ATCO Electric Jasper Interconnection Project
Jasper National Park
On June 22 2018, Parks Canada approved the ATCO Electric Jasper Interconnection Project in Jasper National Park, after completing a detailed environmental impact analysis process and considering feedback from the public and Indigenous communities.
Electric transmission in Alberta is regulated by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). The AUC reviewed and approved the Project under their legislation in May 2018, after completing a public hearing. The AUC determined that the project is in the public interest, having regard to the social, economic, and environmental effects.
The Jasper Interconnection Project will connect Jasper National Park to Alberta’s electrical system by constructing a 45 km electrical transmission line along existing utility and transportation corridors.
The proposed transmission line will replace the existing Palisades natural gas and diesel electrical generation facility which is nearing the end of its life expectancy. The transmission line will ensure the continued supply of reliable power to the 5,000 permanent residents and 20,000 daily summer visitors to the park.
ATCO Electric has worked with Jasper National Park since 2013 to meet Parks Canada’s regulatory requirements, including completion of a detailed impact analysis and public and Indigenous consultation programs.
ATCO Electric consulted with the public and Indigenous partners in 2016 and 2017 to garner views on the proposed project. Parks Canada has taken into consideration all the feedback received from members of the public and Indigenous partners in reaching a decision.
Parks Canada has taken into consideration the environmental and social effects of the project in the context of Parks Canada’s mandate and legislated responsibilities, of which ecological integrity is the first priority. Parks Canada has determined that the Project will not cause significant adverse environmental effects, with the implementation of mitigation measures.
The Project incorporates measures to reduce its environmental effects, such as:
- The alignment of the new transmission line will follow the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline right-of-way and road corridors for 75% of its route. The remaining 25% will follow an existing ATCO electrical distribution line corridor.
- The use of covered conductor along 95% of the route will lessen the risk of wildfire, outages from trees falling on the line, and electrocution of birds and other wildlife.
- Construction will take place in the winter to reduce disturbance to soil, vegetation and wildlife, such as nesting birds and bats.
Consistent with other major projects, Parks Canada’s approval is subject to conditions requiring ATCO Electric to implement measures to protect natural and cultural resources, and an environmental restoration program with annual reporting.
Parks Canada will continue to work with ATCO Electric to ensure that ecological integrity is maintained, while ensuring that a safe and reliable supply of electricity is available for Jasper National Park.
Details of the AUC decision can be found at: http://www.auc.ab.ca/Pages/Jasper-Interconnection-project.aspx
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