Project Information

Project Information

This page of the NextBridge web site will provide you with access to key information as the project unfolds.

Project Details:

The proposed new East-West Tie Transmission Project (the Project) will consist of the installation of a double-circuit 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line generally paralleling the existing double-circuit 230 kV transmission corridor (the existing East-West Tie) connecting the Wawa Transformer Station (TS) to the Lakehead TS near Thunder Bay, with a connection approximately mid-way at the Marathon TS. The Preferred Route primarily parallels the existing East-West Tie and is approximately 450 km long. The proposed new the Project generally parallels an existing double-circuit 230-kV transmission line corridor (the existing East-West Tie) but avoids some sensitive features crossed by the existing line, including Pukaskwa National Park. The proposed right-of-way (cleared area) for the Project is expected to be typically up to 64 m (210 ft.) wide. However, additional space may be required for; conductor stringing and tensioning, water body crossings, angles in the route, areas where long spans are required, and/or locations with poor soil conditions that dictate the use of longer anchors.

On August 7, 2013 NextBridge Infrastructure (NextBridge) was designated by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to develop the EWT line and to file a Leave to Construct (LTC) application. NextBridge, the proponent for the Project, is committed to consulting with all interested community members, First Nations and Métis, elected officials and municipal staff, agencies, landowners and other stakeholders in a clear and mutually respectful manner throughout the life of the Project.

The Project is required to ensure the long-term reliability of the electricity supply in northwestern Ontario (the Northwest). Industrial activities in the Northwest, particularly in the mining sector, are expected to drive strong electricity demand growth in the coming decade. Coupled with changes to the electricity supply in the area, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) (formerly the Ontario Power Authority or OPA) has identified supply needs for the Northwest, which can be met with additional transmission or generation. The IESO analyzed these alternatives and recommended expansion of the East-West Tie based on technical, economic and other considerations. The East-West Tie was included as a priority Project in the Government of Ontario's 2010 Long Term Energy Plan.

Ontario Energy Board Correspondence Regarding Project Schedule:

The initial target in-service date for the Project was the first half of 2018. On September 30, 2014, the Independent Electricity System Operator (formerly the OPA), sent a letter to the OEB. In that letter, the IESO proposed that the development schedule for the Project be extended to work toward a 2020 in-service date. In OEB Decision and Order Number EB-2015-0216, dated November 19, 2015, an updated Extended Development Schedule with a new Project in-service date of 2020, filed with the OEB by NextBridge Infrastructure on June 24th, 2015, was approved. The new target in-service date for the Project is 2020.

The September 30, 2014 OPA letter to the OEB can be viewed here.

The October 29, 2014 letter from the OEB regarding the Project development schedule can be viewed here.

The November 19, 2015 OEB Decision and Order Number EB-2015-0216 can be viewed here.

Pukaskwa National Park:

On June 1, 2015, NextBridge participated in a conference call with the Chief Executive Officer and other representatives from Parks Canada, in which NextBridge received confirmation that access to Park for the purposes of studying a route through the Park will not be allowed. On June 24, 2015, NextBridge informed the OEB that no further effort will be made to pursue authorization to study in the Park.

Leave to Construct Submission:

The Leave to Construct (LTC) application for the East-West Tie Project was submitted to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) on July 31, 2017.

On October 12, 2017, the OEB issued the Notice of Application and Letter of Direction for the proceeding. The OEB is combining the proceeding with an application from Hydro One Networks for station works associated with the East-West Tie Line project. The Notice is available below in multiple languages. The application and evidence submitted by NextBridge is also below. The Hydro One Networks application and evidence can be viewed here.

Note: In the notices, NextBridge is referred to by its legal name, “Upper Canada Transmission”.

Notice of Application:

The East-West Tie Project is expected to contribute to a stronger and prosperous Northwest Ontario. Deemed a priority project through an Order in Council by the Government of Ontario, and identified as a priority project in Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plans, NextBridge developed the East-West Tie under the first competitive bidding process for a transmission line in the province. Along with a rigorous Environmental Assessment, NextBridge is required to complete a LTC. The LTC demonstrates that the project is in the public interest by considering the impacts the Project may have on consumers with respect to prices, as well as the reliability and quality of electricity service. These criteria, which delineate the OEB's jurisdiction in relation to the Project, will be used to determine if the project is in the public interest by the OEB.

NextBridge was selected as the designated transmitter for the Project in 2013. Since then, the team at NextBridge, comprised of three industry-leading partners, has worked to develop a project that works for the people of Northwest Ontario and the province as a whole. At the request of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the project in service date was extended to 2020 to ensure the project would be ready when it was needed, and not before. We've taken extra measures to ensure the project is well-suited to the unique and challenging conditions and terrain of the North. And, most importantly, we've listened to stakeholders, from the federal government to our hosts along the right of way, to develop a project that meets their needs and addresses their concerns. The LTC application must be approved before construction of the Project can proceed.

* Please note: Some files are large and make take several minutes to download. *

Leave to Construct Application

The Environmental Assessment Process:

The first step in the environmental assessment process is the preparation of a Terms of Reference. The Terms of Reference outlines the work plan NextBridge will follow to address the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change approved the Terms of Reference for the project on August 28, 2014. The approved Terms of Reference provides the framework for the second step in the process, the preparation of the Environmental Assessment (EA) document.

The EA process for the Project has commenced. During the EA, NextBridge will conduct environmental studies, and meet with agencies, community representatives, First Nations and Métis communities, and members of the public to determine the potential positive and negative impacts of the Project on the people, places, businesses, economy and natural environment in the study area.

Members of the community, public, landowners, stakeholder groups, government agencies, and other interested persons are encouraged to participate in the planning process.

Environmental Assessment Submission and Review:

NextBridge completed the initial Environmental Assessment Report for the East-West Tie Transmission Project. As required under section 6.2 (1) of the Environmental Assessment Act (Act) and according to the Terms of Reference approved by the Minister of Environment on August 28, 2014, NextBridge submitted the Environmental Assessment Report to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for review and approval.

NextBridge is committed to consulting with all interested stakeholders and communities to receive feedback on the proposed Project. As required under the Act, the Environmental Assessment Report was available for public review and comment from July 25, 2017 to September 12, 2017. The Report is available below for download. Hard copies were also available for viewing at the locations listed on the Notice of Submission, which can be viewed here. (Version français).

Comments submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will be forwarded to NextBridge for consideration. NextBridge is currently reviewing and responding to comments and intends to submit an amended Environmental Assessment.

* Please note: Some files are large and make take several minutes to download. *

Environmental Assessment Report

Environmental Assessment Appendices

Draft Environmental Assessment:

A Draft Environmental Assessment Report was submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and made available for public review and comment from December 19, 2016 to February 28, 2017. NextBridge has updated the Environmental Assessment Report based on feedback received during the Draft Environmental Assessment review and comment period.

Approved Terms of Reference:

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change approved the Terms of Reference for the project on August 28, 2014. The Ministry's Notice of Approval has been posted on the Ministry's web site and can be viewed by clicking here.

The Approved Terms of Reference:

  • Parks Canada Project Description
  • Aboriginal Consultation Plan
  • Letter from Ministry of Energy to the Ontario Power Authority Regarding Duty to Consult
  • Record of Consultation

Fourth Round of Open Houses:

Public Open Houses provide an opportunity to learn more about the Project. Active participation in the EA process is encouraged by contacting Project representatives with questions and comments, and by attending engagement and discussion opportunities such as public Open Houses. Information on the following items was made available during this round of public Open Houses: the EA and Leave To Construct processes, Draft EA review, results of background studies and studies which took place during the EA, routing considerations and decisions to date, maps of the preferred route and preliminary transmission line access and construction areas, land and property matters and next steps in the EA process.

The Notice of Open Houses can be found here. (Version francais)

The presentation panels which were made available at the fourth round of Open Houses can be found here. Additional documents available at the public Open Houses include; Frequently Asked Questions, Project Need Fact Sheet, Project Towers Fact Sheet, The Environmental Assessment, Transmission Line Safety, EMF Fact Sheet, Compensation Principles, and Comment Form. Some web browsers may not be able to display all links. If you encounter this issue, please try opening the page with another web browser. If you do not have another web browser, you can right click and select, "Save Target as" to download the document for viewing.

Open Houses took place at the following locations:

THUNDER BAY - February 6, 2017

Current River Community Centre, 450 Dewe Avenue, 4 pm to 8 pm

NIPIGON - February 6, 2017

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #32, 102 Fifth Street, 4 pm to 8 pm

DORION - February 7, 2017

Dorion Community Centre, 175 Dorion Loop Road, 4 pm to 8 pm

WHITE RIVER - February 7, 2017

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #169, 108 Winnipeg Street, 4 pm to 8 pm

MARATHON - February 8, 2017

Marathon Centre Mall (Scotia Bank entrance), 2 Hemlo Drive, 4 pm to 8 pm

WAWA - February 8, 2017

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #429, 51 Broadway Avenue, 4 pm to 8 pm

SCHREIBER - February 9, 2017

Schreiber Recreation Centre, 100 Langworthy Street, 4 pm to 8 pm

TERRACE BAY - February 9, 2017

Terrace Bay Cultural Centre, 13 Selkirk Avenue, 4 pm to 8 pm

Third Round of Open Houses:

The third round of public Open Houses were held April 18-22, 2016 to provide information on the following topics; Environmental Assessment and Leave to Construct processes, results of background studies and studies to take place, routing considerations and decisions to date, maps of the preliminary preferred route and preliminary transmission line access and construction areas, overview of the next steps in the environmental assessment process, First Nations and Métis community and public engagement, and land and property matters. The presentation panels from the third round of Open Houses can be found here.

The Notice of Open Houses can be found here. (Version francais)

Additional documents available at the public Open Houses include; Frequently Asked Questions, Project Need Fact Sheet, Project Towers Fact Sheet, The Environmental Assessment, Transmission Line Safety, EMF Fact Sheet, Compensation Principles, Draft Effects Assessment Criteria and Indicators Handout, Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Handout, and Comment Form. Some web browsers may not be able to display all links. If you encounter this issue, please try opening the page with another web browser. If you do not have another web browser, you can right click and select, "Save Target as" to download the document for viewing.

Open Houses were held April 18 to 22, 2016 in the following locations:

THUNDER BAY - April 18, 2016

Current River Community Centre, 450 Dewe Avenue, 4 pm to 8 pm

DORION - April 19, 2016

Dorion Community Centre, 175 Dorion Loop Road, 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm

MARATHON - April 20, 2016

Marathon Centre Mall (Scotia Bank entrance), 2 Hemlo Drive, 4 pm to 8 pm

NIPIGON - April 20, 2016

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #32, 102 Fifth Street, 4 pm to 8 pm

WHITE RIVER - April 21, 2016

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #169, 108 Winnipeg Street, 4 pm to 8 pm

WAWA - April 21, 2016

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #429, 51 Broadway Avenue, 4 pm to 8 pm

SCHREIBER - April 22, 2016

Schreiber Recreation Centre, 100 Langworthy Street, 4 pm to 8 pm

TERRACE BAY - April 22, 2016

Terrace Bay Cultural Centre, 13 Selkirk Avenue, 4 pm to 8 pm

Notice of Commencement of Environmental Assessment and Second Round of Open Houses:

Notification for the Commencement of Environmental Assessment and Second Round of Open Houses was distributed and included a notice in the newspaper (version française) the second edition of our Project Newsletter.

The second round of project Open Houses were held to provide further information on the Project, the Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Leave to Construct processes, results of background studies undertaken, studies that will be taking place during the EA as well as routing considerations and decisions to date, land and property matters and the next steps in the EA process. Presentation panels from the second round of Open Houses are available here.

Also available for download are the Compensation Principles and an updated Frequently Asked Questions document.

Open Houses were held in the following locations:

THUNDER BAY - August 18, 2014

Current River Community Centre, 450 Dewe Avenue, Thunder Bay, 4 pm to 8 pm

DORION - August 19, 2014

Dorion Community Centre, 175 Dorion Loop Road, Dorion, 4 pm to 8 pm

SCHREIBER - August 20, 2014

Schreiber Recreation Centre, 100 Langworthy Street, Schreiber, 4 pm to 8 pm

MARATHON - August 21, 2014

Marathon Centre Mall, (Scotia Bank Entrance 2 Hemlo Drive, Marathon, 4 pm to 8 pm

WHITE RIVER - August 22, 2014

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #169, 108 Winnipeg Street, White River, 4 pm to 8 pm

WAWA - August 23, 2014

Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre, 3 Chris Simon Drive, Wawa, 10 am to 2 pm

NextBridge would like to thank everyone who attended the 2nd round of Open Houses and those who provided comments.

Project Notification and First Round of Open Houses:

Notification of this project was distributed and included a notice in the newspaper (version française) and a project newsletter (version française).

The first round of Open Houses was held to obtain input to the Terms of Reference. You can download presentation panels from the Open Houses here. Fact Sheets are also available for download on Project Need, Transmission Line Safety , the Environmental Assessment process , and Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF). You may also download the Frequently Asked Questions document. Open Houses were held from 4pm to 8pm in the following locations:

THUNDER BAY - December 2

Current River Community Centre, 450 Dewe Avenue, Thunder Bay, 4 pm to 8 pm

NIPIGON - December 3

Nipigon Legion Branch #32, 102 Fifth Street, Nipigon, 4 pm to 8 pm

MARATHON - December 4

Marathon High School, 14 Hemlo Drive, Marathon, 4 pm to 8 pm

WAWA - December 5

Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre, 3 Chris Simon Drive, Wawa, 4 pm to 8 pm

WHITE RIVER - December 10

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #169, 108 Winnipeg Street, 4 pm to 8 pm

TERRACE BAY - December 11

Terrace Bay Cultural Centre, 13 Selkirk Avenue, 4 pm to 8 pm

We'd like to thank everyone who attended the Open Houses.

Input is always welcome:

Your input is important to us. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you require further information please send an email or call the hot line.

Email: info@nextbridge.ca

Project Hotline: 1-888-767-3006