Bury power line, residents tell Heartland hearing

Nearly 200 people told the Alberta Utilities Commission at hearing in Sherwood Park Wednesday night they want a power line east of Edmonton buried.
A plan shows a 20-km underground line meeting up with 45 km of a 500-kilovolt overhead power line in Sherwood Park, near Edmonton. (Epcor)

Nearly 200 people told the Alberta Utilities Commission at hearing in Sherwood Park Wednesday night they want a power line east of Edmonton buried.

Epcor and Altalink want to run the 500,000-volt Heartland Transmission Line above ground.

"The property value is going to drop," said Arlene Collin, whose home is 200 metres from the proposed line. "Also it's not good for your health to have those towers, everything we've read, everything we've researched."

Burying the line would double the estimated cost of $580 million, which would be passed on to ratepayers, said Epcor spokesman Tim LeRiche.

"We've never done it at 500 (kilovolt) and not at this length.

"In fact we're only aware of two others like this in the world one in Japan and one under construction in China."

Residents in Sherwood Park have been fighting to get the lines buried for five years.

The utilities commission will make a decision this summer.

The line is expected to be built by 2013.