AltaLink's Southwest 240-kV Project is the first step in providing Albertans access to a clean, renewable source of electricity. The transmission line connecting Pincher Creek and Lethbridge will allow for 1,000 MW of new wind-generated electricity to reach homes and businesses throughout the province. While connecting this renewable resource to the grid is important, AltaLink is committed to ensuring its construction activities do not affect the surrounding environment. As part of this commitment, construction activities in sensitive bird nesting areas were suspended as of May 15.
"We want to ensure the environmental impacts of our construction activities are carefully identified and managed," says Steve Hodgkinson, AltaLink's Vice President of Corporate Development. "It's important that our work does not impact nesting season, so we're making the decision to suspend construction in native grassland areas until later in the summer."
The transmission line is largely completed between the new Goose Lake substation north of Pincher Creek and the Peigan substation on the Piikani First Nation. Transmission towers have been erected in many locations between the Peigan and North Lethbridge substations but the conductor has not yet been strung on the towers. Construction will continue in substations and most cultivated areas unaffected by nesting."Although construction will continue in certain areas, we expect all construction activities to resume in late summer," said Hodgkinson. "We're now anticipating we'll energize this new transmission line in October 2010."