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Bipole III will not be included in hydro review

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The Manitoba Métis Federation has lost its battle — for now — to include the construction of the $3.28-billion Bipole III transmission line at a special hearing examining Manitoba Hydro’s plan to build two new dams and a transmission line to run to Minnesota.

In a decision by the Public Utilities Board, sections of a consultant’s report concerning Bipole III will be removed because they do not fall under the province’s terms of reference for the hearing, called a Needs For and Alternatives to Review (NFAT).

In its order, the five-member panel said most portions of the report by consultant Whitfield Russell Associates dealing with Biploe III will be struck from the record of the hearing.

"By this order, the board further disallows a portion of costs to the MMF and its expert witness with respect to time spent addressing issues found to be out of scope," the PUB said. "However, argument as to the quantum of costs to be disallowed is left to the conclusion of the NFAT hearing."

Lawyers for Manitoba had asked for the sections of the report to be struck out and that a portion of funding to the MMF for the report ($150,662) be withheld.

The hearing is scheduled to end the week of May 26.

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