Ontario Supporting Economic Growth in Southwest OntarioPublished on April 04, 2022
Ontario Supporting Economic Growth in Southwest Ontario
Ontario is taking action to ensure the efficient and timely development of five new electricity transmission infrastructure projects in Southwest Ontario, supporting the significant growth in the manufacturing and greenhouse sectors.
“Our government is supporting the incredible growth in Southwest Ontario by accelerating the development of five new transmission lines that will power the new Stellantis–LGES battery plant, the growing greenhouse sector and other job creators,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “As our government reduces the price of doing business, including by lowering electricity prices by 15-17 per cent for large commercial and industrial customers, we have seen significant new investment. Today we are demonstrating our commitment to build the critical infrastructure to support those new jobs.”
The government has issued an Order-in-Council declaring three transmission line projects as priorities, streamlining the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) regulatory approval process for these lines. The priority declaration requires the OEB to accept that the three initial lines are needed when assessing whether the projects are in the public interest, expediting the review process so projects can be brought online earlier.
The Minister of Energy has also directed the OEB to amend the transmission license of Hydro One Networks Inc. (Hydro One), requiring it to undertake development work and seek approvals for four of the identified transmission lines. Hydro One was previously designated as the transmitter for the Chatham-to-Lakeshore line in 2020.
“Whether it is game-changing auto investments like the one between LGES and Stellantis or the growing greenhouse sector, our government is making sure that job creators have the infrastructure needed to stimulate local economies,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Through our Driving Prosperity plan and investments like this, our government is staking Ontario's claim to the emerging North American EV battery industry and positioning the province to leverage its critical mineral wealth to develop and build the vehicles of the future.”
Ontario’s clean electricity system, which is more than 90 per cent emission free, is a competitive advantage. With new transmission projects often facing lengthy development times, these actions will ensure that transmission infrastructure can meet the needs of Southwest Ontario, giving businesses the confidence to expand or invest in their operations and create new jobs. This includes certainty for growing industries, such as the recently announced investment in the province’s first large-scale EV battery manufacturing plant in Windsor.
These transmission projects are also an opportunity to build and deepen Indigenous partnerships in the energy sector, which are vital to realizing the province’s shared energy goals.