TORONTO — The Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) updated electricity forecast for northwest Ontario recommends phase two of the Waasigan Transmission Line, the new single-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line between the Mackenzie Transformer Station (TS) in the Town of Atikokan and Dryden TS in the City of Dryden, be in service as soon as practically possible.
Hydro One Inc. recently received a letter from the IESO confirming the need for clean, reliable electricity in northwest Ontario to support mining operations and Ontario’s clean energy future.
Phase one of the Waasigan Transmission Line project is a proposed new double-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line between Lakehead TS in the Municipality of Shuniah and Mackenzie TS in the Town of Atikokan. In May 2022, the IESO recommended construction of Phase 1 to proceed with an in-service date as close to the end of 2025 as possible.
Hydro One is currently undertaking an Environmental Assessment for the project under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act, states a release.
The review will help to identify a final route for the transmission line, predict and assess potential effects, and identify measures to minimize and eliminate potential negative impacts on the environment.
This year, Hydro One plans to submit a Leave to Construct (Section 92) application to the Ontario Energy Board for both phases of the project.
Nine First Nations in the region have signed agreements with Hydro One and will have the opportunity to invest in a 50 per cent equity stake in the transmission line component of the project, the release indicates.
Completion of the line is contingent on stakeholder consultation and regulatory approvals.
“As demand for electricity is expected to grow by nearly two per cent per year for the next 20 years in Ontario, it is absolutely critical that we work together to get the necessary infrastructure built in time to meet those emerging needs. The Waasigan Transmission Line will lay the groundwork so that communities, businesses and Indigenous peoples in the northwest have a reliable supply of electricity that supports economic growth. Projects such as this are key to an orderly energy transition that will meet the needs and objectives of future residents, businesses and institutions across our province,” said Lesley Gallinger, president and CEO of the IESO, in a statement.