The company's investment in Ontario's clean energy future will support economic growth and mining operations in the northwest
THUNDER BAY, ON, May 17, 2023 /CNW/ - Today, Hydro One released the draft Environmental Assessment Report for the Waasigan Transmission Line project for public review and comment. The report details engagement during the environmental assessment, the route selection process, identifies potential effects to the natural and socio-economic environments and measures Hydro One will use to avoid or minimize any negative effects of the project. Indigenous communities, residents, directly impacted property owners, and businesses are encouraged to submit feedback on the draft Environmental Assessment Report from now until July 7, 2023.
"By putting people and communities first, our focus is on safety, protecting the environment and enabling the economic benefits that come with expanding and strengthening our high voltage transmission system," said Sonny Karunakaran, Director, Project Delivery, Hydro One. "We will continue to work with Indigenous communities, residents, directly impacted property owners, and businesses at every stage of the Waasigan Transmission Line project."
The draft Environmental Assessment Report relies on information collected from an extensive field study program with more than 1,200 sites visited and over four years of community engagement. Overall, the report concludes that the benefits of the project outweigh any potential impacts, which it finds can be effectively managed using environmental protection measures. The benefits this transmission line will bring to the region, include:
- an additional 350 megawatts of clean electricity, bringing enough power for approximately 11 new mines,
- increased reliability and resiliency of energy supply,
- increased economic growth, and
- equity partnership in the line for nine First Nations.
"Electrifying our homes and local economy relies on critical minerals like copper and nickel, which northern Ontario is fortunate to have a bounty of," said Chris Hodgson, President, Ontario Mining Association. "Ontario's competitive advantage in the global mining sector comes from our commitment to sustainability. The clean energy the Waasigan Transmission Line will deliver will enhance this advantage, ensuring mining benefits everyone for generations."
During the public comment period, Hydro One will host several open houses. In addition to publishing the report online, the company is making copies of the report available at seven publicly accessible locations including municipal buildings, libraries, and community centres.
The Waasigan Transmission Line is a proposed new double-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line from Lakehead Transformer Station (TS) in the Municipality of Shuniah to Mackenzie TS in the Town of Atikokan to be in service as close to the end of 2025 as possible and a proposed new single-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line from Mackenzie TS to Dryden TS in the City of Dryden to be in service shortly after. This year, Hydro One plans to submit a Leave to Construct (Section 92) application to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for both phases of the project. Once built, the line will become the backbone of economic growth in northwestern Ontario and will provide a reliable supply of clean energy to Indigenous communities, municipalities, residents, and businesses.
Nine First Nations in the region have signed agreements with Hydro One and will have the opportunity to invest in a 50 percent equity stake in the transmission line component of the project. Completion of the line is contingent on stakeholder consultation and regulatory approvals.
Hydro One Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with approximately 1.5 million valued customers, approximately $31.5 billion in assets as at December 31, 2022, and annual revenues in 2022 of approximately $7.8 billion.
Our team of approximately 9,300 skilled and dedicated employees proudly build and maintain a safe and reliable electricity system which is essential to supporting strong and successful communities. In 2022, Hydro One invested approximately $2.1 billion in its transmission and distribution networks, and supported the economy through buying approximately $1.9 billion of goods and services.
We are committed to the communities where we live and work through community investment, sustainability and diversity initiatives. We are designated as a Sustainable Electricity Leader™ by Electricity Canada.
Hydro One Limited's common shares are listed on the TSX and certain of Hydro One Inc.'s medium term notes are listed on the NYSE. Additional information can be accessed at www.hydroone.com, www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov.
SOURCE Hydro One Inc.