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The Canadian state agency, Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), has announced the five companies who will compete for the opportunity to build, finance, own and operate (BFOO) a major component of Alberta's transmission infrastructure from the Wabamun area to the Fort McMurray area under the newly created Competitive Process.
The AESO received submissions from companies around the world, including Asia, Europe, South America andNorth America. Independent experts were brought in from across North America to evaluate, score and make a final recommendation to the AESO Board.
After an exhaustive analysis of technical, financial and route development expertise, the five consortia selected to enter the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage are:
David Erickson, AESO President and CEO, said:
"Alberta is leading the way across North America to inject competitive pressures into the transmission system and to see so many world-class companies from across the globe looking to invest in Alberta is a testament to the success of the competition to date."
The Fort McMurray West 500 Kilovolt Transmission Project will consist of approximately 500 kilometres of transmission line and associated facilities and is needed to support increasing growth in northeastern Alberta.
Elizabeth Moore, Director of the Competitive Process, said:
"The Competitive Process is designed to put downward pressure on transmission costs and will allow competitively priced power to reach consumers. At the completion of the RFP stage, the qualified company who can undertake the project at the lowest life-cycle cost will be identified and selected."
The AESO was mandated by the Government of Alberta to develop a Competitive Process and have it approved by the provincial electricity regulator, the Alberta Utilities Commission. The AESO received approval from the regulator on February 14, 2013 and will select a winning company in December 2014. The target in-service date for the project is 2019.