Substations are important components of the electrical infrastructure required to keep reliable electricity available for customers.
Substations consist of high voltage electrical equipment like transformers, switchgear, circuit breakers and associated devices.
The purpose of a substation is to ‘step down’ high voltage electricity from the transmission system to lower voltage electricity so it can be easily supplied to homes and businesses through our distribution lines.
ENMAX Power Corporation operates 40 high voltage electrical substations and three lower voltage distribution substations, located in all parts of Calgary and our surrounding service area. Managing the environmental aspects of our substations is an important part of environmental stewardship at ENMAX Power.
As the City of Calgary continues to grow, so does the need for electricity. As a result, ENMAX Power is proposing to build and operate new substations in Calgary.
Learn more about our transmission and distribution projects happening around Calgary
A substation consists of high voltage electrical equipment such as transformers, switch gear, and circuit breakers. The purpose of a substation is to 'step down' high voltage electricity from the transmission system to lower voltage electricity so it can be easily supplied to homes and businesses in the area through lower voltage distribution lines.
Besides the voltage, transmission lines typically are mounted on taller wood poles or steel towers. Distribution lines are most often mounted on wooden poles such as the ones seen on city streets and alleys or they are buried underground.
Calgary has been growing rapidly and more development is planned. The high growth in certain areas means there is need for more electricity. When the electrical infrastructure in an area is at full capacity, a substation is required to continue to provide reliable electricity.
No. Substation locations are not final until ENMAX Power Corporation has received approval for a license and permit from the
Alberta Utilites Commission (AUC). The AUC is the governing body that regulates the energy industry in Alberta. The exact location of the substation is subject to a number of things.
First, ENMAX Power will review the area from an engineering perspective and review load requirements, location of existing transmission and distribution lines, etc. Wherever possible, substations are located in
Provincial Transportation Utility Corridors. Once ENMAX Power has researched the area, we identify a proposed site and at least two alternate sites. Before we apply for a license and permit from the AUC, we want to understand what questions, if any, people who work and live in the area may have regarding each site. We hope to address those questions through different public involvement processes, information packages and meetings. Following the public consultation, ENMAX Power submits an application to the AUC for a permit and license to build, operate and maintain the substation. Building of the substation will not proceed until we receive a permit and license from the AUC.
A substation consists of a fenced off area containing a building and a yard with electrical equipment. While the technical and safety requirements of a substation cannot be compromised, we are open to suggestions regarding the overall appearance of the substation. We have some flexibility regarding landscaping such as trees, shrubs and fencing providing associated costs are approved by the AUC.
Electricity can be very dangerous if it is not treated with respect. Because substations have high voltage they are not accessible to the public and can only be entered by authorized personnel. For safety reasons all substations are constructed with minimum 2.5-metre-high fencing. If you lose an object in a substation, call 403-514-6100, and we'll get it back for you.
ENMAX Power recovers the cost of substation infrastructure to supply safe, reliable electricity to Calgarians through the Transmission
Tariff which is set by the Transmission Administrator (TA) and is approved by the TA's regulator, the
Alberta Utilites Commission (AUC).The Transmission Tariff is billed to electricity distribution companies who, in turn, pass these charges on to electricity retailers. Electricity retailers then pass these tariffs onto customers through their electricity bills. Specifically, the costs to build and maintain substations are recovered through the Transmission
Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).
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