The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has approved with conditions, Hydro One’s Leave to Construct application for the Midtown Electricity Infrastructure Renewal Project in Toronto. The project is needed to strengthen the aging 115-kV transmission system that serves Toronto’s midtown and areas to west. In its decision, the OEB found the project to be in the public interest in regard to its impact on price, reliability and quality of electricity service to consumers.
“This decision is an important milestone in our efforts to strengthen Hydro One’s transmission system,” said Laura Formusa, President and CEO, Hydro One. “The Midtown Project will allow us to ensure a reliable electricity supply to customers by replacing aging and approaching end-of-life electricity infrastructure.”
The OEB Decision is the first major approval required to build the line and is conditional upon, among other things, the project receiving Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (EA) approval. Hydro One released a draft Environmental Study Report (ESR) on March 2, 2010 for review by interested parties. The review period for the ESR was extended until June 25, 2010 in order to address issues raised by stakeholders. At the conclusion of the review period, the document will be revised as appropriate, and a final ESR is expected to be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment on June 30, 2010.
Construction of the Midtown Project is scheduled to begin once approvals are received. The new facilities are planned to go into service in mid-2013. The total cost of the project will be jointly financed by Hydro One and Toronto Hydro.