Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and transmission lines

The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has come forward again, the soothsayer, ready to soften any blows that they have received.

Anything said by AESO is like opening a feather pillow, because their facts are filled with so much fluff and puff.

Recently, I attended a presentation put on by AESO’s community relations advisor Leanne Dawkins.

After listening to the presentation, I strongly believe that somewhere, within the AESO’s rebuttal, this fluff really does exist.

AESO expected the new Heartland Industrial Area would be home to 11 upgraders, and the forecast has been downgraded to two.

Yet, AESO maintains the need for the transmission lines, as if there are still 11 upgraders forecasted.

When the need changed, AESO’s forecast should have changed as well. That is obvious, but overlooked by them.

In her presentation, Ms. Dawkins also said that AESO consulted with various industrial power users, and AESO’s letter to the editor says that “Alberta’s quality of life and economic well-being depends on” these new transmission lines.

However, Alberta’s major industries—foresty, oil and gas, steel, petrochemical and others, all of whom are members of the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta—-have highlighted that AESO’s plans for new transmission lines are a massive overbuild and will triple industries’ electricity bills.

These same industries have publicly stated that the burden of billions of dollars in transmission lines will harm Alberta’s economy and cause thousands of job losses.

It is clear AESO ignored these concerns as well.

The AESO also claim that they take a “very prudent, practical and balanced approach to forecasting growth on the provincial electricity system,” yet Ms. Dawkins noted twice that AESO’s method of forecasting growth was “like looking into a crystal ball.”

Sixteen billion dollars worth of infrastructure has been based on predictions similar to looking into a crystal ball? That, in anyone’s opinion, is a whole lot of fluff and puff.

Colleen Boddez

Sturgeon County