Preferred route for new power-lines unveiled
Epcor has released its preferred route for a massive power-line proposed for the Edmonton area.
The Heartland Transmission Project involves the construction of a high voltage transmission line, which will connect the Heartland region, northeast of Fort Saskatchewan to existing transmission facilities.
Epcor says the corridor would draw from existing power-lines in south Edmonton, and then run along the eastern boundary of the city and north. The project will also consider burying 20 kilometres of the 60-kilometre line that would start from Ellerslie to Baseline Road on the edge of Sherwood Park.
That move would end up increasing the already $400-million project.
"It is very costly, it's expensive to dig up the ground then cable," said Guy Bridgeman, senior VP of strategic planning and development for Epcor. "There needs to be special infrastructure on each end. We think the overall cost will turn out to five to eight times per kilometre.
Both the province and Epcor have said that the power-lines are needed to deal with a growing electricity need in Alberta.
Residents in both Edmonton and on the outskirts of the city, have argued that if the power-lines are needed, they should all be buried in order to protect nearby homes from electromagnetic fields.
"There's a list of diseases as long as your arm. In some cases, the data suggests electromagnetic fields causes these illnesses... in other cases it aggravates what you have," said John Kristensen, VP of the Responsible Electricity Transmission for Albertans (RETA).
The Alberta Utilities Commission still has the final say regarding the project. The Heartland Project team expects to file its application in the spring.
In addition, an alternate route has also been planned, which is west that will pass to the east of Spruce Grove, to the west and north of Morinville, then east to the Heartland region.
With files from Serena Mah