MHS-11 Substation

The City of Medicine Hat is proposing a new substation (MHS-11) to accommodate the growth and increasing electrical needs in the southwest area of the City and the City’s electric service territory. The proposed substation will connect to the existing 138 kV transmission line and distribute the electricity to the 13.8 kV distribution system to support the community’s growth.

A Facility Application was filed on June 1, 2022 with the Alberta Utilities Commission.

Project phases
Phase 1: Stage 1 - Site Evaluation and Regulatory Review Present alternative site options Complete
Phase 1: Stage 2 - Site Evaluation and Regulatory Review Present preferred site option Submitted June 2022
Phase 1: Stage 3 - Site Evaluation and Regulatory Review Regulatory submission, review and approval June 2022 - 2023
Phase 2: Stage 1 - Project Execution* (pending project approval) Design, procurement and tender 2023*
Phase 2: Stage 2 - Project Execution* (pending project approval) Construction and commissioning 2024*
Phase 2: Stage 3- Project Execution* (pending project approval) In-service 2026*

*Subject to change if alternate in-service timelines are required to meet increased system demand

Review the Facility Application

The regulatory process began with the submission of the Facility Application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) on June 1, 2022 (Proceeding Number 27417).

If you wish to review the application and associated reports filed with the AUC, you can access them through the AUC website at You will be required to set up an account and, once set up, you can search for the filing using the proceeding number 27417. If you are having difficulty accessing the information, please contact the project team.

Preferred and alternate site

The City of Medicine Hat submitted two possible locations for the project, one preferred and one alternate, to the AUC. Both are being reviewed and, if approved, only one will be constructed.

Numerous aspects are considered in determining a preferred site including public and interested party feedback, engineering and technical considerations, environmental evaluation, and economic evaluation.

Who approves the project?

The proposed project was submitted to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) for their review in June 2022. The AUC will be the final decision maker for the project. For more information on the regulator review process and application requirements, please view the following links:

Materials and information

What does the City want from you?

Feedback from the community has helped our team understand and minimize impacts to people and the environment. 

The project team is available to answer questions, discuss mitigation measures and outline the regulatory process throughout the review by the Alberta Utilities Commission.

Phone: 1-888-285-6181

Frequently asked questions

The project team heard from many participants throughout the engagement process and identified some common questions and concerns that are addressed here.

How did the City determine these two sites?
There are a number of factors that go into siting a substation facility. Specific technical factors include the proximity to the existing transmission line, the proximity to the distribution feeders, the future and existing loads to be supported from the substation, and the Transmission Facility Owner service territory. Technical factors such as ground resistivity and electrical interference with other facilities like pipelines or well sites are considered in decision making.
What about the environment?

The City has been engaging with Alberta Environment and Parks since the onset of the Project and their feedback has been incorporated into the evaluation of sites and the surveys undertaken as part of the environmental evaluation.

Surveys have been conducted for both sites and include:

  • Raptor stick nest
  • Visual amphibian
  • Snake hibernacula
  • Breeding bird surveys
  • Early and late rare plants
  • Wetlands/watercourses

Results of the environmental evaluation have been compiled and presented to the AUC for their consideration in the regulatory review process and site selection.

Will there be a continuous loud noise from the substation?
The substation will meet the provincial guidelines for noise set forth in AUC’s Rule 012. The results of the Noise Impact Assessment have been provided to the AUC for their consideration.
Are there health effects associated with living in proximity to a substation?

The City of Medicine Hat understands this concern and there is significant industry research that has been done on electric and magnetic fields. City of Medicine Hat will follow the guidelines of national and international agencies.

Health Canada states that:

The potential health effects of extremely low frequency EMF has been studied extensively. While some people are concerned that long term exposure to extremely low frequency EMF may cause cancer, the scientific evidence does not support such claims.

As you move away, your level of exposure rapidly decreases. When you are inside your home, the electric fields from transformer boxes and high voltage power lines are often weaker than the fields from household electrical appliances.

If you would like more information on the topic, please contact our project team.

Will there be continuous light from the substation?
There will be a need to illuminate the site (Alberta Electrical Utility Code – 8-222) and we will work to reduce the potential lighting that could affect local residents. This could include different types of lights, lowered lighting, or shielding.
Isn't the City trying to build this project on land that isn't designated for this type of development?

The land is zoned residential and under the City of Medicine Hat’s Land Use Bylaw (Section 11.3). Utilities (such as transmission lines or substations) are permitted uses in all districts whether they are listed uses in the district or not.

Will this project affect property value?

The City of Medicine Hat takes this concern seriously, however many factors go into the evaluation of property. As no locations are exactly the same it is difficult to compare values when there are various criteria that can determine the outcome.

Shouldn't these sites be further away from residential development because of visual impact?

Residential proximity is a consideration in determining a preferred site for the project and we understand that proximity is a concern of residents. To gain some increased spacing from the proposed sites to residential development, the City has modified the placement of each site to accommodate additional distance that may provide screening opportunities.

What is the City doing from a safety perspective?

Either site will be fenced and there will be restricted access to the site for members of the public. If there were to be an incident at site, City representatives will follow guidelines set forth in their emergency response plans for city facilities.

Contact us

Maskwa Environmental Consulting
Phone: 1-888-285-6181