Early finish predicted for hydro project

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Hydro One says it will finish construction on its Chatham-to-Lakeshore transmission line a full year early.

Officials said they are on track to complete the project by the end of 2024. The initial target date was December of 2025.

By completing the project early, the company expects to reduce the cost of the project by approximately $15 million.

The line will add approximately 400 megawatts of clean electricity to the region, which is enough power to supply a city the size of Windsor, supporting economic growth in agri-foods, clean energy supply chain and manufacturing.

Construction began in spring 2023 on the 49-kilometre, 230-kilovolt line between the Chatham switching station and the new Lakeshore transformer station.

Meanwhile, as part of the project, Hydro One is launching a new biodiversity initiative to support the environment.

To that end, the utility is inviting Indigenous communities, municipalities, community members and environmental organizations to submit proposals that create or enhance local habitat. The funding is part of the company’s commitment to support the energy needs of southwest Ontario while operating in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner.

According to Andrew Spencer, executive vice-president of capital portfolio delivery, the effort aims to balance the transmission of energy with the area’s environmental needs.

Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff has praise for the plan.

“The Municipality of Chatham-Kent would like to applaud Hydro One’s stewardship efforts to support the sustainability of local ecosystems,” Canniff said. “We’re looking forward to seeing and enjoying the environmental benefits from this fantastic enhancement work.”

Applications under the Biodiversity Initiative are being accepted until Dec. 15. For full details regarding timelines and eligibility visit hydroone.com/chatham-to-lakeshore.

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