A review panel appointed by the Alberta Conservative government has concluded that it is reasonable for the Alberta government to approve two new high-voltage power lines between Edmonton and Calgary that will cost approximately $3 billion to construct. AltaLink has been selected to build the western line and ATCO Group has been selected to construct the eastern line. The panel also recommended that the Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009 be amended to make certain future decisions regarding transmission expansion be sent to the Alberta Utilities Commission for approval, as was the practice until 2009.
Critics of this project argue that this much new infrastructure is not needed at the moment and critics are also concerned about the economic impact this will have on industry and residential customers. Proponents of the project argue that the two lines are needed for reliability and in the case of an emergency. The risk of having the lines completed too late is far greater than having them constructed before they are required. The Alberta Electric System Operator believes the project makes the power grid more efficient and it accommodates long-term growth.
The report can be read here: http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/Electricity/pdfs/CTRCPoweringOurEconomy.pdf