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Several critical transmission infrastructure projects are needed between 2010 and 2017 to meet the current and future electricity needs of Albertans, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) says in the latest update of its Long-term Transmission System Plan.

Due to inefficiencies in Alberta's transmission system, $220 million worth of electricity was lost in the form of heat from transmission lines in 2008 alone. Also, using technology such as high-voltage, direct current lines will minimize land-use impacts and accommodate long-term economic growth, according to the report.

In addition, transmission development will unlock geographic constraints for all forms of electricity generation, including renewable energy, such as wind, solar and hydro power.

The projects identified in the plan that was filed with the Alberta Utilities Commission are currently estimated to cost $14.5 billion. Five critical transmission infrastructure projects are highlighted in the plan and have been classified by the AESO as CTI-Tier 1.

One of these projects is transmission development in southern Alberta to integrate wind energy and is currently in the regulatory process. The need for the other four is expected to be approved later this year by the provincial government under legislation related to the government's Provincial Energy Strategy.

The CTI-Tier 1 projects are estimated to cost C$8.1 billion, which will result in an increase of about $8 per month to the transmission charge on an average residential customer's bill, after the projects are completed.

For more information, visit aeso.ca.

SOURCE: Alberta Electric System Operator



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