IPPToday #72: Alberta transmission project closes $1.4 billion financing
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ATCO has announced that Alberta PowerLine, a partnership owned 80 per cent by Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO company, and 20 per cent by Quanta Services, Inc., has closed the issuance of an aggregate of US$1,384,678,000 of bonds with maturities ranging from June 2032 to March 2054.
This represents the largest public-private partnership financing ever completed in Canada.
Proceeds from the bond issuance will be used by Alberta PowerLine to finance the Fort McMurray West 500-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Project. The bonds were underwritten by CIBC World Markets Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc. RBC also acted as financial advisor to Alberta PowerLine.
Alberta PowerLine was selected by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) in late 2014 through a competitive global process to design, build, finance, own, operate and maintain the Fort McMurray West 500-kV Transmission Project. The project consists of approximately 500 kms of transmission line and associated facilities running from Wabamun (west of Edmonton) to Fort McMurray. Construction on the project began in the summer of 2017, and will conclude when the line goes into service in 2019.
Wayne Stensby, Managing Director, Electricity with ATCO, commented:
"We are very proud that we have developed a project which supports the continued growth of our province and allows us to build upon and create meaningful relationships with communities. This project enables the continued modernization of Alberta's grid, increasing the capacity and reliability of our transmission network."
The public engagement process for the project was extensive. In total, 27 Indigenous communities were engaged and more than 3,000 face-to-face meetings were conducted. During route planning, environmental specialists were consulted to ensure that wildlife, soils, vegetation, wetlands, and historical resources were also considered. The final route approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission incorporated feedback received during the engagement process.
We have informed about other transmission projects in North America:
- 345 kW Maine Clean Power Connection (MCPC) HVDC transmission line
- 320 kW New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) HVDC transmission
- Great Northern Transmission Line
- 2000 MW Wind Catcher Complex in Oklahoma
- Western Interconnect transmission line
- 2 GW Southern Cross Transmission project