Assessments Undertaken for Remote Communities and MNRF Dams
(October 2, 2017 – Toronto) The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) is pleased to announce the completion of two initiatives designed to improve the analysis and assessment of waterpower potential in Ontario. The first, undertaken by Hatch Ltd, updates the “Northern Hydro Assessment”, prepared for the OWA in 2013, to align small waterpower potential in proximity to remote Indigenous communities with the proposed Wataynikaneyap transmission line project. The work was supported by the IESO’s Education and Capacity Building Program. The second, led by CIMA+, improves the information on which Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) dams may hold the highest potential for hydroelectric retrofit. The initiative was completed with support from the Ministry.
“Both these initiatives help to improve our knowledge and understanding of the potential for waterpower to contribute to Ontario’s energy, environmental and economic objectives,” said Paul Norris, President of the OWA. “Whether it be for First Nations in the Far North or re-purposing existing infrastructure in Southern Ontario, prudent and planned waterpower expansion will continue to provide local and provincial benefits.”
The review of the previous Northern Hydro Assessment re-affirmed that there are viable small waterpower opportunities in reasonable proximity to virtually all of the Remote Indigenous communities to be connected to the provincial grid. The OWA will again be delivering capacity building sessions to these communities this fall. The review of MNRF dams resulted in the identification of more than thirty (30) sites with potentially practical connection availability, along with acceptable head & capacity. Retrofitting existing dams not only produces clean energy, but can also increase public safety and reduce taxpayer liability.
“The OWA is committed to ensuring the best available information is brought forward as electricity options for the future are considered,” added Norris. “We will continue to work with our members, partners and communities to advance our collective knowledge.”
Over the last decade, the OWA has published more than forty (40) Best Management Practices on topics ranging from Species at Risk to Construction to Community Engagement. Previous inventories of waterpower and pumped storage potential have also been undertaken.
The OWA was founded in 2001 to represent the common and collective interests of the province’s original renewable energy sector – waterpower. More than 160 members are committed to advancing responsible resource management and sustainable development.
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