The Ontario Waterpower Association is the voice for waterpower in Ontario. Our mission is to inform public policy and public opinion to maintain, enhance and build investment opportunities for members of our industry in the communities and regions of Ontario within which they work. Our objective is to sustain and enhance the significant contributions of Ontario’s existing waterpower assets and to provide new opportunities for waterpower development and industry growth across the province.

Sustaining and Expanding Existing Assets

Ontario’s waterpower fleet has been and will continue to be the backbone of a reliable, affordable, sustainable electricity system. A core focus for the OWA is protecting and enhancing the viability of existing operating facilities. The OWA is working with the Ministry of Energy and the IESO to recontract more than one hundred twenty (120) facilities for the next twenty (20) years, spurring new investments across the province. 

Preparing for Market Renewal

Ontario is “renewing” its commercial market for electricity for the first time in more than twenty (20) years. The OWA is working with the IESO to sustain the value of existing facilities affected by Market Renewal (scheduled for implementation in 2025) and to ensure that waterpower has the opportunity to participate in future electricity markets and procurements.

Enabling New Development

The IESO’s Pathways to Decarbonization Report and Ontario Power Generation’s Made-in-Ontario Northern Hydroelectric Opportunities Report have identified 3,000-4,000 MW of untapped waterpower at existing infrastructure, through the expansion of pumped storage and new greenfield development. The OWA is working across government agencies and with Indigenous communities and industry partners to advance policy and procurement frameworks to help realize the province’s waterpower potential over the coming years and decades.

Driving Down Costs Through Burden Reduction

The OWA has successfully collaborated with government agencies (MNRF, MECP, MOF, DFO, NRCan) to advance legislative, regulatory, and policy improvements which reduce the burden and costs for existing assets and new development while maintaining the industry’s commitment to ecological sustainability. The OWA will continue to focus on targeted initiatives (e.g. Federal Investment Tax Credit, Class Environmental Assessment) to enhance the investment climate for waterpower in Ontario. 

Maintaining and Growing Public and Community Support

The OWA regularly commissions third-party public opinion polling which shows that support for waterpower is the highest amongst all electricity sources, across the province, and across all political affiliations.  We collaborate with municipalities, and their representative organizations and engage Indigenous communities in helping to shape shared advocacy priorities.  The OWA will continue to outreach to and involve all elected officials, key organizations, and communities in communicating the value of and garnering support for Made in Ontario waterpower.

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