Friday, February 10, 2012

SaskPower moving forward with new 230 kV and 138 kV transmission in windy Southwest Saskatchewan

This week SaskPower held a second round of open houses in Swift Current, Gull Lake and Shaunavon in windy Southwest Saskatchewan. SaskPower plans to upgrade and replace two transmission lines in the Southwest. One proposed project is a 230 kV transmission line to supply service to TransCanada Pipeline’s Keystone Piapot site and the second proposed project is for a 138 kV transmission line to supply service to the TCC Keystone Grassy Creek site southeast of Shaunavon.

The two new proposed lines would start at the Swift Current switching station, located about 8 km west of the city. The first portion of the lines would use double circuit structures and carry both the 138 kV and 230 kV conductors south and west of Swift Current. The two lines would then branch off from one another near the 152 MW Centennial wind farm near Gull Lake, with the 230 kV service continuing west to the Piapot site and the 138 kV service continuing south past Shaunavon to the Grassy Creek site.

Even though the project is linked with the Keystone project, which has yet to receive full approval for construction, SaskPower is selecting an appropriate route for the proposed lines now, and securing the necessary environmental approvals for these routes so that it is prepared to proceed when TransCanada is ready.

However, even if the pipeline does not proceed, SaskPower still plans to move forward with system reinforcements in the Southwest as part of its plan to renew its electricity system to meet the province’s growing needs.

Originally construction was to begin on the project in January 2013. The start date has been rescheduled for August 2013. The line will likely be complete by April 2014.

The transmission upgrade will help service the growing oil and gas sector but will also be an important upgrade to facilitate future wind farm developments which are likely to be located in the very windy Southwestern part of the province.

Source: (in part) Maple Creek News, Shaunovan Standard

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