The regional planning cycle is underway for the Hamilton sub-region, with an Integrated Regional Resource Plan anticipated to be posted in fall 2018.
Regional Planning Process
When the Burlington to Nanticoke Regional Needs Assessment and Scoping Assessment were completed in 2014, detailed information on the condition of assets in the Hamilton area was not available. The Working Group at that time decided not to begin coordinated regional planning in this sub-region based on the assessed scope of work. Since then, a Regional Infrastructure Plan completed by Hydro One in February 2017 identified needs within the Hamilton sub-region.
Based on these results, the Regional Planning process for the Burlington to Nanticoke Region was initiated in 2017 with the completion of a Needs Assessment in May 2017 by Hydro One. Based on the identification of local infrastructure needs such as end of life infrastructure replacements, the Working Group has completed a Scoping Assessment Outcome Report as part of the next steps in the regional planning process, with an Integrated Regional Resource Plan anticipated to be posted in fall 2018.
IRRP Working Group
A Working Group consisting of the local distribution companies in the region, the local transmitter and the IESO will continue to use the regional planning process to identify and meet local electricity needs.
The Working Group consists of staff from Alectra Utilities, Hydro One Distribution, Hydro One Transmission and the IESO.
The Hamilton sub-region encompasses the City of Hamilton, which includes the communities of Hamilton, Flamborough, Dundas, Ancaster, Glanbrook, Binbrook, Waterdown, and Stoney Creek which have a combined population of over 536,000 people. With a summer peak demand of just over 1,300 MW, customers in this sub-region are supplied by Alectra or Hydro One Distribution. However, the sub-region’s transmission connected customers are supplied directly by Hydro One Transmission.
The forecast demand for the Hamilton sub-region has been relatively consistent in recent years, while maintaining some small pockets of growth. However, a substantial number of station facilities and underground cables have been identified as reaching their end-of-life, providing an opportunity to re-examine their current use and configuration in the context of the latest load forecast and generation data. In this instance, due to the number of facilities impacted and their proximity to one another, a comprehensive regional planning process is underway to optimize the transmission assets in the Hamilton area as they are renewed.
In May 2013 the OEB endorsed the Planning Process Working Group’s report, formalizing the regional planning process. The Burlington to Nanticoke area was one of the first regions to undergo the new planning process, with a needs assessment published by Hydro One in May of 2014 and, subsequently, a scoping assessment published by the former OPA in September 2014. At that time, the OPA’s scoping assessment indicated there was no need to complete an IRRP for the Hamilton sub-region and that the identified needs could be addressed through local planning between the LDCs and the transmitter.
In late 2016, the IESO was made aware of a number of significant sustainment investments in the Hamilton sub-region, for which there had been no information at the time of the 2014 needs assessment. Accordingly, the IESO worked with Hydro One to undertake a review of these ongoing projects.
In the spring of 2017, the Burlington to Nanticoke RIP process identified additional end-of-life needs in the Hamilton sub-region, highlighting a need for coordinated planning. As a result, the RIP report (published February 2017) recommended that a needs assessment be undertaken for the Burlington to Nanticoke region, restarting the regional planning cycle ahead of schedule.
Hydro One completed the needs assessment for the Burlington to Nanticoke region in May of 2017, identifying a number of sustainment needs, particularly in the Hamilton area, which require regional coordination.