grove, AltaLinks manager of community affairs, presented a report to council indicating the future plan, called the 113L transmission line rebuild, still to be approved.

“This is the first line that is being rebuilt in the area,” said Grove, referring to a map shown [pictured above].

“We’re rebuilding most of these lines over the next several years. This line starts at Seebe, going west to Lac Des Arcs, coming into Dead Man's Flats, sort of the Three Sisters area … comes out at the Spray Lakes substation.”

Grove said a package containing the potential updates has been mailed out to any residents in those areas. He said the project is in its beginning stages and AltaLink is working on notifying and consulting with stakeholders, including the MD of Bighorn. In the fall, the company hopes to file an application with the Alberta Utilities Commission, with an anticipated Spring 2020 construction start.

“If the project is approved, it’ll be starting construction in spring 2021 and finished by winter 2022, so it's 10 months of construction,” he said.

“It won’t be in all places at all times, it sort of progressively follows along.”

In the packages sent to residents, it’s outlined that a portion of the line is underground through the Three Sisters community.

“Approximately four kilometres of the 113L line is located underground through the Three Sisters community. This underground section of the line will not be changed as part of this rebuild,” a sheet in the package reads.

In addition, it says the existing line will be salvaged.

“The existing line will be salvaged and the rebuilt line is proposed to be constructed on the same alignment. The rebuilt line will be planned and constructed to meet current safety and reliability standards.”

The project has not yet been approved by Alberta’s utility regulator and, in an email, Sadleir said stakeholders will be contacted.

“Stakeholder input is important to us and we will be contacting landowners, residents and occupants near the proposed rebuild to gather input and address any questions or concerns. If anyone would like to provide input or ask questions, we invite them to contact us at 1-877-267-1453 (toll-free) or at stakeholderrelations@altalink.ca,” she said.

Visit altalink.ca/projects for more on 113L transmission line rebuild.


About the Author: Alana MacLeod

Alana MacLeod is a reporter for the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Previously, she worked for Global News Toronto as a news producer and writer. Follow her on Twitter: @Lans_macleod
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