Power networks/Canada/Alberta

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This page is dedicated for the mapping of power-related infrastructure in Alberta.

Background

The Alberta power grid uses voltages different from the surrounding provinces and U.S. states. The province's generation and transmission sectors remained a monopoly by TransAlta until the deregulation in 1998, making Alberta the first provinces in Canada to deregulate the power industry. The transmission sectors is dominated by AltaLink, a spinoff corporation of TransAlta, while the distribution sector is held by different operators, including investor utilities (e.g. FortisAlberta), municipal utilities (e.g. EPCOR, ENMAX, City of Red Deer), or rural electrification cooperatives.

The Alberta transmission grid is centred on the Edmonton and Calgary regions, and bulk power transmission between the regions are provided by the two high-voltage direct current lines, the East Alberta Transmission Line (EATL) and West Alberta Transmission Line (WATL). The grid is connected to the surrounding provinces and states (except the Northwest Territories) through 500 kV interconnections or 230/240 kV autotransformers. The British Columbia connection is provided by a 500 kV line and two 144 kV lines (fed by a BC Hydro 230 kV) line through southern Alberta. The Montana grid is connected with the Alberta grid through the Montana-Alberta Transmission Line (MATL) and a 240/230 kV autotransformer station northeast of Lethbridge. The Alberta grid connects with SaskPower's (Saskatchewan) grid through a 42 kV back-to-back converter station northeast of Medicine Hat.

Operators

Incomplete list

  • AltaLink - most transmission lines from 144,000 volts and above
  • Atco Energy - some transmission lines, like the EATL and WATL
  • Equus - rural electrification utility on areas of the Edmonton Capital Region not covered by FortisAlberta
  • FortisAlberta - most non-municipal or cooperative-owned distributions

Municipally-owned utilities

  • ENMAX - subtransmission and distribution in Calgary
  • EPCOR - distribution in Edmonton
  • City of Red Deer - Red Deer city proper and county
  • City of Lethbridge - Lethbridge city proper and county

Voltages

Tagging recommendations

  • Lines from 120/240 V to 24.94 kV - power=minor_line
  • Lines from 72 kV and above - power=line
  • Steel or wood poles on transmission lines from 72 kV - power=pole (steel poles carrying a single circuit, and single wood poles with or without cross-arms. Only on 72 and 144 kV lines) or power=tower (H-frames, steel poles with double circuits on cross-arms)
  • Lattice towers - power=tower
  • Distribution line poles - power=pole (all single poles), power=tower (H-frames)