COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power's (NYSE: AEP) transmission subsidiary AEP Transmission Holding Co. is partnering with AltaLink LP to participate in the Alberta Electric System Operator's (AESO) competitive process to build and operate the Fort McMurray West 500-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Project in the province of Alberta, Canada. Owned equally by AEP Transmission Holding Co. and AltaLink LP, the joint venture will operate as Athabasca Transmission. The project will be developed under AEP Transmission Holding Co. subsidiary Transource Energy LLC pending approval from the AESO.
Athabasca Transmission submitted its qualifications to build and operate the Fort McMurray West project in October 2013 and was selected by the AESO as one of five qualified organizations to advance and participate in the Request for Proposals process for the project. Athabasca Transmission expects to submit its proposal in November 2014 to develop, design, construct, own, operate and maintain the Fort McMurray West project. Final decisions from the AESO in the competitive bid process are expected in late 2014. Fort McMurray West is the first project launched under the AESO competitive bid process.
"This new partnership complements the transmission investments that we've been making through our existing transmission partnerships and state-level transmission companies," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. "AEP has led the U.S. utility industry in transmission design, engineering and construction innovation for more than a century, and we're excited to partner with AltaLink, Alberta's largest transmission company, to develop an innovative, cost-effective transmission solution to benefit this fast-growing region of Canada. Pursuing projects in Canada is a natural extension for us given the interconnected nature of the North American grid."
"As Alberta's largest transmission company, we know what it takes to develop reliable, cost-effective transmission infrastructure to serve the electricity needs of Albertans. Combining our local consultation, siting and construction expertise with AEP's experience building and operating one of North America's largest interstate transmission systems, Albertans can be confident Athabasca Transmission can deliver on all aspects of this vital project," said Dennis Frehlich, AltaLink's interim president and chief executive officer.
The Fort McMurray West project is intended to increase transmission capacity within the Fort McMurray, Alberta, region to accommodate current and future electricity load growth associated with the area's large industrial operations. The project, approximately 311 miles (500 kilometers) in length, will include a 500-kV AC transmission line connecting the Thickwood Hills 500-kV substation in the Fort McMurray area to the Livock substation in Alberta and then to the Sunnybrook substation west of Edmonton.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east and north Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. News releases and other information about AEP can be found at www.aep.com.
Transource Energy is a partnership between American Electric Power and Great Plains Energy focused on the development of competitive electric transmission projects. Transource Energy has offices in Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Mo.; and Dallas. The members combine more than 100 years of expertise in the planning, design, engineering, construction and operation of transmission systems with the innovative technologies, systems and project management techniques of today.
Headquartered in Calgary, with offices in Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge, AltaLink is Alberta's largest transmission provider. The company is actively working with stakeholders to build new transmission projects in response to the province's growth thus ensuring the transmission system will meet Albertans' energy needs today and in the future. These projects will provide Albertans with access to clean, renewable electric energy and the lowest-priced supply available in the province.
Information about the competitive process can be found on the AESO's website, www.poweringalberta.com/cp/ .
SOURCE American Electric Power