Either Milton or Halton Hills will likely be the site of Ontario's next hydro generating station, and already one company is proposing to build it in Hornby. Paul J. Bradley, vice-president of generation development of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), an agency of the provincial government which ensures the energy needs of Ontario residents are met, spoke about future hydro generating plans to Halton Hills council Monday night. OPA's mandate includes seeking out new energy generating entrepreneurs. Last year, it put out a call for a 500-1,000 mega-watt hydro generating station to ease the electricity crisis for the western
Greater Toronto Area. Of the initial 13 proposals, OPA has narrowed its competition to six. These six will now hold public meetings over the summer to gauge public reaction. The first to announce their proposal is TransCanada Energy Ltd., which is proposing the Halton Hills Generating Station. A public meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday (June 7), 4:30-8:30 p.m. (presentation at 6:45 p.m.) at Pineview Public School (corner of Five Sideroad and Trafalgar Rd.) The proposal is for a 680-mega-watt natural gas-fuelled, combined cycle power plant, located on the southwest corner of Sixth Line South and Steeles Ave. in Halton Hills' 401-407 Gateway Business Park (401 Corridor). So far no other companies have publicized their proposals, and due to confidentiality, the
OPA will not release their names, Bradley said. However, he noted that the selected plant (all utilizing natural gas) would likely be located in Halton Hills or Milton since the generating plant will be tied into the Trafalgar Rd. transformer station, which is one of three stations that supply power to the GTA. Mayor Rick Bonnette, in an interview Wednesday, confirmed one or two other companies have been enquiring about sites in Halton Hills. While he is concerned that a hydro generating plant could set up in the 401-407 Gateway Business Park, which the Town has designated for prestige development, Bonnette says that industrial location is a better place than urban Acton or Georgetown.
"It's obvious from the presentation (Monday) they are seeing Halton Hills as a desirous place to set up," said Bonnette. "I'm not going to get too excited until I hear what the public thinks... I can see pros and cons on both sides," he said, adding that he and many of the town councillors plan to attend the June 7 meeting. A typical 600 mega-watt natural gas fuelled power plant is located on 10-15 acres with at least two 150-foot towers. It would likely not run 24 hours-7 days a week but primarily through the daytime hours of the week in peak hours. Ministry of Environment and Energy sets stringent requirements for emissions, and Bradley said the proposed projects would be "as benign as your gas furnace, RICK properly cleaned and BONNETTE vented. It will be a fairly non-event as far as large power generators go." The turbines are housed in a building and from 200-400 yards away, the typical sound would be akin to the air conditioning sound of a large building like the Civic Centre, Bradley said. He also assured councillors once OPA awards the contract, the municipality will have site plan control on issues such as buffering. Possible benefits to the Town include the payment of development charges during construction and future taxes. Bradley also added that these types of companies are usually "good corporate citizens" that contribute to their communities through sponsorships and charity work. The OPA will award one of the six with the contract by the end of September. The plant is expected to be up and running by 2010.