Province outlines next steps for Ontario pumped storage project

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

TC Energy Corporation is advancing its proposed Ontario Pumped Storage Project after Ontario’s Minister of Energy gave the go-ahead to proceed with the project.

The project, led by TC Energy and prospective partner Saugeen Ojibway Nation, is the development of an energy storage facility that would provide 1,000 megawatts (MW) of flexible, clean energy to Ontario’s electricity system using a process known as pumped storage. The project would be Ontario’s biggest battery, storing enough clean carbon-free electricity to power nearly a million homes.

“The Minister’s direction to advance this project is a strong signal that the work TC Energy and Saugeen Ojibway Nation are doing is important. It recognizes the critical role that pumped hydro storage will have in enhancing the diversity of Ontario’s supply mix and achieving a net-zero electricity grid,” said Annesley Wallace, EVP, Strategy and Corporate Development and President, Power and Energy Solutions, TC Energy

The Ontario Pumped Storage Project will be designed, engineered, and built by a domestic supply chain.

Construction will create about 1,000 unionized jobs and over 75 per cent of the total materials and supplies will be provided by Ontario-based companies.

tc energy“The Minister continues to acknowledge that electricity development will only be successful with the participation and leadership from Indigenous Nations. The Ontario Pumped Storage Project is a long overdue energy initiative with real benefits for the Indigenous people of the land,” said Conrad Ritchie, Chief, Saugeen First Nation and Gregory Nadjiwon, Chief, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

Approval is still needed from TC Energy’s board of directors and Saugeen Ojibway Nation.

It is expected that construction would begin in the latter part of this decade with in-service in the early 2030s, subject to receipt of regulatory and corporate approvals.

Next steps:

TC Energy will begin immediate work with the Ministry and the OEB to establish a potential long-term revenue framework for the project, culminating in a report to the Minister by July 31, 2024.

  • Further, TC Energy will provide a report to the Ministry with a breakdown of estimated development costs and schedule. Following submission of these items, the Ministry will provide a recommendation to proceed with pre-development work within 45 days.
  • Following this, TC Energy would begin negotiation of a cost recovery agreement with IESO to recover eligible, prudently incurred expenses associated with pre-development work. A follow up report is to be provided to the Ministry by the IESO within 60 days of submission of the estimates.
  • TC Energy will also provide further information to assist with the Government’s assessment of the project’s societal and economic benefits.
  • A final decision to fund development costs associated with the project would be subject to a Cabinet approval and a future Ministerial directive to the IESO to execute the agreement with TC Energy.

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