Clarifying AltaLink’s role in electricity system

Recently a Letter to the Editor (“Accuracy lacking in minutes from AltaLink meetings,” March 4) appeared in your paper and I would like to take the opportunity to respond and clarify AltaLink’s role in Alberta’s electricity system. Many people believe that AltaLink decides which transmission projects are needed. This is incorrect.

The need for transmission projects in Alberta is determined by the independent, not-forprofit Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).

A need then requires approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). In the case of the Castle Rock Ridge to Chapel Rock Transmission Project, the need was approved in 2014. This project is driven by the need to connect clean, green wind energy in southwest Alberta to the electric grid to ensure all Albertans reap the benefits of green energy. The AESO has directed AltaLink to build the project. As a public utility, we’re required by law to complete the project. As an Alberta company, we respect the magnificence of the area in which the project will be built and understand that landowners have concerns about the impact infrastructure development might have on the landscape. Working together with community members, we believe a solution can be found that makes sense. Some factors taken into account as we identify potential route options include the

residential, environmental, visual, agricultural, and electrical impacts of the proposed line and substation. As a regulated utility, we must also consider the cost of the solution to Alberta ratepayers.

It is early in the process and the right time for stakeholders to get involved, and stay involved, as we move forward. In addition to input received from more than 500 visitors to our interactive feedback sessions, we have received numerous letters from landowners and interest groups, and had many valuable face-to-face meetings with landowners in the area. All of this information is crucial to our consultation process.

Our meeting summary is meant to act as a general record of main topics discussed during the meeting. We strive to create an accurate record of the meeting and continue to work with community representatives present at the meeting, as we committed to at the time, to ensure the summary presents an accurate reflection of the discussion. Your input helps guide our decisions, and

ultimately, the location of the line. We look forward to continuing the conversation to ensure that together we find a low-impact


Pam Kean

Director, Consultation