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New Transmission Line to Meet Growing Electricity Needs in Southwestern Ontario

June 13, 2019

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has requested Hydro One to develop and construct a transmission line to meet the increasing electricity needs in the Windsor-Essex region.

“The IESO is committed to ensuring Ontario businesses and communities have the electricity they need to grow and prosper,” says Peter Gregg, President and CEO of the IESO. “We have seen firsthand the growth in the Windsor-Essex region, and determined a new transmission line is needed to ensure enough electricity is available to meet future needs.”

The IESO is expecting electricity demand in the Windsor-Essex region to increase significantly due to strong agricultural growth, primarily from expansion in the greenhouse sector and, to a lesser extent, in the cannabis industry. The new transmission line from Chatham to north of Leamington will allow greater amounts of electricity to flow into southwestern Ontario from other parts of the province.

“Our forecasts show remarkable growth,” says Leonard Kula, Vice President of Planning, Acquisition and Operations, and Chief Operating Officer. “Electricity demand is expected to double in the Windsor-Essex region over the next five years, which is exceptional when you look at the province-wide picture of essentially flat demand in the years ahead.”

The transmission line is expected to be complete by the end of 2025. To meet the electricity needs in the area in the shorter term, the IESO has also requested Hydro One to develop and construct upgrades to existing transmission infrastructure and is exploring consumer energy management options with local utilities, municipalities, Indigenous communities, businesses and other stakeholders.

“This new transmission line will increase electricity access in Kingsville-Leamington, and is key for greenhouse vegetable growers to meet the rising demand for year-round greenhouse produce. It will support the expansion of greenhouse operations, contribute to regional economic success, and provide even more fresh, nutritious, quality produce for Ontarians,” says Joe Sbrocchi, General Manager, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers.

More information about this project and other infrastructure investments planned to accommodate forecast growth in the Windsor-Essex area can be found in the backgrounder.

About the IESO

The IESO manages the province's power system so that Ontarians receive power when and where they need it. It plans and prepares for future electricity needs and works with its partners to guide energy efficiency efforts.

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