Investing in northern Alberta utilities

L to R: John Fehr, board chair, Northern Lights Gas Co-op, Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, and Dan Williams, MLA of Peace-River, announce support for rural utilities in La Crete.

One of the key strategic projects under Alberta’s Recovery Plan, this grant of at least $16 million will support construction of 92 kilometres of six-inch high-pressure natural gas supply line from the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. Wolverine River Lateral pipeline northeast of Peace River north to La Crete.

“This project provides a secure, sustainable source of clean energy for the region, supporting agriculture and the rural economy as we work to recover from COVID-19. The new supply line is essential to meet the rural natural gas demand of this growing economic region of Alberta.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

The project will benefit the entire region, ensuring an uninterrupted supply of natural gas. Northern Lights Gas Co-op will also benefit from an increased customer base, as the new supply line will allow them to serve large industrial customers.

“This additional gas line will be a more reliable and secure source of natural gas that is less vulnerable to freezing and supply loss during the winter. Adding a new pipeline is the only viable long-term solution to improve the integrity of the current natural gas supply system.”

John Fehr, board chair, Northern Lights Gas Co-op Ltd.

The co-op is a local not-for-profit organization and the grant supports a more efficient and stable energy supply for Alberta’s most northern farming communities. The supply line is expected to be operational in 2022.

“The Peace River Constituency is leading the province in our Alberta Recovery Plan. This pipeline not only provides the basic infrastructure every Albertan deserves, like the guarantee of a warm home in a frigid northern winter, it will also create jobs for local residents and diversify our provincial economy with more opportunity for growth. After years of economic and energy insecurity, the UCP government is delivering for Albertans.”

Dan Williams, MLA for Peace River

The economic benefits of the project include the creation of about 50 construction jobs. The project also makes the region more attractive to industrial employers who need access to a reliable source of natural gas.

“Having experienced numerous homes lose all heat several times due to insufficient gas supply while schools and industry were forced to shut down and senior homes and the hospital had to connect to propane, this news couldn’t come at a better time.”

Josh Knelsen, reeve, Mackenzie County

Designed to improve long-term sustainability, this additional supply line is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. This spending includes: $6.9 billion Budget 2020 capital spending, $980 million accelerated for Capital Maintenance and Renewal, $200 million for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program and water infrastructure projects, $600 million in strategic infrastructure projects, $500 million in municipal infrastructure and $1.5 billion for Keystone XL.

Alberta’s government is helping create thousands of good jobs for Albertans by building schools, roads and other core infrastructure that benefits Albertans and communities. It will further diversify our economy by helping sectors grow and succeed and return investment to our province by ensuring we have the most competitive tax environment in Canada.

Quick facts

  • The population of Mackenzie County has grown by more than 20 per cent since 2003.
  • Northern Lights Gas Co-op has been providing natural gas service to rural residents in Mackenzie County since 1980 and currently has about 4,000 members.
  • Most rural Albertans receive natural gas service through either member co-ops of the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops Ltd. or the gas utilities (AltaGas Utilities Inc. or ATCO).

Alberta's Recovery Plan