Enbridge assumed ownership of the Montana-Alberta Tie-Line (MATL) project with its acquisition of Tonbridge Power Inc. on October 13, 2011. The power transmission project is a 300-megawatt (MW), 230-kilovolt (KV) electrical transmission line allowing the movement of power between Alberta and Montana.
The 214-mile (345-kilometre) line ties into the Alberta grid at a new substation located nine miles (15 km) northeast of the city of Lethbridge. The line runs approximately 81 miles (130 km) south to the U.S.-Canada border at a point west of the Sweetgrass-Coutts crossing. From there, it runs a further 133 miles (215 km) south to terminate at NorthWestern Energy’s Great Falls substation, just north of Great Falls, Mont.
The project will support ongoing development of a rich wind-powered generation resource and allow much-needed energy to flow in both directions, ensuring increased availability of supplies of electricity into the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Alberta.
Northern Montana and southern Alberta are home to some of the best wind energy sources in North America. Among all of the states in America, Montana is rated No. 1 for wind energy potential.* The MATL line enables the development of new wind energy projects by linking this renewable and zero-emission source of power to consumers across North America.
* "Wind Energy." Department of Commerce. Montana Government. 28 June 2010. Web 26 Oct. 2011.