Work resumes on 230-kV transmission project in Saskatchewan

Construction crews from SaskPower have resumed clearing trees and brush from the right-of-way for the new Island Falls to Key Lake transmission line in the northern part of Saskatchewan.

Crews began working on the project in January and worked through April, after which work was halted “mostly for environmental reasons, including bird nesting season,” a SaskPower spokesperson told TransmissionHub Sept. 27.

Work crews, including 275 local residents, are using heavy equipment in the area between Lindsay Lake and Key Lake to clear brush and trees. The work is expected to be completed in late December.

In its fall project update, the utility said the new line is needed to accommodate increased electricity demand in the northern region of Saskatchewan and will improve service reliability in the North Saskatchewan area.

“Saskatchewan is growing at a tremendous pace and the demand for electricity in the province has nearly doubled over historical norms,” Robert Watson, SaskPower’s president and CEO said in the update. “This new power line in the north will help ensure that SaskPower supports that growth through a multi-year investment into renewing our infrastructure.”

The Island Falls to Key Lake line is a 230-kV project that will run 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) from an existing switching station at Island Falls hydroelectric station near Sandy Bay, and will extend north to connect to a planned switching station to be built near where Highway 914 crosses the Wheeler River, according to SaskPower’s project web page.

The line is expected to cost C$132m (US$134.3m), and is expected to be in service by the end of 2014.