EDMONTON, AB (May 3, 2013): Alberta electricity consumers continue to be punished by PC government mismanagement with the construction of new transmission lines costing more than double the cost of buried lines in other jurisdictions, Wildrose Utilities Critic Joe Anglin said today.
Recently, the Blackstone Power Cable from Quebec to New York, two 5-inch diameter cable lines that will be buried underground and underwater over 531 kilometers, was approved at a cost of $2.2 billion (roughly US $4.1 million per kilometer). Transmission lines recently approved by the PC cabinet without an independent needs assessment, such as the 66-km Heartland Transmission Line, is set to cost over $600 million dollars and will not be built underground (roughly CDN $9.9 million per kilometer). “These transmission lines will raise the cost of power bills for almost every Albertan in this province, yet this government continues to have no price controls on these lines,” Anglin said. “This government continues to bill Alberta for its mismanagement as the cost of our above ground transmission lines are more than double the cost of buried lines in other jurisdictions. Simply, this just doesn’t add up.” The Wildrose believes the transmission lines approved under the former Bill 50, which are set to cost over $16 billion, should be approved through an independent needs based assessment process and diversifying Alberta’s electricity market through natural gas and hydro strategies. “These transmission lines have been a boondoggle from the very beginning,” Anglin said. “Not once have Alberta consumers had a chance to receive a full public evaluation of their electricity needs and now they are stuck on the hook for billions of dollars added to their power bills. The PC government isn't building Alberta's future, it's billing Albertans for its incompetence.”