Wind wire: Transmission appeal

Three landowners along the planned route of a transmission line linking Alberta and Montana are asking the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) to overturn a lower court decision that upheld regulatory approval of the line.

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The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board granted a permit for the 345 kilometre, 230 kV project in August 2008. Fourteen landowners asked the Court of Appeal of Alberta to overturn the approval, but the lower court ruled against them in a decision released in May. The basis of the arguments in the SCC application is the same as that rejected by the National Energy Board, the Alberta Energy Utilities Board and the Court of Appeal, says Tonbridge Power, the Toronto-based company developing the project. "Accordingly, it is the company's view upon legal advice that this request is without merit and believes the SCC will decline to hear the appeal." Tonbridge Power says it will proceed with its financing and construction plans, and "expects no delays or cost increases as a result of this latest action." The new line will provide access to the grid for a number of proposed major wind farms in Northern Montana, where the lack of high-capacity transmission has stymied the ability of developers to bring projects on line. The company has sold long-term capacity rights to three companies with 600 MW worth of wind projects under development that will tie into the line at about its midpoint, with half the power flowing north into Alberta and half south to Great Falls.


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