Made in Ontario Waterpower Poised to Expand Industry Calls for Hydro Strategy

For immediate release

 Gearing up For Growth – Made in Ontario Waterpower Poised to Expand Industry Calls

for Hydro Strategy at Power of Water Canada Conference


May 12, 2022 – Niagara – The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) today opened its annual conference and tradeshow with a resurgence of interest and excitement in building out new hydro across the province to meet emerging and growing electricity requirements driven by the electrification of the broader economy and commitments to decarbonization.

“For the first time in more than a decade, significant new development is required to meet emergent near term and growing mid to long term capacity and energy requirements,” said Stephen Somerville, Chair of the OWA Board of Directors in his opening remarks. “Sustaining existing facilities, building new northern partnerships with Indigenous Communities, Pumped Storage and retrofits of existing infrastructure will need to be part of an all of the above approach to meeting the needs.”

  • In January the Minister of Energy directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to develop a Program to recontract existing waterpower facilities, recognizing the important role these perpetual assets play in meeting Ontario’s electricity needs, as well as providing benefits such as recreational opportunities, flood control, tourism and facilitating local employment and economic development.
  • In addition, the Minister asked Ontario Power Generation, in cooperation with the OWA and the IESO, to explore hydro development opportunities in Northern Ontario, updating previous assessments and engaging Indigenous communities.
  • The IESO is introducing procurements to contract an estimated 6,000 MW of effective capacity to come in service between 2025 and 2030. At the same time that the province has asked the IESO to provide advice on “Pathways to Decarbonize” Ontario’s electricity system.

“We estimate that there is between 4,000 and 5,000 MW of practical untapped waterpower potential in the province,” added Paul Norris, OWA President. “To realize this once in a generation opportunity, Ontario needs an overarching “Hydro Strategy”, similar to the “all government” approach that has been taken in other sectors.”


The OWA represents the common and collective interests of the waterpower industry in Ontario. The Association is the voice for over 150 member companies and is committed to sustaining and enhancing Ontario’s existing waterpower assets and to providing new opportunities for waterpower development and industry growth across the province.

For more information on the Ontario Waterpower Association, visit:


Paul Norris
Ontario Waterpower Association

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