On-Site Magazine

CIB investing in new Alberta transmission line

By Adam Freill   

Construction Infrastructure

Flexible loan to enable construction of new transmission line and add 750 MW of electrical capacity to the Alberta grid.

CIB investment will support construction of 130 kilometres of new power lines in Alberta. (CNW Group/Canada Infrastructure Bank)

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is providing Alberta electricity transmission companies, AltaLink, L.P (AltaLink) and ATCO Electric Ltd. (ATCO) with financing to construct a new transmission line in the counties of Red Deer, Lacombe and Stettler.

The CIB’s $283.5 million loan will help advance a new, 130-kilometre high-voltage power line, which the electricity companies say is needed to reinforce and strengthen the reliability of the electrical grid and increase access to available renewable electricity generation in the region.

According to the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), the transmission line is required to relieve power congestion and distribution capabilities in the area. The Central East Transfer-Out project will supply over 750 megawatts of electricity to the grid.

“The CIB’s investment in the Central East Transfer-Out project will improve Alberta’s transmission capacity while creating the opportunity for clean energy sources to be added to the grid,” stated Sean Fraser, Canada’s minister of housing, infrastructure and communities. “As the CIB’s first investment through the Clean Power priority sector, this project will help build a cleaner economy and support Alberta’s clean energy transition.”

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The CIB’s flexible loan will allow AltaLink and ATCO to construct and operationalize the new transmission infrastructure at a lower financing cost, reducing the cost to Alberta ratepayers. The project is CIB’s first investment in energy transmission under its $10 billion Clean Power priority sector, which is dedicated to addressing financing gaps in new projects such as renewables, transmission, district energy systems and energy storage.

“Our partnership with AltaLink and ATCO will help future-proof Alberta’s transmission grid, increasing the amount of available power and enhancing power reliability,” said CIB CEO Ehren Cory. “The investment will enable both transmission companies to advance the construction of the Central East Transfer-Out project, which will deliver energy safely and cost-effectively to homes and businesses in Alberta.”

“As the demand for electricity continues to grow in Alberta’s expanding economy, our goal remains to provide reliable and affordable electricity to our customers. With the support of the CIB, we are reducing the cost to our customers for this important electrical infrastructure, while strengthening the system and increasing access to renewable energy sources,” added Gary Hart, president and CEO of AltaLink.

www.cib-bic.ca

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