Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/2/2011 (2380 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Re: Location not the issue (Letters, Feb. 14). Manitoba Hydro CEO Bob Brennan conveniently ignores the fact that, notwithstanding the escalating costs of converter stations since 2007, the west-side route for Bipole III is about 54 per cent longer than an east-side route and, therefore, can be expected to cost 54 per cent more to build and west-side line losses can be expected to be 54 per cent higher.
Why are Manitoba Hydro and Rosann Wowchuk, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, using the possibility of increased power export to Saskatchewan as justification for a west-side route? For reasons of energy efficiency, power transmitted over long distances is traditionally exported as AC, not DC. A DC Bipole III would require an expensive converter station at the Saskatchewan border. Yet Wowchuk implies that a west-side route brings exportable power that much closer to Saskatchewan and Manitoba Hydro supports this foolishness.
The most prudent choice is an east-side HVDC Bipole III. Saving a billion dollars on the line itself would go a long way towards the cost of conversion. Construction of a separate AC line (requiring no conversion) direct from the point of generation in northern Manitoba to the Saskatchewan border may be the best option once sales to Saskatchewan justify it.
Dean Emeritus (Engineering)
University of Manitoba