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Welcome High River and Okotoks Transmission Project Open Houses

November 2011

Did you know? Electricity consumption in Calgary and the communities south and east of Calgary is expected to increase by approximately 30% in the next decade. Source: Alberta Electric System Operator

Your input is important to us.

Electricity at a Glance GENERATION Generation ATCO Power

Generating facilities convert various forms of energy into electric power.


Transmission lines connect the power produced at generating facilities to substations.


Substations are the connection points between transmission and distribution systems.


Distribution lines carry electricity to homes, farms and businesses.


Retailers give consu mers a choice of electricity service providers.


Electricity is delivered to homes, farms and businesses.

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Did you know? The existing electrical transmission system in Calgary and the communities south and east of Calgary has not had any major developments or upgrades since 1985, while the population in these communities has grown substantially. Calgary High River Okotoks

Population in 1985 Population in 2010 625,143 1,071,515 5,114 11,783 4,981 23,201

Okotoks then (1990)

Source: Okotoks Museum and Archives

Okotoks now (2011)



927L 924L

Project overview

The proposed project 552 includes upgrades and reinforcements to the 797 138 kV transmission system in the High River and Okotoks area.











1L 85





Gladys !




V U 543

727L 911L



Aldersyde !




V U U V 2A


Mazeppa !


91 1L


Proposed Foothills

) 237S Substation " Frank Lake 1201L






13 L




91 1L

LEGEND Proposed Expansion " of Existing Substation ) Upgrade of Proposed Substation " Potential Transmission Route Proposed Rebuild of Existing Transmission Line Proposed Voltage Reduction of Existing Transmission Line

" Existing Substation ! Hamlet or Locality Existing Transmission Line Road Urban Area Water Body

V U 23

Foothills Area Transmission Development (FATD) The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has identified the need to strengthen the transmission system in Calgary and the communities south and east of Calgary. The AESO is an independent, not-for-profit entity responsible for the safe, reliable and economic planning and operation of Alberta’s electric system. The High River and Okotoks Transmission Project is one of the projects identified in the FATD. This project will: • ensure the transmission system will meet growing demand in developing areas and maintain a reliable supply of electricity • ensure power from new generation plants, including gas and wind power, is connected to Alberta’s electric grid

Did you know? A reliable transmission system keeps costs low by connecting diverse sources of power generation to the grid. Transmission costs make up about 10% of the average residential utility bill. Generation costs – the cost of actually creating power – make up the largest portion of a bill, at more than 50%. The transmission system always hooks up the lowest priced generator to the grid first, so generators compete to provide Albertans with cost-effective electricity.

Next steps 1 We will use the input we receive from stakeholders during consultation and the results from further studies and field work to determine the best routing options for this project. 2 After the consultation process is complete, we will use the input gathered to determine the preferred and alternate routes for this project and file a Facilities Application with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). 3 The AUC will review the Facilities Application through a process in which stakeholders can participate. The AUC can approve, approve with conditions or deny a Facilities Application. Definition

Alberta Utilities Commission The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) ensures the fair and responsible delivery of Alberta’s utility services. AltaLink submits applications for new transmission projects to the AUC and the AUC reviews them in a public process.

Project cost The estimated cost of this project is between $35 to $55 million, which would be approximately three to five cents per month on the typical residential utility bill.

Anticipated project schedule Fall 2011

Notify and consult with stakeholders

Early 2012

File Facilities Application with the AUC

Spring 2013

Start construction if project is approved

Summer/ Fall 2014

Complete construction

Although we attempt to follow the anticipated project schedule, it is subject to change. We will continue to provide stakeholders with updated schedule information as the project progresses.

Public consultation AltaLink understands that landowners, occupants and residents have information we need to consider when evaluating potential routes. Input from stakeholders is very important to the process of selecting a solution with the lowest overall impact for this project. We will work with you to ensure your questions and concerns are understood and responded to. A summary of stakeholder comments will be incorporated into the application we submit to the AUC.

One-on-one consultation We will contact occupants, residents and landowners who are on or directly adjacent to the proposed transmission line route options to gather their input. To set up a one-on-one consultation please talk to an AltaLink representative.

Information Centre Our Information Centre provides an opportunity to meet with us and discuss the project. The Information Centre is located at the High River Ramada Hotel (1512 13 Ave SE), and will run from November 21 to 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Did you know? The average four-person family in Alberta today has 20 ‘instant-on’ electronics such as laptops, DVD players, music device chargers and cell phone chargers. This is in addition to the other appliances necessary to run a home – fridges, stoves, microwaves, washers and dryers – all of which require a reliable supply of electricity.

What information do we need from you? The table below describes in detail the type of information we need from you to further refine the preferred and alternate routes.


• Loss of crops • Reduced efficiency of field operations


• Proximity to residences • Loss of developable lands and constraints on future development


•A  lteration of natural areas and interference with environmentally sensitive areas


• Construction cost and land acquisition costs


• Reliability and reparability of the line


•V  isual impact of structures and lines as seen from residences and recreational areas

Special considerations

•E  lectrical interference with radio transmitting stations and other telecommunication equipment etc.

Project details – transmission line New transmission lines A new double circuit 138 kV (138,000 volts) transmission line approximately 13 to 18 kilometres (eight to 11 miles) in length will be built between the proposed Foothills Substation (located east of High River) and the existing High River Substation (located north of High River). A new double circuit 138 kV transmission line approximately 900 metres (2,950 feet) in length will connect the existing 911L transmission line to the Okotoks Substation.

Structure type

Double circuit 138 kV structure similar to structures being proposed

A typical 138 kV double circuit structure will have a: • height of 23 to 30 metres (75 to 100 feet) • diameter of 0.6 to 1.5 metres (two to five feet) • distance between structures averaging 100 to 140 metres (328 to 456 feet) • right-of-way width of 20 metres (65 feet) where not in road right-of-way Please note that where the route parallels the road, the transmission line will be one metre into the road’s right-of-way or road allowance.

Project details – transmission line work Rebuild existing transmission line Approximately seven kilometres (four miles) of the existing 727L and 727AL transmission line will be rebuilt from single circuit to double circuit, starting from the High River Substation to one quarter-section west of the junction of 434 Ave East and Highway 2A.

Voltage decrease on an existing line The voltage on the existing 911L transmission line will be decreased from 240 kilovolt (kV) to 138 kV, from one quarter-section west of the junction of 434 Ave East and Highway 2A to just east of the Okotoks Substation. The look of the 911L transmission line will remain the same, the voltage decrease will only change the amount of power the transmission line carries. Updated information: The overhead shield wire on the 911L transmission line will be replaced with a new overhead shield wire with fibre optic cables (called optical ground wire) for improved telecommunication abilities with AltaLink’s control centre. Definition

Kilovolt (kV) A kilovolt is equal to one thousand volts and is commonly used when describing transmission and distribution lines. AltaLink’s transmission lines range from 69 kV (69,000 volts) to 500 kV (500,000 volts). Light bulbs typically range from 1.5 to 300 volts. 911L transmission line

Project details – substation upgrade Additional 138 kV equipment will be added to the proposed Foothills Substation and the existing High River and Okotoks substations to accommodate the proposed electric system reinforcement. Please note the Foothills Substation is proposed to be built as part of a separate transmission project.

Photo of a substation similar to the proposed Foothills Substation


Substation Substations are the connection point between high-voltage transmission lines and the lower voltage power lines (called distribution lines) that connect directly to homes and businesses. After a transmission line brings power to a substation, its voltage is reduced so it can be transported safely and efficiently to you.

Did you know? The amount of energy used to power home electronics in residences across Canada more than doubled between 1990 and 2007. The majority of Canadian homes have more than one television and more than a quarter of households used at least three sets in 2007. TVs, DVD players and other electronic devices are drawing more and more power from the grid on a continual basis.

Landowner compensation Easement acquisition • $500 per acre: entry fee payment • $1,500: general disturbance payment AltaLink will pay fair market value per acre for the total area of the easement that crosses a landowner’s property, while the landowner retains ownership of the land.

Annual Structure Payments (ASPs) Currently our 2011 rates for this project are: • $243 per structure per year on cultivated land • $97 per structure per year on uncultivated land The ASP rates indicated will apply to the proposed building of the new 138 kV segments in this project, and will not impact existing ASPs. Factors we take into consideration when determining ASPs include: • the loss of use of the area enclosed by the structure once operational • the inconvenience and additional costs associated with weed control • additional time required to operate equipment around transmission structures • additional seed required • overlap of pesticide/herbicide and fertilizer used when farming around the structure • effects on cultivation

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) AltaLink’s position on EMF AltaLink recognizes that some people are concerned about EMF and we treat those concerns very seriously. Based on more than 30 years of research, national and international health agencies have not concluded that EMF associated with high voltage transmission lines will adversely affect your health or the health of plants and animals. They have not recommended the general public take steps to limit their everyday exposure to EMF. AltaLink will ensure any problems caused by interference from our facilities are corrected and all applicable guidelines are met.

Where can you find EMF? • electric utility equipment and facilities • household electrical appliances • building wiring

Common questions about electrical effects include: Q Will there be TV/radio interference? A  There is no impact on cable TV. Other impacts can typically be mitigated. Q A

Will there be wireless internet interference? There is typically no impact.


Will Global Positioning Systems be affected? There is typically no impact.

Q  Will there be any affect to cardiac pacemakers? A  Most have shielding, but we can provide answers to you about the specific model. Q A

What about audible noise? AltaLink adheres to the AUC noise guidelines.

Q  What about building and fence induction? A  This is mitigated through grounding we install during construction. Q What about stray voltage? A  This is not caused by transmission lines; it is more typically caused by distribution lines or local wiring.

Environmental Evaluation An Environmental Evaluation identifies environmental features within the project area through existing data and field surveys. Additional information is gathered from consultation with provincial and federal regulators, landowners and the public. This information is used to assist in route development. Potential effects from the project are identified, so that mitigations can be developed to minimize or eliminate these effects. Information within the Environmental Evaluation typically includes: • wildlife and vegetation inventories • wetlands, watercourse and groundwater • threatened and endangered species identification • terrain and soil inventories

Thank you for attending our open house. To learn more about this project, please visit, or contact us: Phone: 1-877-767-4484 (toll free) Email:

High River and Okotoks Transmission Project - Open House Booklet (Nov 2011)