AltaLink upgrading line near Didsbury

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 09:48 am | BY Paul Frey

The Alberta Utilities Commission approved upgrades to the electrical transmission system on July 29, part of which nears Didsbury.

The AUC recently approved a new Johnson substation approximately seven kilometres northwest of Didsbury to tie into existing lines that will help ease the burden on the existing system by building two kilometres of 138-kilovolt transmission line. A new substation will connect the existing 166 L line from Didsbury north to Wetaskiwin to the new western Alberta transmission line to be built to service the province’s existing electricity needs.

The construction in the Didsbury area will start in September and last until roughly April 2015.

“It’s a reinforcement project. The Red Deer-area transmission project is really meant to reinforce a system that’s been in place since about 1960,” said Peter Brodski, manager of external relations for AltaLink. “Obviously the population growth in the Red Deer, Didsbury, Innisfail (areas) … has grown considerably where we’re looking at greater demands on the lines so these (upgrades) are meant to reinforce the system, create more reliability for people using it, and also take into account the increase in use that the power system in the Red Deer area is under.”

The Didsbury population, according to AltaLink, has more than tripled in the last 50 years.

The Didsbury-area project is part of a larger improvement project that will see the rebuilding of three existing sections of line in the Red Deer, Joffre and Benalto areas. AltaLink has had numerous consultations with area residents and other interested parties in the last three years.

The company says its representatives will continue to consult with residents as the upgrades progress.