Facilities – Communication
ATCO Electric Ltd. (“AE”) applied for approval to construct and operate a five-kilometer underground fibre optic cable, designated as ELADFO020, between AE’s existing Mitsue 732S Substation and Alberta PowerLine General Partner Ltd.’s existing Transmission Line 12L41, in the Mitsue area (the “Project”). The Project created interconnection between existing communications facilities to enhance the network and augment AE’s capacity to manage services during outages and emergencies.
The AUC approved AE’s application to construct and operate the Project.
The Project is part of the SOC2 Strategic Fibre Project, which aims to extend the fibre network and establish a high-capacity communications backbone connecting the Fort McMurray region with AE system operations centers. The overall Project increases communications capacity, integrates with regional transmission facility operators, introduces regional route diversity in the north-central portion of AE’s communications network, and ultimately improves overall system resilience.
The AUC determined that the information requirements specified in Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines were met. The AUC accepted that the construction effect on wildlife was expected to be minimal since the project site is situated near existing linear disturbances and there would be limited and localized vegetation removal. The AUC found that the Project’s environmental impact will be minimal given that the cable will be located underground, will be routed along pre-disturbed land below an existing transmission line next to a road, and mitigation measures will be implemented.
Based on the foregoing, the AUC concluded that the application was in the public interest in accordance with s 17 of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act.