Growth planned for power supply to Essex
Hydro One and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) together announced major investments and key initiatives to support the growth of the greenhouse, industrial and residential sectors in Essex County.
Hydro One's multi-stage capital and maintenance investment of approximately $580 million includes new and previously announced projects expected to provide enough electricity by 2026 to supply a city the size of Ottawa, while improving local reliability.
In June, Hydro One outlined a multi-stage investment to increase the power supply to the region, including a new transmission line from Chatham to Lakeshore requested by the IESO.
Hydro One's investments also include:
• A transmission station in Leamington, which is now in service;
• A second transmission station in Leamington, which is expected to be in service by year end;
• Two stations in Lakeshore, which are currently in the planning stages;
• Transmission equipment upgrades in Kingsville and Tecumseh; and,
• Innovative smart technologies, such as remote switches and fault indicators, pole replacements and hazardous tree trimming to reduce the number, size and duration of distribution system power outages in Essex County.
"Our customers and the broader business community have advocated for more electricity to support economic expansion in the area. We have been listening, and have worked with the IESO to deliver more power to this community," said Mark Poweska, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hydro One. "We are committed to Essex County and the surrounding region. Hydro One will continue to work with the IESO and engage with the local community to address its existing needs and support the success of this growing economic area."
The IESO's forecasts show a remarkable rate of growth in Essex County, where electricity demand is expected to triple from 2018 to 2026, due to strong agricultural growth.
"We have been actively meeting with communities in Essex County and working with Hydro One to ensure we are initiating the steps needed to ensure a reliable supply of electricity," said Peter Gregg, President and Chief Executive Officer, IESO. "Energy efficiency and innovative solutions will also help us offset increasing demand while making electricity more affordable for businesses."
The IESO's Save on Energy Retrofit program can help businesses reduce monthly electricity costs through incentives to upgrade various equipment and lighting. The IESO is also inviting proposals through its Grid Innovation Fund until February 14, 2020, for innovative indoor agricultural projects that could cost-effectively reduce electricity demand during peak periods.
"A strong and reliable system is crucial in supporting growing industries and fuelling job growth," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.
"I applaud Hydro One and the IESO for supporting business and residents here in Essex County."
"Leamington and the surrounding area is an economic success story for Ontario. With the greenhouse sector's historic rate of growth, we need the energy infrastructure to support our industry, so we can continue to create new jobs and support the economy," said Peter Quiring, Chief Executive Officer, NatureFresh. "We are grateful for Hydro One and the IESO's work to increase power supply to the region and we look forward to their ongoing support as we continue to see business growth in the southwest."
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