Alberta regional transmission project to be completed by end of month

Construction of the Hanna Region Transmission Development (HRTD) project in Alberta is 95% complete and is scheduled to be completed by the end of June, approximately one year after construction began, Sett Policicchio, president of ATCO Electric Transmission Division, told TransmissionHub June 19.

Over the weekend of June 16, crews completed and energized 1.2 miles of 144-kV line from the existing Monitor substation to the new Pemukan substation, he said.

Work continues on approximately 18 miles of 240-kV transmission connecting the new Pemukan substation to the interconnection with Altalink at Hansman, though work on the substation itself is complete, he said, adding that work also continues on two stretches of 144-kV transmission.

Crews are finishing construction on approximately 27.6 miles of transmission line from the new Coyote Lake substation to the existing Michichi Creek substation, as well as a 6.6-mile stretch of line from the new Lanfine substation to the existing Oyen substation, Policicchio said.

According to the developer’s project website, the HRTD project’s needs identification document was approved in June 2010 by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved the utility’s facilities application in May 2012. Construction work began in June 2012.

The project comprises 12 discrete components, including construction of approximately 149 miles of new 240-kV transmission line, approximately 68 miles of new 144-kV transmission line, decommissioning and salvaging of approximately 114 miles of existing 144-kV and 72-kV transmission line, constructing six new substations and one static var compensator, and modifying 15 existing substations.

Work on the Coyote Lake and Lanfine substations is complete, as is construction of the new Oakland substation and approximately 5.4 miles of 240-kV line connecting the new substation to the existing Anderson substation.

Also finished is a new 24-mile, 240-kV line from the Oakland substation to the Coyote Lake substation; an approximately 56-mile, 240-kV line from the Oakland substation to the new Lanfine substation; a new 43-mile line from the Lanfine substation to the new Pemukan substation; a 21-mile, 144-kV line from the existing Nevis substation to the Stettler substation; and a 2.4-mile, 144-kV circuit from the new Lanfine substation to the existing Excel substation.

Completed project components also include the expansion of the existing Rowley substation, salvage of 73-kV equipment and 7.3 miles of 144-kV line from the existing Rowley substation to the existing connection on transmission line 7L25; and the construction of the new 144-kV Heatburg substation in the area of Delbourne, Alta., which was connected to an existing 144-kV line.

The substations are all located in the Hanna region in Alberta within an area encompassed by the towns of Consort, Oyen, Drumheller, Three Hills, Nevis and Stettler, Alta. The Hanna region encompasses the southeast portion of the Alberta central planning region, including the Hanna, Wainwright, Alliance/Battle River, Provost and Sheerness AESO planning areas.

The estimated cost of the project is C$700m, according to Policicchio.

The AESO stated that the need for transmission reinforcement was driven by the Hanna region’s load forecast, which was estimated to be 970 MW by 2017, but also by the need to connect the wind-powered generation forecast for the region, estimated to be 700 MW by 2017.