Local Journalism Initiative
The preferred route for Hydro One’s new high voltage St. Clair transmission line from Lambton County to Chatham has been chosen and its a familiar one.
Officials from the utility call it the best of five options, as the new line follows existing power corridors up to 80 per cent of the time, increasing the line’s capacity from 115 kilovolts to 232 kilovolts. It will deliver some 400 megawatts of energy.
Hydro One’s director of project delivery said the infrastructure line will help fuel economic growth, as Southwestern Ontario’s electricity needs are expected to quadruple by 2035.
“The new St. Clair transmission line will unlock the economic potential of the region and support local supply chains,” said Sonny Karunakaran, adding the utility will continue to engage with the community as the development proceeds. Service is slated to begin in 2028.
Construction of the 62-kilometre line, which connects the Lambton transmission station with the Chatham transmission station, will see new towers replace the old, as well as a significant upgrade to the Wallaceburg transformer station, increasing power reliability to Wallaceburg and Walpole Island First Nation.
Karunakaran said the preferred route is the least invasive when it comes to protecting the environment and valuable farmland.“It was the standout winner.”
More than 60 per cent of the preferred route repurposes the existing transmission corridor, but it needs to be widened and new land needs to be acquired. Nearly 20 per cent of the new route utilizes existing corridor lands not yet occupied by transmission infrastructure.
Three community open houses on tap this month. The first will take place June 26 at the Brigden Fairgrounds in St. Clair Township between 2 pm and 8 pm. Hydro One real estate agents are expected to reach out to affected property owners soon.
- The Chatham Voice