Ontario Anticipates Decision on TC Energy’s Pumped Storage Project by Year’s End
Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is currently looking into TC Energy’s planned Ontario Pumped Storage project. Importantly, this review is a crucial part of the province’s plan to address the growing energy needs. If built, the 1,000-megawatt pumped storage project in Meaford could become Ontario’s largest energy storage facility.
This venture, known as Ontario Pumped Storage, has the potential to power a million homes for 11 hours. The process involves extracting water from Georgian Bay during low-demand hours and temporarily storing it in a reservoir on government land at a military training base. Subsequently, during periods of high power demand, turbines release the stored water back into the bay, generating electricity.
The IESO has planned to complete a 45-day public discussion period and their project review by November 30, 2023. As a result, this will lead to a final decision on the project’s advancement. However, TC Energy’s board and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation must give their approval and reach an agreement on the project partnership before it can proceed. If they give the green light, we could see the project kick-off operations in the early 2030s.
Despite these plans, local resistance to the project has emerged. Critics voice concerns about possible environmental harm, the safety of the reservoir, and financial issues. Additionally, they question the project’s actual potential for carbon offset. Interestingly, they suggest that other more effective options for expanding power supply and enhancing energy storage capabilities may exist in Ontario.
In light of increasing power demand over the next 25 years, the Ontario government has released a report. In it, they outline a series of planned actions. Notably, this includes the development of nuclear energy through preparatory work at Bruce Power.