Residents claim victory for new power line route

Maritime Electric has received permission to build a new transmission line and substation in central P.E.I. and local residents are calling it a victory.

Maritime Electric worked in consultation with community on new route

The new transmission line is expected to be completed this year. (Stephanie Brown/CBC News)

Maritime Electric has received permission to build a new transmission line and substation in central P.E.I. that will service New Glasgow.

The new line will run along the Route #2 highway, cross a section of private land on St. Patrick's Road then go onto Bagnall Road where the substation will be located.

It will be about 4.5 km in length.

The preferred route (in purple) was approved, and is about 4.5 km in length. (Stantec)

'Very pleased'

The utility had planned another route but residents in the area started fighting the plan. The utility worked with the residents to come up with a second route that avoided many residential areas.

Sharon Labchuk was part of the committee that worked with Maritime Electric for about 10 months.

She said people should not be afraid to go up against companies or governments because you can get results. 

Sharon Labchuk is pleased with the results of the community consultations. (Stephanie Brown/CBC News)

"We would never have consented to a route that would put other people in the same position we were in," she said. "So we are very pleased that the new route goes down a road that's not in front of anyone's home and there's no beautiful natural wooded area where the trees are going to be cut and the nature of the community destroyed."

Labchuk said she's heard positive feedback from other members of the committee and community.

'Right thing to do'

Kim Griffin, the spokesperson for Maritime Electric said the route may be shorter than the original, but it will be approximately the same cost because of fibre op and distribution lines. Griffin said the company plans to stay within the budget of $2.9 million.

Kim Griffin indicates where the substation will be on Bagnall Road. (Stephanie Brown/CBC News)

Griffin said the process was delayed due to the community consultations, but said it was worth it.

"People really didn't feel they had the opportunity to talk to us, so the moment we found out we immediately responded. For us it took a lot longer, but i think it was the right thing to do for our company."

She said not everyone will be pleased with the plan, but the company is meeting with people who still have concerns.

Maritime Electric says it will start the design for the new line and construction is expected to be completed this year.

With files from Mitch Cormier