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How Ontario's Northwest Residents Benefit from the East-West Tie Transmission Line

If you're from Ontario, you might already be familiar with the East-West Tie Transmission Line, a NextBridge project, but have yet to dive into the topic. If you live in the northwest, it might be beneficial to know more about this transmission line and how it can help you, especially since the minister of energy mainly created the project for your convenience and the northwest residents of Ontario.

Facts about the East-West Tie Transmission Line

Approximately 450km long, the east-west transmission line connects the Wawa transfer station to Lakehead transfer station. It is a 230 kV double-circuit transmission line that connects these stations which are in the east and west of Ontario, respectively. The line also includes a connection to the Marathon transformer station.

It is composed of the following elements:

  • Insulators
  • Overhead shield wires
  • Conductors
  • Transmission structures
  • Optic fibre ground wire and grounding

The Minister of Energy proposed the proposed project in 2011 and asked the OEB to create a reliable team and choose the best to handle the project, ensuring that the East-West Tie Transmission line would connect successfully to northeast and northwest Ontario. They broke down the project into the following after the finalization of the Ontario transmission line map:

  • Preparing the site
  • Distributing the materials
  • Installing the foundation
  • Assembling and erection of structures
  • Installation of conductors
  • Cleaning up
  • Testing
  • Maintenance like inspection and vegetation management along the "right of way."

Right of Way - the transmission line will be paralleling an existing transmission corridor. The proposed cleared area for the right of way is up to 64 meters wide.

Supercom Industries - manages all the employment and contracting opportunities on behalf of NextBridge and Valard Construction.

Summary of the Project

Here is the breakdown and summary of the East-West Tie News:

  • NextBridge Environmental Assessment: Approved and Submitted on February 2011
  • The expiry of public comment was on March 29, 2018
  • The expiry on the comment period for the ministry review was on November 16, 2018
  • The Decision date was on March 21, 2019
  • The reference term was approved and submitted on February 28, 2014
  • Expiry of public comment was on March 31, 2014
  • The decision Date was on August 28, 2014
  • The project began its construction on October 2, 2019
  • Professionals completed the project on April 2022

Is It Beneficial to Northwest Residents in Ontario?

While the project mainly benefits the mining sector of the northwestern side of Ontario, it won't be the only one. The communities connected to the transmission line would also get benefits like jobs and affordable energy.

Even the project director, Jennifer Tidmarsh, explained how Thunder Bay and Wawa communities were required to finish the project. The project is necessary to build a connection with indigenous communities like the Bamkushwada, who ensured 200 workers, which took up 60% of the construction workforce, were part of the project.

Another main reason the Minister of Energy created the East-West Tie Transmission Line was to provide and fulfill the growing need of northwestern Ontario for electricity. This NextBridge project, in collaboration with the Bamkushawada Limited Partnership, was completed in April 2022. Simplified, the main benefits of the East-West Transmission Lines are:

  • Additional Jobs
  • Electricity for Northwestern residents
  • Supports new economic growth in the region

How Can We Help in Your Next Project?

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