Why do we need to upgrade capacity at this time?

    Due to the anticipated growth and needs of the City of Medicine Hat, the line will be built do accommodate a higher voltage for a higher capacity. It is anticipated that in 2030 that capacity issues during peak times could lead to customer outages. 

    Based on forecasted demand and using conservative demand trends of the past, this transmission line is required to be upgraded to maintain electricity to the majority of the service territory during peak loading times in the summer.

    What will the poles look like?

    Regardless of the scenario chosen, the poles (structures) used in the project will look very similar to the current transmission line poles only with variations in height and other modifications based on the technical/engineering requirements in the area.

    You can see a picture of the power poles in your neighbourhood under Learning and Resources

    Why aren't transmission lines underground?

    Placing transmission cables underground is considered on a project-by-project basis. Generally, this is only considered in areas of high population density or where above ground is not viable.

    Installing underground transmission lines is more labour intensive, requires more equipment, involves more disruption to the environment during construction and for maintenance and is more expensive for both the owner and rate payer.

    How will you determine a route for the transmission line?

    Selecting a transmission line route takes into account various factors, including agricultural, residential, and environmental impacts, technical requirements, cost, and site-specific features. We aim to minimize impacts, and when that's not possible, we consider mitigations to reduce potential impacts. Feedback from the public early in the siting process is important in understanding these factors before decisions are made. 

    Will this project affect my rates?

    All work done by the Utility is funded through the rates it charges customers. It is not expected to significantly change rates.

    How is the City of Medicine Hat paying for this upgrade? Is it approved within the City budget?

    The City of Medicine Hat will recoup this through rates. The regulatory and design aspects of the project are currently in an approved City budget.

    Are there health effects of electric and magnetic fields (EMF)?

    The City of Medicine Hat understands this concern and takes it very seriously. The City of Medicine Hat follows guidance from Health Canada and the guidelines issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)

    With respect to Power lines, Health Canada states:

    "The potential health effects of extremely low frequency EMF has been studied extensively... When you are inside your home, the electric fields from transformer boxes and high voltage power lines are often weaker than the fields from household electrical appliances.  Extremely low frequency EMF exposures in Canadian homes, schools and offices are far below the limits recommended in the ICNIRP guidelines. You don't need to take precautions to protect yourself from these kinds of exposures". 

    We welcome your questions regarding EMF at any time.

    What is the voltage of the transmission line?

    The transmission line will be rebuilt to 138kV but run at the current 69kV capacity until such time as the increased capacity is required.

    What are the anticipated timelines of the Project?

    2023-2024 Engagement, environmental field work and siting 
    2024 Submission to regulators
    2024-2025 Regulatory review and decision
    2025-2029 Design/procurement/construction
    2029  Completed

    Why am I being notified if there is no route being considered near/on my property?

    The City of Medicine Hat is trying to determine the best place to locate the proposed transmission line for the Project and to understand the landscape, land uses and the features within the area in determining potential impacts. 

    Decisions have not yet been made and not all information has been brought forward; therefore, we wish to speak to as many people as possible early in the process to acquire their feedback and local knowledge so that it can be considered in decision making related to final routing