Report for City Council September 2, 2009 meeting by SonnyWoodcock


                                                                         linear tax the City might be
High Voltage                                                             eligible to receive.               1
Transmission Lines                                             Report
                                                               The Heartland Electric Transmission
                                                               Project proposes the construction of
Recommendation:                                                500 kV electrical transmission lines
That the July 27, 2009, Planning and                           connecting existing power generating
Development Department report                                  facilities west of the city to Alberta’s
2009PPP031 be received for information.                        Industrial Heartland northeast of
Report Summary
This report comments on the                                    With respect to the first motion, a letter
underground installation of 500kV                              has been prepared and sent to the
transmission lines, confirms the City                          Premier and all Members of the
is eligible to receive a linear tax for                        Legislative Assembly of Alberta
electrical transmission lines, and                             indicating Council’s concern with the
includes a draft letter from Mayor                             construction of 500 kV, or higher,
S. Mandel to Premier E. Stelmach                               voltage transmission lines within the City
expressing Council’s desire that                               of Edmonton.
these utilities be constructed
underground within the City of                                 Attachment 1 outlines four options to
Edmonton.                                                      make this connection. Option 2 (yellow)
                                                               and Option 3 (green) are aligned within
Previous Council/Committee Action                              the west Transportation and Utility
At the June 19, 2009, City Council                             Corridor (TUC) and the East TUC,
meeting, the following motion was                              respectively. Option 1 (blue) and Option
passed:                                                        4 (pink) are located outside Edmonton’s
    1. That the Mayor write to the
       Premier and all Members of the
                                                               Attachment 2 is a synopsis of
       Legislative Assembly of Alberta
                                                               information from a variety of sources on
       indicating Council’s concern with
                                                               the advantages and disadvantages of
       the construction of 500 kV, or
                                                               constructing high voltage transmission
       higher, voltage transmission lines
                                                               lines underground. A study being done
       within the City of Edmonton,
                                                               by the Alberta Electric System Operator
       unless the power transmission
                                                               (AESO) titled “Underground Feasibility
       lines are constructed
                                                               Study” on the technical merits and the
                                                               cost of burying lines was initiated at the
    2. That Administration provide a                           direction of the Premier of Alberta. A
       report through Executive                                report is expected in late summer of
       Committee with details on the                           2009.
       advantages and disadvantages
       of requiring new power lines of                         Administration expects an application for
       500 kV or higher to be                                  the Heartland Electric Transmission
       constructed underground, and                            Project will be made to the Alberta

ROUTING – City Council | DELEGATION – P. Ohm/G. Jackson/G. Bridgeman
WRITTEN BY – C. Currie | July 27, 2009 – Planning and Development Department 2009PPP031
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High Voltage Transmission Lines

Utilities Commission by the proponent          to include electric power systems,
partners ALTALINK and EPCOR in late            materials, devices, fittings, apparatus,
2009 or early 2010. It is also expected        appliances and machinery and
that the AESO will be concurrently filing      equipment, owned or operated by a
a needs identification document with           person whose rates are controlled or set
respect to the Heartland Electric              by the Alberta Utilities Commission
Transmission Project.                          (AUC) or by a municipality or under the
                                               Small Power Research and
Municipalities are eligible to receive a       Development Act but does not include
linear tax for electrical transmission lines   land and buildings.
within their boundaries. Assessments
for the purpose of determining a linear        Under Section 292 of the Municipal
tax is based on regulated rates (not           Government Act, assessments for linear
market value) calculated by the                property must be prepared yearly by the
Provincial Government. Underground             assessor designated by the Minister in
rates have not been established by the         accordance with the regulations for
Province.                                      linear property.

The following is the potential linear tax      Regulations respecting the procedure
for the two possible alignments which          and rates associated with the
would occupy portions of Edmonton:             assessment of linear property are
 Option 2 (yellow) at 87.4 km in total        passed by the Minister on a yearly basis
    length and partly aligned within the       in the Alberta Linear Property
    west TUC:                                  Assessment Minister’s Guidelines.
     o $98,000 in tax for a 240 kV line
     o $197,000 for a 500 kV line              Transmission Project Approvals and
 Option 3 (green) at 45.3 km in total         Process
    length and partly aligned within the
    east TUC:                                  Sections 14 and 15 of the Hydro and
     o $49,000 in tax for a 240 kV line        Electric Energy Act prohibit construction
     o $104,000 for a 500 kV line.             and operation of a transmission line
                                               without a permit and license issued by
Focus Area                                     the AUC.
The topic of this report is most directly
related to the City of Edmonton                Section 34 of the Electric Utilities Act
Strategic Plan ten-year strategic goal to      requires the Independent System
“Improve Edmonton’s Liveability”               Operator (ISO) to submit a needs
through measures to protect health and         identification document to the AUC if the
safety and processes that support and          ISO determines that an expansion or
facilitate community involvement and           enhancement of the capability of the
participation.                                 transmission system is required.

Legal Implications                             Prior to submitting applications to the
Linear Property                                AUC for transmission lines, AUC rules
Section 284 of the Municipal                   require that applicants complete a
Government Act defines linear property         Participant Involvement Program, which

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High Voltage Transmission Lines

includes personal consultation with
affected parties and public notification
and also requires applicants to respond
to concerns addressed by interested

Once an application has been submitted
to the AUC, the AUC will issue a notice
of application and request written
interventions relating to the application.

Section 78.2 of the Public Utilities Act
provides municipalities with the right to
become a complainant or intervener in
any application submitted to the AUC if
the municipality passes a resolution
authorizing the involvement.

Council’s Duties re: EPCOR

In the decision as to whether to
intervene in the AUC proceedings
relating to the Heartland Transmission
Project, City Councillors may act in what
they perceive to be in the best interests
of the City of Edmonton. City
Councillors are not bound to act in the
best interests of EPCOR in making this
1. Heartland Transmission Project Map
2. Assessment of the Advantages and
   Disadvantages of Buried High
   Voltage Power Lines
Others Approving this Report
   A. B. Maurer, City Manager
Others Reviewing this Report
 D. H. Edey, General Manager,
   Corporate Services Department
 J. Tustian, Deputy City Manager

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