Ken Kobly is the president and CEO of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce. Kobly’s recent comments on transmission lines appear to be more politically motivated, than based on any credible quantifiable study capable of qualifying for approval from an unbiased regulatory board.
Every published technical study conducted on these proposed transmission lines refers to the projects as inefficient and economically unjustifiable. Ironically, even the government’s own Utility Consumer Advocate (UCA) paid for a study that urged the UCA to oppose these transmission lines because they were uneconomical and unnecessary. The UCA study also insinuated that the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO) was being biased in its assumptions. It is amazing to think that a pseudo government agency paid for a study that accused another pseudo government agency of being biased. Both agencies claim to be independent, but there is little convincing evidence to support either of their claims.
Building transmission lines does not produce one extra watt of power. If we need more power then we must build generators. It is that simple! Transmission lines only move power from where it is generated (located), to where it is needed. Kobly could have told us where he thinks the generators are located in Alberta and where he thinks the electricity needs to go.
For example, should the public pay $600 million dollars to build a twin 500KV transmission line from Genesee to the Heartland, or build a $260 million dollar generator that would supply more than the amount of power required in the Heartland? The added advantage of building a generator where it is needed would increase the reliability of the system and also add to the efficiency and life of the existing lines. Clearly the public would benefit more by building a generator where it is needed.