Lambton to Longwood 70km Transmission Upgrade

From Hydro One:

Notice of Commencement and Invitation to Public Information Centre
Lambton to Longwood Transmission Upgrade Class Environmental Assessment

Date: January 18
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Location: Southwest Middlesex Arena, Auditorium 138 Mill Street, Glencoe

Date: January 19
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Location: Brigden Community Hall 3016 Brigden Road, Brigden

Hydro One Networks Inc. (“Hydro One”) invites you to a Public Information Centre to learn more about plans to upgrade an existing double-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line. The transmission line, as shown on the map below, connects Lambton Transformer Station (TS) in the Township of St. Clair with Longwood TS in the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. Consistent with Province of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, this project is required by the end of 2014 to increase capacity of the transmission system west of London to carry additional power from renewable, gas and other sources. The project involves replacing the conductor (wire) and insulators on the existing transmission towers. Hydro One will also repair selected tower foundations to ensure the long-term structural integrity of the transmission line.

Project Planning and Approvals
This project is being planned in accordance with the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities. The project will undergo an initial Environmental Screening. Screening criteria will be used to assess the potential significance of effects. If significant effects cannot be avoided, Hydro One will carry out a full Class Environmental Assessment. The project will also require approval under Section 92 of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998. The Ontario Energy Board regulates the electricity sector in Ontario and will review Hydro One’s “Leave to Construct” application to determine if the construction and operation of the proposed project is in the public interest.

Opportunities for public input exist throughout both the environmental planning and Ontario Energy Board review processes.

Public Information Centres
Interested parties are invited to attend one of our public information centres to learn more about the project and to provide comments to our project team.

For More Information
If you have any questions or want to be added to the project mailing list, please contact: Carrie-Lynn Ognibene, Community Relations Hydro One Networks Inc. Tel: 1-877-345-6799 E-mail: Community.Relations@HydroOne.com www.HydroOne.com/projects  

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Hydro transmission upgrade inches ahead  By CATHY DOBSON, The Observer

A major upgrade to a 70-kilometre transmission line slicing through Lambton County bodes well for the local economy, community leaders say.

Hydro One plans to hold public consultations this month about adding capacity to the existing double-circuit 230-kilovolt transmission line stretching from the Lambton transformer station in St. Clair Township to the Longwood transformer station in Strathroy-Caradoc.

“This is very positive news,” said Steve Arnold, Lambton’s warden and mayor of St. Clair Township.

The more electricity local transmission lines can carry beyond Lambton County, the more energy projects can develop here, he said.

“We’ve been trying to get it on the forefront of government initiatives for a number of years.”

Local officials have been pushing the province to significantly upgrade regional transmission lines so they can handle new power projects and accommodate the future of the Lambton Generating Station.

In 2010, Energy Minister Brad Duguid ordered Hydro One to make the transmission system west of London a priority. It’s to be part of a $2-billion investment in the system across Ontario. But the project hasn’t exactly moved ahead at an electrifying pace.

On Thursday Jan. 19, Hydro One will finally hold a public consultation at the Brigden Community Hall to outline its upgrade plan.

While capacity will improve, it’s not clear how much more electricity the line will handle or what the cost of the upgrade will be, a Hydro One spokesman said.

Officials at the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) weren’t any more forthcoming.

“These projects are intended to upgrade the province’s transmission system to accommodate renewable projects, serve new load and support reliability,” OPA spokesman Tim Butters wrote in an email.

“Planning studies are continuing so the number of additional (megawatts) is not yet known,” he said.

While there are still many questions about the project, the president of the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce is optimistic.

Garry McDonald spoke to ministry staff just before Christmas about it.

“We feel (additional transmission capacity) is a big factor in extending the life of Lambton Generating Station,” said McDonald.

Duguid requested an upgrade to the Lambton line as well as a completely new line, he said.

“The upgrade is to be finished by 2014, which coincides with the time when coal is supposed to be offline.

“That, as well as the gas line going to LGS, means the ministry is preparing for an opportunity that could exist,” said McDonald.

Local officials are urging the Liberal government to convert the coal-powered station to natural gas, saving hundreds of local jobs and increasing Ontario’s power supply.

“This upgrade to the transmission line is important to the existing LGS operation, all the green energy proposals for our area, and it’s important to future generation that could help the province,” McDonald said.

“I’m hoping this will mean more reason to keep LGS open and attract other power generating projects,” said Arnold. “If we end up with more energy creation locally, jobs will be created and that’s positive for all of us.”

Hydro One’s public consultation is scheduled for Jan. 19 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. in the community hall at 3016 Brigden Road.

cdobson@theobserver.ca

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Posted on January 11, 2012, in Electrical Pollution, Health, Safety, Sarnia Observer, Transmission. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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