AltaLink has identified preferred and alternate routes for the Western Alberta Transmission Line project. This proposed Direct Current transmission line will connect the Genesee area west of Edmonton to the Langdon area east of Calgary to ensure Albertans have access to a reliable and cost]effective supply of electricity.

The preferred route is west of Red Deer and parallels 220 km of existing transmission lines. This route has a low residential impact, crosses the least amount of cultivated land and has a low environmental impact.

"We believe the preferred route is the best solution for this project after analyzing all the potential options in the area. We completed extensive studies and field work and spoke with thousands of landowners to help us determine the route with the lowest overall impact," said Leigh Clarke, senior vice president of External Engagement.

Since January, AltaLink has had more than 4,500 conversations with stakeholders about the project through 23 open houses, 15 information centers and thousands of one-on-one conversations.

"Stakeholder input is a critical component in the route selection process," says Clarke. "We will continue to have conversations and gather feedback from stakeholders as this project continues."

AltaLink will include an alternate route in its application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). The alternate route is east of Red Deer and it presents the AUC with a second option for consideration. The details about the preferred and alternate routes were mailed to stakeholders this week.

AltaLink plans to file its application in early 2011. The AUC will make the final decision about the route after reviewing the application. If approved, construction could begin in the summer of 2012.