Ontario Government Makes Electric Arc Furnace Transmission “Priority”

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Ontario is accelerating the timely and cost-effective development of three transmission projects that will support the production of clean steel at Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as economic growth, critical mineral development and new housing in northeast and eastern Ontario.

“We’re building a made-in-Ontario supply chain that’s connecting the province’s critical minerals and clean steel in the north, to auto makers and battery manufacturers across Ontario,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “These three new transmission lines will power that vision, helping to electrify Algoma Steel’s conversion to electric arc furnace as well as new homes, critical mineral development, and other job creators in northeast and eastern Ontario.

The government has issued an Order-in-Council declaring three transmission line projects as priorities, which includes one new line in eastern Ontario and two new lines in northeastern Ontario. This will streamline the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) regulatory approval process for these lines. The government has also directed the OEB to amend Hydro One Network Inc. (Hydro One)’s transmission licence to designate it as the transmitter responsible for the development of the three lines.

These projects are also a significant opportunity to build economic partnerships and advance reconciliation with Indigenous communities, which will be key to successful energy infrastructure development in the province. Hydro One and the First Nations have been collaborating on early planning and will advance the development and construction phases of the projects together. First Nations have the opportunity to invest in a 50 per cent equity stake in the transmission line component of the projects once complete through Hydro One’s Equity Partnership model.

“Ontario is building a strong end-to-end EV supply chain while attracting billions of dollars of investments in the automotive sector. A steady and reliable supply of clean, affordable energy will be essential to the economy of the future,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “By expanding our electricity infrastructure, our government is ensuring we are well-positioned to power the jobs of tomorrow – not only in northeast and eastern Ontario, but across the entire province.”

These new transmission lines demonstrate how the province is continuing to deliver on the actions outlined in Powering Ontario’s Growth to meet the increasing demand for electricity driven by strong economic growth and electrification through the 2030s and 2040s.

“Finding electricity pricing solutions for industry and building this critical transmission infrastructure are key to maintaining global competitiveness, keeping high-paying jobs in Northern Ontario, and providing more opportunities to invest in training, new equipment and job creation,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “Our government is supporting transformative investments with the addition of the Investor Class Stream to the Northern Energy Advantage Program, which has provided Algoma Steel with the cost certainty necessary to confidently plan to build an electric arc furnace in Sault Ste Marie – positioning Algoma Steel as a world leader in the production of green, low-emission steel.”

Ontario’s world-class clean electricity system is a competitive advantage. These actions will ensure that transmission infrastructure can meet the needs of northeast and eastern Ontario, giving businesses the confidence to expand or invest in their operations and create new jobs. This includes certainty for growing industries, such as Algoma Steel’s transition to electric arc furnaces.

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