Municipal participation in the electricity sector grows

- The Ontario Power Authority OPA has recently signed contracts for three new-build waterpower projects owned by Ontario municipalities through the municipal stream of the Hydroelectric Standard Offer Program HESOP.

The projects will be developed by Renfrew Power Generation in Horton Township 1.7 megawatts or MW, St. Catharines Hydro Generation Inc. in St. Catharines 4.2 MW and Chaudière Hydro in Ottawa 29.35 MW. All three projects have majority municipal ownership. They are examples of municipal contributions to Ontario’s reliable and sustainable electricity system and participation in the province’s clean energy sector.

Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli announced the Renfrew project at an event today in Pembroke. He previously announced the Ottawa project on March 7, and Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley attended an event to mark the St. Catharines project on March 12.

The HESOP program offers two streams – a municipal stream and an expansion stream. The municipal stream was available for new waterpower projects larger than 500 kilowatts that were the subject of an application to the OPA’s Feed-in Tariff Program submitted before June 5, 2010. Applications for HESOP’s municipal stream were accepted from November 4 to December 6, 2013.

The expansion stream will be open to expansion projects at existing non-utility generation facilities under contract with the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation and at existing facilities under contract with the OPA through the Hydroelectric Contract Initiative. Draft program rules and standard definitions for the new HESOP expansion stream are now posted on the OPA’s website for comment from interested stakeholders, communities and potential project developers until April 13, 2014. This stream has a procurement target of up to 40 MW.

“Waterpower is an important part of Ontario’s clean energy supply mix. These new facilities will provide local benefits and contribute clean, reliable and affordable hydropower to the grid for years to come,” said Bob Chiarelli, who works with the Ontario Minister of Energy. “The Ontario Power Authority is pleased at this opportunity to work with municipalities to ensure a safe, reliable and sustainable electricity system for Ontario. These three waterpower projects are representative of the OPA’s focus in working with communities across Ontario in the planning and siting of electricity infrastructure,” said Colin Andersen, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Power Authority.

The Ontario Power Authority is responsible for ensuring a reliable, sustainable supply of electricity for Ontario. Its key areas of focus are planning the power system for the long term, leading and coordinating conservation initiatives across the province, and ensuring development of needed generation resources.


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