Application to connect wind development projects to Alberta transmission system approved



    CALGARY, Sept. 9 /CNW/ - The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has
received regulatory approval for its plan to reinforce electricity
transmission throughout southern Alberta to interconnect a significant number
of wind-powered projects.
    In its decision, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) agreed with the
AESO's assessment that the existing capacity of the transmission system in
southern Alberta is insufficient to provide adequate system access for the
interconnection of additional wind-powered generation and that an upgrade is
necessary.
    "We're pleased that our need application has been approved by the AUC,"
said Bill Strongman, AESO Director of Regional System Planning. "Currently,
there is approximately 500 Megawatts (MW) of installed wind power capacity on
the Alberta Interconnected Electric System and we are forecasting an
additional 1,200 MW to 2,700 MW of new wind development in the next ten years
in southern Alberta."
    Strongman explains this is only the first phase in the approval process
to get new transmission development built: "Two approvals from the AUC are
required to build new transmission in Alberta; approval of the need for the
expansion or enhancement to the system, which is now in place, and secondly, a
permit to construct and operate the transmission line."
    With the AUC's approval of the AESO application, the next step is for a
transmission facility owner to develop and submit a Facilities Application
detailing specific routes. Earlier this year AltaLink Management Limited was
assigned by the AESO to begin this work and has initiated public consultation
on potential routes for transmission lines.
    The AESO transmission plan outlines the need for a 240 kilovolt (kV)
alternating current (AC) looped system with three stages of implementation
between 2013 and 2017 depending on the development of the market for wind
power in the region.

    As an independent system operator, the AESO leads the safe, reliable and
economic planning and operation of Alberta's interconnected power system. The
AESO also facilitates Alberta's fair, efficient and openly competitive
wholesale electricity market, which has about 200 participants and
approximately $9 billion in annual energy transactions.





For further information:

For further information: Dawn Delaney, Communications and Stakeholder
Relations, Ph (403) 539-2846, Cell (403) 671-6129, email:
dawn.delaney@aeso.ca

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Alberta Electric System Operator

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