LUCKNOW, ONT. — The Province of Ontario has announced it is launching a process to explore expansion opportunities for natural gas in the province with a plan to compile a report on possible expansion projects.
Associate Minister of Energy Bill Walker said in a Dec. 17 release the target areas for the expansion are rural and northern Ontario and Indigenous communities.
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) will develop the report on eligible projects and report to the ministry by August 2020, after which the government will make a final decision on future expansion projects eligible to receive support through the government’s Natural Gas Expansion Program.
The program will allocate approximately $130 million to support new natural gas expansion projects over a three-year period from 2021 to 2023.
In Chatham-Kent, the additional natural gas capacity could create up to 1,400 jobs in the greenhouse industry alone, the statement said.
Since its launch in 2019, the Natural Gas Expansion Program has supported nine projects that are expected to supply natural gas to over 9,000 customers in 16 communities.
“This is a huge win for Bruce County and for rural, northern and Indigenous communities throughout Ontario, said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson.
“The average household switching to natural gas could save up to $2,500 a year in energy costs.”