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ATCO Electric Ltd. Barrhead Area Fibre Optic Project, AUC Decision 28116-D01-2023

Link to Decision Summarized

Facilities – Fort McMurray Telecommunications

Application

ATCO Electric Ltd. (“AE”) applied for permission to construct and operate an underground fibre optic cable to connect AltaLink Management Ltd.’s Barrhead 9069 Telecommunication Tower and Alberta PowerLine General Partner Ltd’s Transmission Line 12L41 in the Barrhead Area (the “Project”).

Decision

The AUC approved the application from AE to construct and operate the underground fibre optic cable.

Applicable Legislation

Alberta Utilities Commission Act, SA 2007, c A-37.2 – s 17.

AUC Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines.

Pertinent Issues

The objective of the Project is to enhance the telecommunications network and augment AE’s capacity to manage services during planned and unplanned outages and emergencies. The Project is part of the SOC2 Strategic Fibre Project, which aims to extend the fibre network and establish a high-capacity communication backbone connecting the Fort McMurray region with AE system operations centers. The cost estimate of the Project was provided in the ATCO Electric Transmission 2023-2025 General Tariff Application which was being considered by the AUC at the time of this decision.

In this proceeding, the AUC determined that the application from AE met the requirements set out in Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines. The AUC accepted that there would be no impact on adjacent stakeholders, as the Project would be located underground and predominantly within or adjacent to an existing transmission line right-of-way or a highway road allowance. The AUC considered the environmental protection plan submitted by AE and determined that the Project would have a minimal environmental impact.

The AUC determined that approval of the application was in the public interest.

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