Lethbridge city council approved one time funding of $500,000 to complete a study for electrical planning on the west side. The 2022 Alberta Electric System Operator’s (AESO) long-term plan identified a need to construct a new substation in west Lethbridge by 2028, along with a new transmission line connecting it to the existing Substation south of Copperwood.
“AESO will recommend these needs to the AUC who then can approve the project and funding of the transmission costs. The system is connected to and makes up a part of the Alberta Electric Interconnected System and is required to meet the requirements of the AUC and AESO set out in the Alberta Electric Utilities Act,” said Jason Drenth, general manager, electric utility.
Two transmission paths are to be proposed and evaluated and there is already an approved right of way along Métis Trail, the city said. The second option being proposed would be within the future Chinook Trail corridor.
The Chinook Trail Functional Planning Study is meant to help the city make informed decision and develop a proper design and estimate for the cost to construct. The study is required in 2023 in order to meet approval and construction timelines.
“This decision will help achieve the overall reliability of the electric grid,” said Coun. Belinda Crowson. “It will help the City of Lethbridge meet the needs and requirements of AESO and the Alberta Utility Commission along with other partners such as AltaLink, Lethbridge County, landowners and other stakeholders.”
The one time funding for the study comes from the city’s electric reserve.