ATCO Electric has submitted an updated cost estimate to the Alberta Electric System Operator for the 301-mile, 500 kV direct current Eastern Alberta Transmission Line project between Edmonton and an area southeast of Brooks.
The backbone line is being built to add much needed reinforcement and capacity to Alberta’s electricity system. The submission updates the costs associated with the transmission project from $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion.
In December 2011, the Alberta government halted the application process pending a review by a critical transmission review committee. The additional review by this committee delayed approval of the project until November 2012.
The increase in estimated costs is due to an increase in detailed engineering and design costs, inflation, higher Alberta construction costs and delays in receiving approval for the project. Additional engineering and permitting associated with the 77 miles of alternative routes that the Alberta Utilities Commission approved as the final routing on the transmission project, also contributed to the cost increase.
In July, ATCO Electric completed the Hanna Region Transmission Development project – comprised of 208 miles of transmission lines, six new substations and upgrades to 14 existing substations. This project was completed on time and about $60 million under budget, representing ATCO Electric’s continued commitment to providing cost effective infrastructure to support Alberta’s growth.