Pending Infrastructure Work in the Hydro One CorridorMar 1, 2021 - By Riley Brockington
Dear Neighbours on Linton Road, Southmore Drive (East and West), Dickinson Avenue, Fielding Court and Kitchener Avenue. My office has been notified by Hydro One of an application to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for permission to reconductor approximately 11.9km of a high-transmission line which includes the corridor that runs east to west across River Ward just north of McCarthy Woods and south of your street.
Over the last month, I have been working closely with both the Riverside Park Community Association and Ellwood’s Ridgemont Community Association to address a number of issues related to this project.
Hydro One has advised that the work is to replace the conductors on existing circuits (M30A/M31A) with a two-conductor bundle. The voltage of the line will not change and will remain 230kV. The only change is the current carrying ampacity of the line will increase from 648MW to 1080MW. They do not expect to build any new transmission structures and most of the work would be carried out within the existing transmission corridor. Where possible, access to the transmission structures will be gained using existing roads, transmission corridors, and trails. Temporary by-pass poles will be installed at two electricity junctions just outside the ward. Once the project is completed there will be little noticeable difference in this transmission line.
I will continue to share information on this project as it is received. At this time, there are no dates for the work to be completed as Hydro One is just at the application stage with the OEB.
City Councillor, River Ward
Project Q&A with Hydro One’s responses.
Will there be large equipment working in the corridor?
Local residents may notice the use of bulldozers, bucket trucks, and cranes during construction. Hydro One does not anticipate the use of a helicopter for this project.
Will it be noisy?
Residents can expect typical construction noise during the working hours of Monday to Friday, 7am to 5:30pm. Depending on the schedule, some weekend work may be required. Crews and contractors will follow the provincial construction guidelines and noise by-laws.
Will there be overnight work with large lights?
Hydro One does not anticipate overnight work and the use of lighting.
Will any trees or brush be removed as part of this work or as part of gaining access to the work area?
Select low growing brush may require trimming or removal to gain access to the transmission right-of-way. As they are in the early planning phase, the access points have not yet been identified. Hydro One has committed to contact my office should vegetation removal be required for this work.
Will local residential power go off at any time?
They do not expect any temporary power outages as a result of this project.
Why is this required?
This project is considered to be a transmission line refurbishment between Merivale Transformer Station (TS) and Hawthorne TS, approximately 12km, to ensure continued safe and reliable supply of power to the Ottawa area. The M30A and M31A circuits currently carry a 230-kilovolt single conductor and as a part of this project these circuits will be reconductored with a dual bundle (two conductors per phase).
How will construction crews/equipment gain access to the project area?
Where possible Hydro One’s construction crews will use the closest street crossings to gain access to the transmission right-of-way. Some of these access points may be in residential areas and will require signage and public notification. As noted earlier, they are still in the early construction planning phase and access points are not finalized. In the event access to the transmission right-of-way is needed through a private property, a Hydro One Real Estate coordinator will work directly with the property owner.
When is construction anticipated to begin and end?
Although initially anticipated to start in 2021, the new start date for construction is moved to early 2022. Hydro One will advise my office when they are preparing to start and provide a further update. This will be shared with the community. They anticipate completing this work by the end of 2023.
Is it safe to live near transmission stations and lines?
Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible forces that surround all electrical appliances and equipment, power cords and wiring, and outdoor power lines and equipment operated by utility companies. These fields are at extremely low frequencies. The field strength is strongest close to its source and fades rapidly as you move away from the source.
Health Canada does not consider that any precautionary measures are needed regarding daily exposures to EMFs at extremely low frequencies. There is no conclusive evidence of any harm caused by exposures at levels found in Canadian homes and schools, including those located just outside the boundaries of power line corridors.
How are electric and magnetic fields along the transmission corridor expected to change?
The modifications will be done according to the Canadian Electrical Code that meets the Canadian Standards Association requirements accounting for public safety. The second circuit will be installed on the existing transmission structures and based on Hydro One’s calculations, they project that the electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) along the transmission corridor would not substantially change.
At a recent meeting with Hydro One, I was reassured there will only be a slight increase of EMFs as a result of this project. Currently the line emits a reading of 16 milligauss (mG) and the reconductoring could see the reading increase to 18mG. Internationally, voluntary exposure guidelines recommend a residential magnetic field exposure limit of 2,000mG and an occupational exposure limit of 10,000mG. The World Health Organization endorses these guidelines set out by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, and both organizations regularly review them.
Who can residents contact if they have project-related questions?
If residents have questions about the project or would like additional information, they are welcome to contact Hydro One Community Relations at 1-877-345-6799 or Community.Relations@HydroOne.com.
Future Public Information Night
I have secured a commitment from Hydro One to host an information session with residents closer to the start of the project so residents can speak with the project team about construction and electric and magnetic fields. My office will ensure all residents receive notice well in advance of this meeting.