Expanding Transmission to Better Harvest Renewable Energy
Ontario is undertaking an ambitious program of expansion and renewal of the province's transmission facilities. In a letter from George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, to the Chair of Hydro One, the province sets out their vision of future transmission enhancements and the approach to realizing its success.
These initiatives, step 4 of the McGuinty government's 10 key steps in implementing the Green Energy Act, will allow Ontario to take maximum advantage of the opportunities for green energy in the province. The projects represent an investment of about $2.3 billion over the next three years, and are expected to result in about 20,000 positions over that timeframe.
These projects include core lines, which form the backbone of the transmission system, and enabler lines. They include:
Core Transmission Projects
East-West Tie: Nipigon by Wawa
There is significant interest in renewable generation in the Northwest and the existing transmission system provides limited capability for generation to connect on the existing transmission system. This new line would help alleviate this bottleneck issue.
North-South Tie/Barrie by GTA
Significant hydro and wind generation potential is located in northern Ontario. The North-South Tie and the Barrie to GTA lines will maximize the existing capability and provide a significant increase in the ability to transfer generation to the large GTA market.
Sudbury Area by Algoma Area
There is a high potential for developing wind and hydro generation between Wawa and Sudbury. The existing system can only accommodate a modest amount of development in the area and this line will increase the existing capacity as well as work with other transmission projects to transmit any renewable generation developed in the Northwest.
London Area by Sarnia
There is significant interest in wind generation development in the area West of London. This line along with other transmission projects will support the high level of interest shown by developers to build projects in the area.
Bowmanville by GTA
This new transmission line is required to provide additional capability for the incorporation of renewable generation in eastern Ontario and will serve other sources of generation.
Pickle Lake by Nipigon
New transmission is required to incorporate hydro projects in the North. There is also a need to improve supply capability to mines north of Pickle Lake. This has created an opportunity to build a new line that can meet these two needs and facilitate the connection of wind generation in the area. This line is also crucial to helping First Nations develop energy projects and phase out the use of diesel fuel by connecting to the provincial grid.
Cornwall by Ottawa
There has been interest in solar and other renewable generation development in the area between Ottawa and Cornwall. There is limited capability to add generation to the existing transmission system. A new transmission line in the area will allow for the connection of new renewable generation. This new transmission line could also be used to supply the growing local area load in the southern part of the City of Ottawa.
Belleville by Napanee (Selby Junction)
To enable renewable generation near Belleville, a new 230 kV line between Belleville and Selby Junction (near Napanee) will be required. This line will also provide additional capability to Belleville TS which is nearing capacity.
Chenaux by Arnprior Area (Galetta Junction)
There is good potential for wind generation development near the Pembroke/Chenaux area in eastern Ontario. There is limited capability for generation incorporation on the existing system. A new 230 kV line between Chenaux and Galetta Junction, which would connect the system to Ottawa, is required to incorporate higher levels of renewable generation.
Enabling Transmission Projects
In addition, a series of seven enabling transmission lines are planned for areas throughout the province. These lines will be constructed where there is high interest in renewable generation development in specific areas, and may reinforce existing transmission to enable an even greater amount of generation. These local transmission enablers are planned for the Goderich, Manitoulin, Huron South, Pembroke, Parry Sound, North Bay and Thunder Bay areas.
Long Term Transmission Projects
Significant potential for hydro generation has been identified in the area north of Sudbury To Kapuskasing. Following the development of the proposed hydroelectric generation in the area, there will be very limited capability to incorporate new generation north of Sudbury. A new transmission line is required to enable further renewable generation and hydro development.
London by Hamilton Area
As higher levels of renewable generation development occur in the area west of London, the transfer of power from London towards the GTA will increase. When this transfer reaches the capability of the existing transmission system between London and Hamilton, renewable generation development will be limited. New transmission between London and Hamilton would alleviate this restriction and allow for further renewable generation development in London and western Ontario.
Kenora by Thunder Bay
The existing transmisison system between Kenora and Thunder Bay has limited capability. Large renewable development over the longer-term that may occur west of Thunder Bay will require the reinforcement of this system.