What is the Power South Nepean project?

The project entails the construction of a new Hydro Ottawa municipal transformer station (MTS) and a connection line to Hydro One’s 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission system. These new facilities are required in order to keep pace with growing electricity needs resulting from strong commercial and residential development in the area.

How will this project benefit local customers?

In addition to ensuring an adequate, safe and reliable supply of electricity to meet future needs, the new facilities are expected to improve service reliability for all customers in the area. The new 230 kV transmission line would provide a second source of supply to the area and relieve the load on existing facilities that are already operating near capacity.

Why are Hydro Ottawa and Hydro One both involved in this project?

Both companies have a role in delivering power from Ontario’s transmission grid to electricity customers in the South Nepean area.

This project sounds like a major undertaking. Why is it considered a “minor transmission facility”?

The provincial environmental planning process, approved under the Environmental Assessment Act, is called the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for Minor Transmission Facilities (Hydro One, 2016). The Class EA defines a broad class of transmission projects that are subject to this process. For more information, please visit the “Project Approvals” page on the project website.

When would these new facilities be built and how long would construction last?

The new facilities would be built once provincial and federal environmental requirements are completed, and the Ontario Energy Board has granted approval to construct the project. Construction could begin in early 2020 and would take about eighteen months in total.

What will the new transmission line look like?

Taller steel transmission structures would replace the existing wood pole structures in order to accommodate one additional transmission circuit (three additional wires). Although taller, there would be fewer structures because the span between them will be longer.

Hydro One is proposing to use steel poles between Hunt Club Road West and Old Richmond Road and narrow-base steel lattice structures from Old Richmond Road to the new municipal transformer station (location to be determined). Exact tower locations will be determined through detailed design and engineering while also using information collected during the Class EA process.

What will the new Hydro Ottawa transformer station look like?

The new station would have a low visual profile, similar to Hydro Ottawa’s Terry Fox Transformer Station on Michael Cowpland Drive in Kanata.

How will the location for the new transformer station be determined?

Alternative sites identified within the study area will be evaluated based on environmental, technical, and socio-economic criteria, and discussed with stakeholders and the public through the project consultation process. Suitable sites would be approximately 5 acres/2 hectares in area, accessible by road, close to the existing transmission line, and be available for purchase.

Is it safe to live near transmission stations and lines?

Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible forces that surround all electrical appliances and equipment, power cords and wiring, and outdoor power lines and equipment operated by utility companies. These fields are at extremely low frequency. The field strength is strongest close to its source and fades rapidly as you move away from the source.

Health Canada does not consider that any precautionary measures are needed regarding daily exposures to EMFs at extremely low frequencies. There is no conclusive evidence of any harm caused by exposures at levels found in Canadian homes and schools, including those located just outside the boundaries of power line corridors.

Additional information about EMFs and links to useful websites can be found at www.HydroOne.com/EMF.

How are electric and magnetic fields along the transmission corridor expected to change?

Based on the proposed height of the new transmission structures and the estimated power that would be carried on the transmission circuits, Hydro One is projecting that that electric and magnetic fields along the transmission corridor would not substantially change.

What studies will be completed as part of this project?

Environmental and socio-economic fieldwork will be undertaken for the project. This will include pedestrian surveys, socio-economic inventories, environmental wildlife and habitat surveys, and archaeological and heritage assessments.

What will be done to protect Species at Risk and wildlife habitat?

A significant number of natural environment field studies will be undertaken in the project area as part of the Class EA process. These will include:  Species at Risk surveys, as required by government agencies; Ecological Land Classification; amphibian call surveys, botanical and tree surveys; aquatic habitat assessments; incidental wildlife observations; and potential significant wildlife habitat mapping. Where effects on the natural environment cannot be avoided, appropriate impact mitigation measures will be proposed.

What role can energy conservation or local generation play in meeting future needs?

Energy conservation and local generation can play a role in helping to meet South Nepean’s future needs. However, new electricity transmission facilities would still be required to accommodate the substantial growth occurring in the area.

Will this project enable renewable generation in this area?

Additional generation could connect either to the new transformer station or directly to the 230 kV connection line, once in service.

How can I learn more and be involved in this project?

Please have a look at the information on this project website. If you have any questions or comments, please contact our project team at 1-877-416-345-6799, or by email at info@powersouthnepean.com. We’re here to help! Consultation events will also be advertised on this webpage, through local newspapers, and by flyer or email to the groups and individuals on our project contact list.