TC Energy Corporation announced that it will continue to advance the Ontario Pumped Storage Project with its prospective partner Saugeen Ojibway Nation, and begin work with the Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), to establish a potential long-term revenue framework for the project.

This decision comes after direction from Ontario’s Minister of Energy to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), outlining next steps related to the project including a cost recovery agreement. Subject to an agreement with the IESO, this direction from the Minister will facilitate the continued development of the Project, that if constructed, will support Ontario’s long-term plans to grow the economy and build a sustainable, reliable and clean electricity system.

“The Minister’s direction to advance this project is a strong signal that the work TC Energy and Saugeen Ojibway Nation are doing is important. It recognizes the critical role that pumped hydro storage will have in enhancing the diversity of Ontario’s supply mix and achieving a net-zero electricity grid,” said Annesley Wallace, EVP, Strategy and Corporate Development and President, Power and Energy Solutions, TC Energy

The Ontario Pumped Storage Project represents a made-in-Ontario solution – it will be designed, engineered, and built by a domestic supply chain. During construction, the project will create 1,000 well paid, unionized jobs and over 75 per cent of the total materials and supplies will be provided by Ontario-based companies.

“The Minister continues to acknowledge that electricity development will only be successful with the participation and leadership from Indigenous Nations. The Ontario Pumped Storage Project is a long overdue energy initiative with real benefits for the Indigenous people of the land,” said Conrad Ritchie, Chief, Saugeen First Nation and Gregory Nadjiwon, Chief, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

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The project remains subject to the approval of TC Energy’s board of directors and Saugeen Ojibway Nation. It is expected that construction for the Project would begin in the latter part of this decade with in-service in the early 2030s, subject to receipt of regulatory and corporate approvals. Further, any future capital allocation decisions will align with TC Energy’s net capital expenditure limit of $6-7 billion post-2024.

NEXT STEPS

  • TC Energy will begin immediate work with the Ministry and the OEB to establish a potential long-term revenue framework for the project, culminating in a report to the Minister by July 31, 2024.
  • Further, TC Energy will provide a report to the Ministry with a breakdown of estimated development costs and schedule. Following submission of these items, the Ministry will provide a recommendation to proceed with pre-development work within 45 days.
  • Following this, TC Energy would begin negotiation of a cost recovery agreement with IESO to recover eligible, prudently incurred expenses associated with pre-development work. A follow up report is to be provided to the Ministry by the IESO within 60 days of submission of the estimates.
  • TC Energy will also provide further information to assist with the Government’s assessment of the project’s societal and economic benefits.
  • A final decision to fund development costs associated with the project would be subject to a Cabinet approval and a future Ministerial directive to the IESO to execute the agreement with TC Energy.

Featured image: (TC Energy Corporation)

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