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The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), a Calgary, Alberta-based provider of access to the province's power grid for generation and distribution companies, has received approval from the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) for $300 million to strengthen the power grid of the northwestern region by 2009.

According to the company, this approval follows other approved and planned transmission system enhancements that will see a total of about $1 billion in investments to strengthen Alberta's transmission system.

"We are pleased the EUB approved all the transmission facilities we applied for in our northwest need document," says Neil Millar, AESO's vice-president of transmission. "These are critical facilities to continue to reliably meet the electricity needs of consumers in northwestern Alberta."

The first phase of the transmission development includes adding about $33 million in new transformers and capacitor banks by 2007, and building four new transmission lines and associated equipment for an investment of about $263 million by 2009, the company says.

The second phase is to have a right-of-way acquired, at an estimated cost of $2.5 million, for future transmission developments in the region by 2014.


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