High voltage transmission line proposed for Borden-Carleton

Maritime Electric wants to build a new transmission line to handle the increased electrical load arriving in P.E.I. from New Brunswick, and there's a public meeting slated as the utility seeks the go-ahead.

Would improve reliability now that new underwater cable is in service, says utility

Work on the proposed high power transmission line would begin this summer. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Maritime Electric wants to build a new high power transmission line from Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., to the nearby community of Maple Plains.

The 138-kilovolt line would improve reliability and better distribute the greater electrical load now that more power is arriving from New Brunswick via a new underwater cable, the power utility says.

"It's certainly an opportunity for us ... that allows us not to have to use our on-Island generation," said Kim Griffin, spokesperson for Maritime Electric. "So what we want to do is we want to find a path and the easier way to get to our main transmission line."

Two routes possible

The new high voltage line would move more power from the Borden-Carleton substation to an existing high voltage line in nearby Maple Plains. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The utility is now doing an environmental impact assessment as required under provincial law.

122-page consultant's report on the proposal commissioned by Maritime Electric is now available to the public.

Maritime Electric has identified two possible routes for the proposed line, each running about 11 kilometres, from a substation in Borden-Carleton to an existing high-voltage line in Maple Plains.

The new line would take pressure off an existing substation in nearby Bedeque, P.E.I., which is nearing capacity, according to the utility.

There's not many customers around the area, so we hope customers will like this.— Kim Griffin

The utility's preferred route would run along public roads, including Mount Tryon Road and Route 1-A through Albany, and then follow an undeveloped provincial right-of-way for 5.2 kilometres to Industrial Drive in Borden Carleton.

Maritime Electric also wants to relocate an existing high-voltage transmission line along the Trans-Canada Highway to the new utility corridor. That 69-kilovolt line would end at the Atlantic Beef Products plant in Albany.

Public meeting May 24

About half of the new corridor would follow an undeveloped provincial right-of-way. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"It will basically go through some rights of ways," said Griffin. "It's not on the main highway. There's not many customers around the area, so we hope customers will like this. It's an environmental footprint, very minimal."

Maritime Electric estimates the cost of the project at about $2 million. Work would start this summer.

A public meeting hosted by Maritime Electric is slated for May 24 at the Borden-Carleton legion.

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About the Author

Brian Higgins

Brian Higgins is a CBC videojournalist on Prince Edward Island.