AltaLink has launched its consultation program for a new DC transmission line between the Genesee area west of Edmonton and the Langdon area east of Calgary, Canada.

Leigh Clarke, senior vice president of External Engagement discussed the upcoming consultation program, the route identification process and DC technology at a press conference yesterday.

“Stakeholder input is a key component to identifying the best route for this project,” Clarke said. “The route options we’re presenting are only preliminary and we need input from stakeholders to find the route with the lowest overall impact. We’re at the very beginning of a comprehensive consultation program.”

On Jan. 4, AltaLink mailed approximately 7500 information packages to residences along the potential route options, and mailed an additional 17,000 open house invitations to stakeholders between the Edmonton and Calgary regions.

The proposed solution for this project is DC technology, which is new to Alberta, but exists in Manitoba and Québec as well as many other parts of the world.

“DC technology responds to input we’ve heard from stakeholders in the past, and we’re pleased to propose it for a number of reasons,” Clarke said. “The towers are typically smaller, the line will be more efficient, and offers the benefit of scalability – meaning we can build the line to a certain capacity but energize it to what we need today. Then, as Alberta’s demand for power grows, we can increase the capacity of the line by adding additional equipment at each end, reducing the need to disturb more land with new lines.”

AltaLink is hosting 12 open houses between the Edmonton and Calgary regions in February. Information centers will be open in March where stakeholders can talk about the project one-on-one with AltaLink representatives at convenient times for them.