AltaLink activates its Southwest 240-kV Project, a 90-km transmission line that will allow for 1,000 MW of wind power to be transmitted from Alberta's southwest region to rest of province

CALGARY, Alberta , November 5, 2010 (press release) – Albertans now have access to twice as much wind power. Energizing the Southwest 240 kV Project, a 90 kilometre transmission line between Pincher Creek and Lethbridge is a vital link connecting wind generated power in Alberta’s southwest to the rest of the province.

“Albertans tells us that increasing access to more renewable energy is important, and we are proud to provide that connection,” says Scott Thon, AltaLink CEO. “This line strengthens the existing electrical transmission system in the southwest region of Alberta and will allow for 1,000 megawatts of new wind‐generated electricity to reach homes and businesses throughout the province. That’s enough electricity to power approximately 1,600 Alberta families for one month.”

Alberta is only scratching the surface of its massive wind energy potential. Wind power currently represents five per cent of the total installed generation capacity.

“Without new transmission, new electricity generation cannot be utilized,” says Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert. “Projects like the Southwest 240 kV are part of an enhanced transmission network to move electricity from product to market, ensuring Albertans have a reliable source of energy when they flick the switch.”

AltaLink began construction of the new transmission line and substations in 2009 after consulting with and seeking input from involved landowners and First Nations communities. Participation of the local First Nations communities, the Piikani and Blood, was essential to the success of the project. Many local First Nations people worked on the project, and more than 80 Alberta businesses were also directly involved. Construction activities may continue in certain areas, as crews work to reclaim project areas.

AltaLink, Alberta’s largest transmission provider is actively working with Albertans to ensure the transmission system will meet Albertans’ needs today and in the future. Hundreds of kilometres of new, efficient transmission lines will ensure our customers have access to clean wind‐generated power and the lowest‐priced electricity Alberta has to offer. AltaLink is a proud supporter of Alberta 4‐H, and as a Legacy Builder is the title sponsor of all regional, district and provincial communications and public speaking programs.

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