Manitoba

Manitoba Hydro to begin expropriating hold-out landowners for Bipole III

Manitoba Hydro says it has nailed down 90 per cent of the route for the planned Bipole III transmission line.

Crown corporation says it has signed deals securing 90% of route

Manitoba Hydro said it will begin to expropriate the remaining rights of way it needs for the outstanding 10 per cent of the planned Bipole III route, but that those landowners who have up to now refused to accept compensation deals still have the option of doing so. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

Manitoba Hydro says it has nailed down 90 per cent of the route for the planned Bipole III transmission line.

The Crown corporation said Tuesday it has reached agreements to build the $4.6 billion line with more than 250 private landowners. 

"We are making good progress in moving forward to build this line, which is critical to providing an affordable, reliable electricity supply to Manitobans," said Bryan Luce, Manitoba Hydro's vice-president in a news release. 

Hydro said it conducted more than 400 public meetings between 2008 and 2013, in addition to hearings held by the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, and "significant route adjustments" were made as a result.

"We have been working over the past year to secure voluntary easement agreements with affected landowners, and have offered fair and generous compensation," Luce said. 

Hydro said the agreements mean affected landowners will receive 150 per cent of the market value of the land required for the easement, compensation for construction damage and for the impact each hydro tower will have on the landowner.

But the corporation said if it is to meet its 2018 in-service date, it will now begin to expropriate the remaining rights of way it needs for the outstanding 10 per cent of the route. 

It said affected landowners still however, have the option to enter into the voluntary agreements others have. 

Hydro repeated its claim that the new transmission line is needed to increase the reliability of the power supply for Manitobans but said it will also help down the line with future export sales.

It said Bipole will create more than 8,000 person-years of employment, nearly half a billion dollars in labour income, and give a $688 million boost to Manitoba's economy. 

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