ATCO Electric completes its portion of Hanna Regional transmission project

Construction is complete on the final two components in ATCO Electric’s Hanna Region Transmission Development (HRTD) project, leaving only a single line to connect the project to AltaLink’s network, reclamation, clean-up and salvage work yet to be finalized.

“This was a complex project that involved the construction of a number of transmission-line segments and substations over a vast geographic area of which 60% were environmentally-sensitive areas including protected pasture, native grasses, and wetlands that are also popular wildlife breeding grounds,” Sett Policicchio, president of ATCO Electric Transmission Division, told TransmissionHub Aug. 8, adding that the project was completed on time and approximately C$60m under budget. The cost of ATCO’s project was originally estimated at C$700m.

AltaLink and ATCO Electric share portions of the project.

ATCO’s portion 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.

Crews from Bechtel Construction completed work on the last two components in July. That work included completion of approximately 28 miles of single circuit, 144-kV line from the new Coyote Lake substation to the existing Michichi Creek substation on July 12. Approximately seven miles of double circuit, monopole, 144-kV line from the new Lanfine substation to the existing Oyen substation was completed July 15.

Construction of the new 240-kV/144-kV Pemukan substation and approximately 18 miles of 240-kV line from the substation to the interconnection with AltaLink at Hansman are complete and the facilities will be energized when AltaLink completes connecting the line.

A spokesperson for AltaLink told TransmissionHub Aug. 8 that its 12.6-mile, double-circuit 240-kV Hansman Lake line is nearly complete and slated to be energized Aug. 20.

Work on the other nine components of ATCO’s project was completed between January and July.

  • The new 144-kV Heatburg substation in the Delbourne, Alberta area, which connects to an existing 144-kV line, was placed in service on Jan. 25.
  • The new 240-kV Oakland substation and approximately five miles of 240-kV line from the existing Anderson substation to the new Oakland substation was placed into service March 28.
  • Approximately 21 miles of single circuit, 144-kV line from the existing Nevis substation to the Stettler substation was placed in service April 5.
  • The new 240/144-kV Coyote Lake substation and approximately 23 miles of 240-kV line from the new Oakland substation to the new Coyote Lake substation was placed into service May 19.
  • The new 240-kV Lanfine substation and 56 miles of 240-kV line from the new Oakland substation to the new Lanfine substation was placed into service May 20.
  • Approximately 43 miles of 240-kV line from the new Lanfine substation to the new Pemukan substation was placed into service May 31.
  • Approximately 2.4 miles of single circuit monopole, 144-kV line from the new Lanfine substation to the existing Excel substation was placed into service June 1.
  • Expansion of the existing Rowley substation, salvage of 73-kV equipment and eight miles of double circuit, monopole, 144-kV line from the existing Rowley substation to the existing connection on transmission line 7L25 was also completed June 1.
  • Approximately 1.2 miles of double circuit, monopole, 144-kV line from the existing Monitor substation to the new Pemukan substation was placed into service June 15.

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.

In addition to the line connecting to ATCO’s system, AltaLink has two other portions of the project under construction and they are expected to be completed within the next few months.

One portion includes approximately 3.6 miles of new 138-kV double circuit transmission line, approximately 14.4 miles of new 240-kV double circuit transmission line, construction of the new Nilrem substation near Hardisty, and equipment additions at the existing Tucuman substation. That portion of the project is expected to enter service Aug. 30.

The second portion includes building approximately 25 miles of new 240-kV transmission line between the Ware Junction and Cassils substations, upgrading both substations and altering existing 240-kV transmission lines. Work on that portion of the project is expected to be complete Nov. 15.

AltaLink typically does not release cost figures, its spokesperson said.

“The HRTD transmission project was needed to meet the increased demand for electricity in the Hanna Region to support industrial growth in the area,” Policicchio said, noting that the project also provides interconnections to Alberta’s electricity grid for wind generation projects in south and central Alberta.

The Alberta Electric System Operator stated the Hanna region’s load forecast was estimated to be 970 MW by 2017, and that wind-powered generation forecast for the region, was estimated to be 700 MW by 2017.