TC Energy, DND strike deal for big pumped hydro project on Ontario military base
TC Energy Corp. is a step closer to moving earth for a major new pumped hydro storage station on a Canadian military base in Meaford, Ont. The energy firm and the Department of National Defence reached an agreement July 29 for what would be Ontario’s largest energy storage project.
Located at Canada’s 4th Canadian Division Training Centre, the proposed facility would pump water between Georgian Bay and an upper reservoir. Essentially functioning as a massive battery, the station would force water uphill during off-peak times for electricity use and let it flow downhill — turning turbines and producing power — during high-demand times. Much of the facility, including the powerhouse, would be built underground to minimize noise and hide it from view, TC Energy plans show.
François Poirier, the company’s president and CEO, said the project would help transition the country to a low-carbon economy, while also reducing electrical costs in the province and boosting the local construction economy.
“As a complement to TC Energy’s ownership in Bruce Power, this project provides a platform for future growth and diversification in our power and storage business,” Poirier said in a release.
The 1,000 megawatt storage site would take roughly eight years to build and produce up to 1,000 jobs during construction. Once operational, it could also reduce Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions by half a million tonnes per year.
“As Canada transitions towards net zero, projects like this will create job opportunities for journeypersons and apprentices alike, which is vital for our economic recovery,” said Sean Strickland, executive director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, in a release.
Despite the sign-off of the Department of National Defence, several key hurdles remain before the project can move forward. TC Energy said regulatory approvals and final company sanction are still needed. Consultations with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation are also ongoing.