Alberta PowerLine, a partnership between ATCO and Quanta Services, has been selected by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) to design, build, own, operate and finance the Fort McMurray West 500 kV transmission project.
Alberta PowerLine is 80 per cent owned by Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO company, and 20 per cent owned by Quanta Services. Valued at CAD$1.43 billion (US$1.23 billion), the project was awarded through Alberta’s recently instituted competitive process.
Sett Policicchio, President, ATCO Electric, Transmission, stated:
“We are pleased to have come out on top in this international competition to build and operate this critical piece of transmission infrastructure to help meet the growing demand for electricity in our province. We worked very hard to submit a bid that provided the best possible infrastructure solution at the lowest possible cost to Albertans—a commitment we make every day to millions of customers in delivering electricity and natural gas services across the province.”
Under the partnership, Valard Construction, a Canadian subsidiary of Quanta, will provide turnkey EPC services for the project while ATCO Electric, an ATCO company, will be responsible for route planning and operations and maintenance of the transmission facilities for 35 years.
The project consists of approximately 500 kms of 500 kV transmission line and associated facilities running from Wabamun, west of Edmonton, to Fort McMurray. The AESO has estimated that the demand for electricity in northeastern Alberta will more than double over the next 10 years. This project will increase the capacity of the electricity system and help to ensure that this economically vital area of the province has the power it needs.
The proposed route, substations and design of the transmission line are subject to approval by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). Over the coming months, Alberta PowerLine will be talking with landowners along the proposed route to discuss the project in more detail. Alberta PowerLine will be submitting its Facilities Application to the AUC by the end of 2015. If approved, construction of the transmission line is scheduled to start in 2017 and be in service in 2019.