Alberta farmer concerned over potential power line

Jun 10, 2016

Power line would run directly through farmland

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

Farmers in Alberta’s Westlock County are concerned over a proposed power line that could run right through their farmland.

The Alberta Utilities Commission will eventually decide whether or not to approve the Fort McMurray 500-kV Transmission Project, which will connect a Leduc County substation to Fort McMurray.

So far, Alberta PowerLine favours a route that will put the power line through Westlock County, which has producers worried.

“I think the first thing we have to come to grips with is in the Westlock area and kind of where this route is going I notice it hits a large number of 100-year-old-farms,” Lonnie Brown, an area farmer told the Westlock News; Brown’s farm would be directly impacted by the power line if it’s approved.

Brown said he’s worried about any potential damage the power line could do to the land and his equipment.

Power line through field

“When it comes to the agricultural side, being able to keep that land productive with these monstrous towers stuck in the middle becomes just a little harder,” he said. “How do you keep from hitting that with your equipment in the dark? There’s no visibility.”

Aside from the impact the power line could have on the ground, Brown said there’s an aerial challenge he may have to navigate.

“When we got into wet years, we’d just hire the airplane to spray our property,” he told the Westlock News. “You put that through a field, no airplane is going through. He won’t go close to those power lines.”

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