East–West Tie Transmission Project

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Image Credit: NextBridge Infrastructure

Ranking for 2017: 76

Industry Sector: Energy

Specific Sector: Transmission

Range: $500,000,000 - $1 billion

Project Value: $600,000,000

Government Funds Involved: N/A

Funding Source: Private

Location: Thunder Bay to Wawa, Ontario

Estimated End Date of Substantial Completion: 2020


The East-West Tie Transmission Project is planned to consist of a new, approximately 447-kilometre, double-circuit, 230-kV transmission line, primarily parallelling an existing transmission line corridor. The new East-West Tie will connect the Wawa Transformer Station to the Lakehead Transformer Station in the Municipality of Shuniah, near Thunder Bay, with a connection approximately mid-way at the Marathon Transformer Station. The need for the project was established by the Independent Electricity System Operator to: (i) increase capacity to meet expected electricity demand growth in northwestern Ontario; (ii) provide two-way power flow across the tie, allowing more efficient use of generation resources; and (iii) create improved electricity system reliability, flexibility, and operation. Additionally, in March 2016, Ontario declared that the construction of the East-West Tie Transmission line is needed as a priority project. In October of 2017, the Ontario Energy Board issued the letter of direction and notice of proceeding for the project. The targeted in-service date in 2020. In early 2018, Hydro One filed for a leave to construct, presenting its own vision (Lake Superior Link) for the project. Acting on concerns that the project cost had risen to $777 million, Hydro One announced that it could build the project for $100 million less, by using an existing corridor through Pukaskwa National Park. A final decision from the OEB on whether or not Hydro One will be granted leave is still pending.


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