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Alcan Project History

The Transmission Line

A continuous flow of electricity was essential. Even a short stoppage could cause serious damage to aluminum production equipment and cost the Company millions in lost revenue and equipment repair.

An 82-kilometer transmission line relayed electricity over rugged mountainous terrain to the smelter at Kitimat. One hundred-foot, five-legged aluminum towers – a new invention – carried one of the two 300,000-volt transmission line circuits across the Twin Peaks summits of Kildala Pass at an elevation of up to one mile above sea level. The two lines, L and R, were strung in a location where avalanches were least likely. Since wind and snow load were obstacles, the strongest cable was chosen – as thick as a man’s wrist.