The Barrie/Innisfil area constitutes a sub-region of the South Georgian Bay/Muskoka region established through the Ontario Energy Board's regional planning process.
Current status: An Integrated Regional Resource Plan (IRRP) has been released for the Barrie/Innisfil sub-region.
How to get involved
A Local Advisory Committee (LAC) is being established for the Barrie/Innisfil sub-region. The role of the LAC is to provide advice on the plan’s longer-term options, as well as how to best engage the broader community in the discussion. LACs provide an avenue for broader energy dialogue and act as a bridge between the five-year regional planning cycles. Nominations for LAC membership are now underway. The deadline to apply is March 10, 2017 and the first meeting will be on April 5. To review the Terms of Reference or to nominate yourself or and individual, please visit www.ieso.ca/LAC.
IRRP Working Group
A Working Group consisting of the Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) in the region, the local transmitter and the IESO will use the regional planning process to identify and meet local electricity needs. The Working Group consists of staff from InnPower, Alectra Utilities (formerly PowerStream), Hydro One Distribution, Hydro One Transmission and the IESO.
The Barrie/Innisfil area is a summer-peaking sub-region that encompasses the City of Barrie, the Towns of Innisfil, New Tecumseth and Bradford West Gwillimbury, and the Townships of Essa, Springwater, Clearview, Mulmur, and Adjala-Tosorontio. The electricity demand mix is comprised of residential, commercial and industrial uses. Electricity supply to the area is provided by four transformer stations – Everett Transformer Station (TS), Alliston TS, Midhurst TS and Barrie TS. Over the last five years demand in the area has been stable, at approximately 400 MW. There is, however, substantial growth forecasted in the area over the next twenty years due to urbanization, intensification of developed areas, and new commercial demand growth. Most of this growth is driven by residential development and is expected to occur primarily in southern Barrie and in the Town of Innisfil. An integrated approach is taken when trying to find the best ways to address local electricity needs as part of the planning process, including considering existing resources, conservation, generation, wires and other innovative solutions. In the next 20 years, conservation and local generation is expected to offset approximately 25% of growth in the area, resulting in a net average annual growth of 2.7%.
Two planning studies have been conducted in the South Simcoe area in the last 12 years. The first was a joint utility planning studying initiated in 2003 between six LDCs in Simcoe County, a large industrial customer and Hydro One Transmission. This study resulted in the addition of Everett TS (in-service 2007) and the Southern Georgian Bay Transmission Reinforcement, which upgraded the Essa-to-Stayner line from 115 kV to 230 kV and installed a 230/115 kV auto-transformer at Stayner TS (in-service 2009). In 2010, Hydro One Transmission initiated a regional supply planning study of the South Simcoe area. This study resulted in the installation of low voltage capacitors at Midhurst TS (in-service 2012).
The recent scoping assessment report for the Southern Georgian Bay/Muskoka region identified urgent needs to replace infrastructure nearing its end of life and provide supply capacity in the Barrie/Innisfil area. As a result, the current IRRP for the Barrie/Innisfil sub-region is being conducted in two phases to ensure near-term needs can be met in a timely fashion. The first phase of the IRRP includes reviewing options to address near-term needs with consideration of future needs, and meeting with municipalities in the sub-region. This first phase is complete and a near-term transmission project addressing these urgent needs has been handed off to Hydro One to initiate development. The second phase of the IRRP will continue the development of the medium- and long-term plan for the Barrie/Innisfil sub-region for the next 20 years.