A Working Group consisting of the local distribution companies (LDCs) in the region, the local transmitter and the IESO will use the regional planning process to identify and meet local electricity needs. The Working Group consists of staff from Alectra Utilities, InnPower, Hydro One Distribution, Hydro One Transmission and the IESO.
The Barrie/Innisfil area is a summer-peaking sub-region that encompasses the City of Barrie, the Towns of Innisfil, New Tecumseth and Bradford West Gwillimbury, and the Townships of Essa, Springwater, Clearview, Mulmur, and Adjala-Tosorontio.
The electricity demand mix is comprised of residential, commercial and industrial uses. Electricity supply to the area is provided by four transformer stations – Everett Transformer Station (TS), Alliston TS, Midhurst TS and Barrie TS.
Over the last five years demand in the area has been stable, at approximately 400 MW. There is, however, substantial growth forecasted over the next 20 years due to urbanization, intensification of developed areas, and new commercial demand growth. Most of this growth is driven by residential development and is expected to occur primarily in southern Barrie and in the Town of Innisfil.
In the next 20 years, conservation and local generation is expected to offset approximately 25 per cent of growth in the area, resulting in a net average annual growth of 2.7 per cent.
Two planning studies have been conducted in the South Simcoe area in the last 12 years. The first was a joint utility planning studying initiated in 2003 between six LDCs in Simcoe County, a large industrial customer and Hydro One Transmission. This study resulted in the addition of Everett TS (in-service 2007) and the Southern Georgian Bay Transmission Reinforcement, which upgraded the Essa-to-Stayner line from 115 kV to 230 kV and installed a 230/115 kV auto-transformer at Stayner TS (in-service 2009).
In 2010, Hydro One Transmission initiated a regional supply planning study of the South Simcoe area. This study resulted in the installation of low voltage capacitors at Midhurst TS (in-service 2012).
The IESO engages with local and regional communities to seek input to help inform regional planning activities. An Integrated Regional Resource Plan (IRRP) from the latest Barrie/Innisfil sub-region planning cycle was finalized in 2016. See engagement materials on the previous planning cycle.