Alberta landowners oppose route through irrigated fields and farms
Shares in Tonbridge Power Inc. (TSXV:TBZ) rose after its subsidiary Montana Alberta Tie Ltd. won conditional approval to construct and operate a 230-kilovolt powerline between Lethbridge and Great Falls, Mont.
The OK from the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board gives authority to proceed with details for the 346-kilometre preferred route, along a corridor approved last April by the National Energy Board.
A public hearing was held for three weeks last fall in Lethbridge. A group of southern Alberta landowners opposed construction of the $129 million line through irrigated fields and intensive farming areas, and called on the Alberta board to exercise its authority in their defence.
MATL is required to engage in more discussions with affected landowners along the route to reduce the powerline’s impact on the region. Once those conditions are met, a final permit would be issued.
“We anticipated many of these conditions and are well prepared to comply with all of the conditions imposed by the EUB in short order,” Johan van ‘t Hof, president of Toronto-based Tonbridge Power, said.
The board’s approval is a major step in moving the project forward, said Bob Williams, MATL’s vice-president for regulatory matters.
The MATL line will tie together the Alberta and Montana power grids, bringing transmission capacity to Alberta and providing grid access for several proposed wind-power projects in northern Montana.
The Canadian Press
8 February 2008
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