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Massive upgrades to power grid will hit Albertan wallets

It won't be happening next week, or even next year, but Alberta homeowners are in for higher electricity costs.

It won't be happening next week, or even next year, but Alberta homeowners are in for higher electricity costs.

"It will be an estimated $8 dollars a month on a typical residential consumer's bill," according to David Erickson, president of the Alberta Electric System Operator.

AESO is the agency responsible for expanding the provincial electrical transmission grid, and it's thinking big.

"The plan includes five critical transmission infrastructure projects at a cost of $8.1 billion," said Erickson. "There are also additional potential projects identified which are at less advanced stages of planning, with an estimated cost of $6.4 billion."

That's a total of $14.5 billion for a vastly expanded electrical transmission grid in Alberta, including a major line between Edmonton and Calgary. Both AESO and the provincial government say the current system "is costly and inefficient to run, and demand for electricity has doubled in the past 20 years."

AESO expects government approval for its five major projects within the next year with the anticipation of a full upgrading of the system by 2017.

 
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