BY RICHARD GILBERT - AltaLink has selected Valard Construction to install transmission infrastructure in an area near Conklin and Lac La Biche, Alberta for the Christina Lake Area Development project.
“Once completed, the Christina Lake Area Development transmission project will facilitate the delivery of electricity to meet increasing industrial demand for power in Alberta,” said Jim O’Neil, president and chief executive officer of Quanta Services.
“This project is located in a remote area of the province and will be constructed on challenging terrain.”
Valard Construction and McGregor Construction, which are both companies owned by Houston, Texas-based Quanta Services, Inc., will do the work.
They will install about 101 kilometres of 240-kilovolt double circuit alternating current (AC) transmission line.
Quanta has mobilized resources for the Christina Lake Area Development transmission project and expects the project to be completed during the first quarter of 2015.
Valard’s scope of work includes all construction, including right of way clearing, access and reclamation, environmental monitoring, tower assembly and erection, and conductor stringing.
The proposed project involves the construction of one switching station, two substations and about 120 kilometres of new transmission line.
It will be divided into three phases.
Phase 1 will be called Black Spruce and includes the construction of a new switching station and about 200 metres of transmission line to connect the switching station to an existing line in the area.
Phase 2 will be called Pike and involves the construction of a new substation and about 20 kilometres of new transmission line to connect the Pike Substation to the Black Spruce switching station.
Phase 3 will be called Ipiatik Lake and involves the construction of a new substation and about 25 kilometres of new transmission line to connect the Ipiatik Lake substation to the Pike substation.
In addition, the third phase will build about 60 kilometres of new transmission line to connect the Ipiatik Lake substation to the existing Heart Lake Substation.
Modifications will also be made to the existing Christina Lake substation.
The Alberta Utilities Commission approved the Christina Lake 240 kV Transmission System Development Needs Identification Document in April, 2012.
The Alberta Electric System Operators (AESO) has identified the need in the Christina Lake area, and Northwest of Fort McMurray, to develop the transmission system due to a growing interest in oil extraction.
The AESO anticipates load growth in the Christina Lake area will increase to between 370MW and 500 MW by 2017 from 50MW.
In the area northwest of Fort McMurray, the AESO forecasts the electricity demand could be in the range of 250 MW to 450 MW by 2020.
New industrial customers require connection to the transmission system beginning as early as 2013.
Edmonton-based Valard Construction is Quanta Services’ largest operating unit in Canada.
AltaLink Management Ltd. (AltaLink) and ATCO Electric Ltd. (ATCO), the transmission facility owners in the Christina Lake area, are responsible for detailed siting and routing, constructing, operating and maintaining the associated transmission facilities. Quanta expects the project to be completed during the first quarter of 2015.