Outgrowing our Electricity System
Critical Transmission Infrastructure
Our system is aging, congested and inefficient.
Demand for electricity has increased significantly over the past decade and this trend is expected to continue. People will keep moving to our province, industry will keep building, and we need critical infrastructure to grow our province.
Critical transmission infrastructure is required to meet Alberta’s electricity needs.
Albertans have a say where transmission lines and facilities are located.
Alberta’s electricity transmission system has not been significantly upgraded in more than two decades. No major new lines have been built since the 1980s. Since then, Alberta’s population has grown by more than one million and our economic value has more than quadrupled.
Currently, we have more than 13,500 megawatts of installed power generation capacity in Alberta. In the next 20 years, we will need in excess of 10,000 megawatts of new generation to meet growing demand and to replace the older generating units being retired.
Congestion limits the ability of new power plants to deliver electricity to market, limiting competition and reducing reliability. Limited competition means higher energy rates for all consumers.
Today, our transmission system is incapable of always delivering the electricity that is produced at power plants. There are developers that would like to build new generation, but are restricted because of inadequate transmission capacity.
As electricity moves along transmission lines, some of it is lost as heat. These losses rapidly increase when transmission lines are forced to work at or near their limits.
The cost of line losses in 2008 was about $220 million. That lost energy is enough to power about 350,000 homes for one year.
Frequently Asked Questions