Province gives NextBridge go-ahead to construct northern Ontario transmission line
By Jillian MorganConstruction
TORONTO—The provincial government has handed a project to build a transmission line in northern Ontario to NextBridge Infrastructure, a partnership between NextEra Energy Canada, Enbridge Inc. and OMERS Infrastructure.
Ontario announced Jan. 31 that it had issued an an Order in Council and Directive to the Ontario Energy Board, effectively green-lighting the East-West Tie transmission line.
The directive amended NextBridge’s electricity transmission license, allowing it to take over the 450 kilometre, double-circuit transmission line between the Lakehead Transformer Station in Thunder Bay and Wawa Transformer Station in Wawa.
Valard Construction, headquartered in Edmonton, was selected by NextBridge to construct the line.
“Maintaining reliability and cost efficiency is a top priority for our government. The East-West Tie Line has long been identified as a priority project to provide a consistent supply of electricity that supports economic growth, job creation, and resource development in northwestern Ontario,” Energy Minister Greg Rickford said.
“Unfortunately, the Ontario Energy Board’s review process has taken longer than expected, putting the timely construction of this necessary project at risk and potentially increasing costs for electricity customers.”
NextBridge said the announcement “puts to rest recent uncertainty regarding who would construct this project.” Hydro One had also bid to build the line.
“We are very disappointed with this outcome,” Greg Kiraly, chief operating officer at Hydro One, said in a statement. “We would like to thank the stakeholders, community members and Indigenous partners who welcomed us through our consultations over the past year.”