The City of Chestermere has applied to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to speak in support of AltaLink’s proposed substation location in the far southeast area of Chestermere.
“AltaLink’s substation and preferred location in Chestermere’s future light industrial area will benefit the whole community,” says Mayor Patricia Matthews. In particular, she believes that the substation will offer current and future Chestermere residents better overall connectivity to the electrical grid (power reliability).
“Chestermere is one of Alberta’s fastest growing municipalities so ensuring additional electrical capacity is critical to meet future growth,” she says. “Power reliability will help prevent electrical outages due to weather events.”
The preferred site (known as ‘Site E’) is along Township Road 240 and is situated 350 meters east of Range Road 282. As the current landowner, the City has designated this area for its future light industrial park and officials are confident that selling the land will increase Chestermere’s non-residential tax base and attract more light industrial companies to the area.
“This land has been designated for light industrial development since the 2009 Municipal Development Plan (MDP),” says Jean-Marc Lacasse, Economic Development Manager for the City of Chestermere. “The City always intended to maintain that land use and AltaLink’s substation supports this vision.”
While adding non-residential components is a strategic priority for the City, officials are also cognizant of residents’ concerns. “The City negotiated for AltaLink’s preferred location to be moved east of the original proposal so it is farther away from residents,” says Lacasse. “The closest resident from this location is more than 400 meters away.”
AltaLink has presented its preferred and alternate sites to the AUC and is currently awaiting its decision. As part of the public consultation process, the AUC will be holding public hearings in the next few months.