Hydro One Networks Inc. filed its Joint Rate Application with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), which includes its 2023-2027 Investment Plan for the company’s transmission and distribution system. The $17 billion five-year Investment Plan, informed by customer feedback, will reduce the impacts of power outages for its distribution customers by approximately 25 per cent, enable economic growth and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

“Our plan will make smart investments to significantly reduce the impacts of power outages for our customers. With much of our system built in the 1950s and 1960s, it is time to invest in renewing or replacing critical infrastructure in almost every community across the province,” said Mark Poweska, President and CEO, Hydro One. “Every dollar we invest comes at a cost to our customers, which is why this plan was directly informed by the feedback of almost 50,000 Ontarians. The majority of customers told us they support proactive investments in a resilient and reliable system prepared for climate change.”

If approved, the five-year Investment Plan will have bill impacts below the expected rate of inflation, with the monthly bill for a typical year-round residential customer increasing by an average of $1.68 each year from 2023 to 2027.

Hydro One’s five-year Investment Plan includes plans to:

Renew or replace critical infrastructure

  • Renew equipment on the high voltage transmission system, including installing 1,500 kilometres of high voltage power lines – the equivalent of the distance from Ottawato Thunder Bay.
  • Replace 129 transformers and upgrade infrastructure at approximately 200 transmission stations.
  • Upgrade equipment on the distribution system, including renewing or replacing approximately 65,000 wood poles.
  • Replace approximately 10 per cent of distribution transformers.

Improve resiliency and reliability and prepare for the impacts of climate change

  • Use automation and innovative solutions to reduce the impact of power outages for distribution customers by approximately 25 per cent.
  • Prevent outages by removing dead and diseased trees that could strike power lines.
  • Install 1,000 smart devices per year to improve resiliency and reliability for customers who experience the most power outages.
  • Invest in taller and stronger poles to withstand more severe weather.

Build a grid for the future to support economic growth and customer choice

  • Invest in new or upgraded infrastructure to accommodate community and industrial growth.
  • Connect close to 18,000 new distribution customers each year – the equivalent to powering a city the size of Orillia.
  • Modernize meters and associated infrastructure to enable future flexibility, choice and cost savings.
  • Improve power reliability to First Nations communities through innovative battery solutions.
  • Install energy battery and storage solutions to improve resiliency and reliability for those customers by 60 per cent.

By investing in the electricity system and renewing critical infrastructure, Hydro One’s plan will improve service for customers, prepare the system for more severe weather and better protect small businesses and large manufacturers from power outages responsible for millions of dollars in lost productivity.

“Investments in the system are critical to supporting the shift to electrification, a low carbon economy and providing customers with greater choice,” said Poweska.

Featured image: Jason Fitzsimmons (left), chief corporate affairs & customer care officer and David Lebeter, COO announce Hydro One’s five-year Investment Plan. (Hydro One)

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