Government of Canada Announces $130 million Investment in Northwest Transmission Line

September 16, 2009

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced funding for the construction of the Northwest Transmission Line in northern British Columbia, which could eventually connect with Alaska, reflecting Canada’s commitment to clean energy.

 “Our government is supporting environmentally sound infrastructure and initiatives that promote cleaner, greener energy,” said the Prime Minister. “The Northwest Transmission Line will facilitate the development of green energy and help provide British Columbia’s northern and remote communities with more sustainable and affordable power.”

The Government of Canada is supporting a green infrastructure project in northern British Columbia involving the construction of a 335-kilometre transmission line that will contribute to the development and use of green energy in the area. This project has been selected as a priority for funding under the new federal Green Infrastructure Fund.

The Northwest Transmission Line will extend British Columbia’s high voltage transmission grid into the Northwest portion of the province. The transmission line will benefit local communities by providing them with the potential to access clean electricity in the future, thereby reducing their reliance on diesel generation, resulting in more reliable energy service for the communities and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The project is also a key step in a potential interconnection between southeast Alaska and the North American transmission grid via British Columbia. 

This project, estimated at $404 million, and is expected to be ready for construction in the spring of 2010.

The area surrounding the project has a significant potential to generate green power. There is currently an estimated 2000 megawatts of renewable energy in the area from small hydro, geothermal, wind and biomass sources. A number of potential generation projects in the area are already being considered under British Columbia’s current Clean Power Call, representing almost 500 megawatts of renewable energy that would be immediately served by the Northwest Transmission Line project. These projects depend on access to robust transmission infrastructure for their development.

The Government of Canada will set aside funding of up to a maximum of $130 million for this project. Federal financial support for this green infrastructure project is conditional on the signing of a contribution agreement with the British Columbia government under the Green Infrastructure Fund.

The project could advance a potential connection between southeast Alaska and the North American transmission grid via British Columbia. 

In February 2009, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama launched the Clean Energy Dialogue. Today, they discussed a progress report on the Dialogue focusing on clean energy research and development, a more efficient energy grid, and carbon capture and storage. The Prime Minister also highlighted a number of new projects that demonstrate progress on these discussions.

“Our government is pursuing joint projects with President Obama and his Administration. Our government is taking action to promote cleaner energy use,” said the Prime Minister. “The British Columbia Northwest Transmission Line will build a more efficient electricity grid, increasing our use of clean and renewable sources of energy generation in the years to come.”

To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit  For more information on Government of Canada investments in infrastructure, visit