The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has approved Hydro One's Leave to Construct application for the Bruce to Milton Transmission Reinforcement Project with conditions. The project involves the construction of a 180-km, double-circuit 500-kV transmission line on a widened existing corridor between the Bruce Power Facility in Kincardine and Hydro One's switching station in Milton. The line will transfer more than 3,000 MW of clean and renewable power from the Bruce area to southern Ontario. This project represents the largest expansion to Ontario's transmission system in 20 years.
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. The OEB concluded that the economic benefits of the transmission line exceed its estimated costs of $635 million, and that it improves system reliability, which benefits all electricity consumers.
"This decision is an important milestone in our efforts to secure Ontario's clean and renewable energy future," said Laura Formusa, President and CEO, Hydro One. "We are also sensitive to the concerns of property owners, First Nations, Métis, local municipalities and stakeholders affected by the project and have been working with them from day one and will continue to do so to ensure their concerns are managed in a way that is fair and responsible."
The OEB Decision is the first major approval required to build this line and is conditional upon the Project receiving Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (EA) approval. Hydro One plans to release the Bruce to Milton Draft EA Report for a 30-day period for review by interested parties later this month. After this review period, the document will be revised as appropriate, and a final EA Report is expected to be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment in November 2008.
Construction of the Bruce to Milton line is scheduled to begin once approvals are received and the necessary property rights are in place. The new line is planned to go into service in December 2011