More than 20 years have passed without significant reinforcement of the backbone of Alberta's transmission system, according to the Alberta Electric System Operator, Alberta's non-profit, independent electricity transmission planner. AltaLink continues to focus its investment on closing Alberta's growing transmission infrastructure gap.
"In today's world people are not just looking for electricity but they want options on how that power is produced," said Scott Thon, AltaLink's president and chief executive officer. "Unfortunately in Alberta today, our electrical transportation network is not up to the task of enabling this choice. Whether it's keeping the lights and heat on in homes across Alberta or creating a network that will enable all Albertans access to the incredible wind power resources in our province, we continue to be committed to invest in Alberta."
During the first nine months of 2008, AltaLink invested $108 million into capital expenditures for maintenance and upgrading of its existing transmission facilities and for the permitting and construction of new facilities in Alberta.
"Although large transmission projects are critical to Alberta's immediate electricity future and receive most of the fanfare, we believe the smaller upgrades and improvements in communities throughout central and southern Alberta that provide reliable, cost-effective power are equally as important. As we listen to communities we are finding ways to ensure these dozens of lesser known projects are completed to meet our electricity infrastructure needs for today," said Thon.
"It is through these efforts that we will provide our customers with a choice from a diverse blend of electricity generation, including wind, hydro, natural gas and coal, meeting their needs and taking advantage of Alberta's vast potential for new generation possibilities."