New transmission projects to go ahead across Ontario
The Ontario government has asked Hydro One to immediately proceed with planning and implementing major transmission projects across the province, including Northern Ontario — projects that are aimed at creating jobs and building up the green economy.
By Rob Colman
The 20 transmission projects as well as investments into the distribution network are expected to create about 20,000 jobs in total and spur green economic development across Ontario over the next three years. The projects will unlock significant potential opportunities for greener, cleaner electricity in all parts of the province, the government believes. About $2.3 Billion will be spent by Hydro One on transmission and distribution projects over the next three years.
Six core transmission network upgrades are moving forward, including North-South lines from Sudbury to Barrie and Barrie to the Greater Toronto Area and an East-West line from Nipigon to Wawa. These projects will help ensure there is enough transmission capability for renewable generation resulting from the province’s Green Energy Act. Another series of core-supporting transmission projects and distribution upgrades are also moving ahead in most areas of Ontario.
In addition to bringing more renewable power online, these significant upgrades will strengthen the reliability of Ontario’s transmission system, increase energy transfer across the province and beyond the province’s borders.
Hydro One may involve third party commercial entities as partners in transmission projects because of its massive scope. Aboriginal communities will be consulted and provided with opportunities to participate in the projects.
“Enhancing our transmission grid is critical to taking advantage of green energy,” says George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “Resources like wind and hydro aren’t often where the people are, and this plan will ensure we can bring renewable green power to the people of Ontario.”
A series of 10 transmission projects and investments are slated for the Northern distribution network and are expected to create over 6,000 jobs in the region.
An upgraded northern transmission and distribution grid will be able to support over 3,000 megawatts of renewable resources, such as wind, hydroelectric and solar power, by 2020. The investments are also expected to grow industry and open up the potential for future connection of First Nation communities.