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Chapel Rock-to-Pincher Creek Transmission Development

Posted: October 17, 2018

Livingstone Landowners Group - Legal Committee Update on Proposed Chapel Rock-to-Pincher Creek Area Transmission Development

Summary of meeting with AltaLink on 12 October 2018:

The Livingstone Landowners Group (LLG) Board of Directors and Legal Committee members met with AltaLink employees to gain a better understanding of the route and substation location options recently put forward in a new Chapel Rock-to-Pincher Creek Area Transmission development proposal.

AltaLink stated that details of the potential sites were mailed to 925 potentially affected landowners at the end of September. The possible routes cover a large area west of Highway 22 as far north as Township Road 92 (Willow Valley) and south to Pincher Creek. Any potentially affected landowners who did not receive the package should contact AltaLink to request the detailed information.

All of the proposed locations are in environmentally sensitive areas and as such are being opposed by LLG. The LLG continues to reiterate that further transmission lines and substations should not be built in the Eastern Slopes of the Livingstone Range. The LLG is continuing to promote better utilization of existing right-of-ways to minimize or eliminate new land disturbance.

The transmission project has been brought forward previously in various forms but was put on hold in 2015. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has now determined that a new transmission line is needed to accommodate anticipated growth of wind generation in the Pincher Creek area and intends to bring forward an application in 2019.

AESO is seeking to connect either the Goose Lake or Castle Rock Ridge substations to the existing Alberta/BC intertie (1201) that runs from Calgary through the Livingstone area and west to Cranbrook, B.C.

AltaLink provided key information about their routing strategies:

  • AESO direction specifies construction of a single circuit 240 kV line instead of the double circuit 240 kV option previously proposed. As a result, monopoles or H-Frame poles are now options versus the V poles identified in the last round, resulting in a smaller footprint.
  • AltaLink is considering two possible routing strategies for the 240 kV line: building along road allowances or building on quarter lines. Both have significant potential impacts.
  • AltaLink is also looking at two options for substation placement: sites very close to the existing inter-tie which could have greater substation environmental impact or further east which then requires construction of a 500 kV line from the new substation to the 1201 (creating more transmission line impact). The footprint for the new substation would be 165 meters by 215 meters. A 30 to 80 metre high telecommunication tower is also planned to be built near the substation.
  • AESO has added a separate project to upgrade the Alberta/BC intertie line to its full transmission capacity, primarily to better backstop the impact of anticipated higher wind generation on the system. This upgrade drives the need for a capacitor station (100 meters x 90 meters) to be built within the same area targeted by the new transmission development. Placement may be as a standalone site or possibly could be part of the transmission substation depending on location.

LLG strongly encourages any concerned members of the public or landowners in our MD to attend the upcoming AltaLink public events in Pincher Creek, Cowley and Lundbreck on October 23-25 to get more information and share your feedback.