Subscriber Login

North America News

Ontario selects NextBridge’s EWT project for network expansion [free access]

January 31, 2019

The Government of Ontario, Canada, has issued an Order in Council (OIC) and ministerial directive to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), approving the East-West Tie (EWT) project proposed by NextBridge Infrastructure (NextBridge) [joint venture (JV) of NextEra Energy Canada (a wholly-owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC), Enbridge Incorporation, and Borealis Infrastructure Management] for the expansion of electricity transmission network between Wawa and Thunder Bay, via the construction of a new transmission line along an existing 230 kV corridor. This decision has led to the rejection of Hydro One’s competing proposal, named Lake Superior Link for the construction of the same.

 

During 2013, the OEB had designated NextBridge to undertake development works for the EWT project. However, during 2017, Canadian electricity utility Hydro One proposed an alternate project—the Lake Superior Link, which would reduce the cost of developing the required grid infrastructure by over USD100 million and generate USD3 million worth of savings in the annual maintenance costs.

 

The EWT project is an approximately 446 km, double-circuit, 230 kV transmission line designed to connect the transformer stations located in Wawa and Lakehead (near Thunder Bay), along with a connection at the Marathon station. The project had received approval from the Thunder Bay City Council in March 2018.

 

On the other hand, the Lake Superior Link project was a 400 km, double-circuit, 230 kV transmission line between the Lakehead transformer station in the Municipality of Shuniah outside of Thunder Bay, and the Wawa transformer station just east of Wawa. Under this project, the existing line was proposed to be upgraded within Pukaskwa National Park without widening the corridor. According to Hydro One, the Lake Superior Link (which was 50 km shorter than the EWT project) eliminated the need to cut a new corridor through relatively undisturbed lands around the Park.