Brascan Power Corp., the parent company of Sault Ste. Marie's Great Lakes Power Ltd., is investing $85.8 million to upgrade 164 kilometres of transmission lines between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa in northeastern Ontario.
Comstock Canada Ltd. of Winnipeg was awarded the contract and plans to begin construction in May and complete the project by December 2005.
The project also calls for a $4.9-million modification to Hydro One's Wawa transformer station and upgrades to five GLP transformer stations along the right-of-way. Fibre optic cable will be installed for improved data transmission and communication between the two communities.
The company says the project is designed to increase overall system reliability and power flow capacity of the provincial transmission grid.
"We are very pleased to be able to start construction of this major project, which will significantly enhance the reliability, capacity and power quality of the system and bring significant employment opportunities to our Northern Ontario communities," says Kim Osmars, GLP's vice-president of transmission and distribution division.
GLP delivers power to 11,000 customers in Northern Ontario and is interconnected with the Ontario power grid.
The project involves removing existing 115 kilovolt (kV) lines and replacing them with 230 kilovolt single circuit transmission lines together with
upgrades to an existing 230 kilovolt power line from Sault Ste. Marie to Hydro One's Mississauga transformer station from 213 megawatts to 374.
The company says most of the 900 new transmission support structures will be wooden poles with the possible inclusion of some large span steel
Since the province opened up the Ontario energy market to competition two years ago, Brascan, a Toronto-based conglomerate, has invested about $500 million in new development and acquisitions.