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ATCO Electric Ltd. Dog Rib Fibre Optic Connection Project, AUC Decision 28463-D01-2023

Link to Decision Summarized

Communications – Facilities


ATCO Electric Ltd. (“AE”) applied for approval to construct and operate the 185-meter (“m”) ELADFO021 underground fibre optic telecommunications cable, from AE’s existing Dog Rib 2082S Substation to its existing optical protection ground wire on Transmission Line 9L162 (the “Project”). The Project is located 23 kilometers northwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta.


The AUC approved the application from AE to construct and operate the Project.

Pertinent Issues

AE submitted that the Project is needed to replace end-of-life telecommunications equipment that is no longer supported by the manufacturer. AE proposed to install an underground fibre optic cable to maintain connection between the substation and the electric system’s telecommunications network.

The AUC was satisfied that the application 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 found that the Project’s environmental impact will be minimal given that the 185 meter long proposed cable will be installed underground, beneath pre-disturbed land using bore/directional drilling. The AUC was further satisfied that the consultation with potentially interested parties was appropriate and that Indigenous consultation was not required, as there was no known potential impact on Aboriginal rights and traditional uses.

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