By Charles Lefebvre
Southern Alberta Newspapers
AltaLink’s Southern Alberta Transmission Reinforcement project is working its way towards completion.
The electrical utility company has been working to reinforce the 138 kilovolt transmission line in Medicine Hat since September of last year. The project is split into two parts, a rebuild of a power line which connects to the Bowmanton substation northeast of the city and a new line connecting to the Bullshead substation southwest of the city, according to company spokesperson Scott Schreiner.
“The rebuild is complete,” he said. “That portion of the project was completed in May and has been energized and is operating now.”
Schreiner said the company upgraded the line from a single circuit to a double circuit line, allowing it to carry more electricity to support Medicine Hat and the surrounding area.
The Bullshead portion of the project sees a 47 kilometre long double circuit line being built in Cypress County. The line has recently resumed construction after halting construction in July due to a Ferruginous Hawk, a protected species in Alberta, nesting in the area.
“We didn’t want to disturb the hawk’s nest with construction activities, so we needed to wait until the hawks had fledged,” said Schreiner.
Schreiner says the Bullshead portion has approximately 90 per cent of the power poles are in place, with 20 more set to be installed. Approximately 35 per cent of the power line has been installed.
“Construction has been going well,” he said. “Like everybody in Alberta, weather has been a bit of a challenge for us.”
He added, “We want to make sure we’re respecting farmers’ fields and minimizing the impact of the construction on the community. We need to ensure it’s done safely, make sure everything is being done properly to be able to get this important line into service.”
Schreiner says AltaLink is to have the project completed by the end of the year.