Cost to build western Alberta transmission line jumps to $1.65 billion: Altalink

Edmonton Journal October 17, 2013

EDMONTON – AltaLink says it will cost about $200 million more than an initial estimate to build the 350-kilometre Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL).

In early 2011, AltaLink figured the 500-kilovolt direct current line from the Genesee area west of Edmonton to a point east of Calgary would cost about $1.5 billion, but could be as little as $1.3 billion and as much as $1.7 billion. The new estimate brings the new total to $1.65 billion.

The company said the increase is driven by higher than forecast construction labour costs, a permitting process that was longer than expected, and the decision to use more expensive monopole structures near the Gleniffer Reservoir.

Work has begun on the project, which should be operating by late 2015. AltaLink said WATL will improve the reliability and efficiency of the Alberta interconnected electric system.

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