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Welcome to the FortisOntario news & media centre. Here you will find news releases about our electricity utilities, community involvement, and energy solution services.

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FortisOntario Inc. Completes Transaction to Increase its Investment in Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project

Monday, March 13, 2017


TORONTO, ONTARIO (March 10, 2017) – Wataynikaneyap Power LP is pleased to announce that FortisOntario Inc. ("FortisOntario") through its parent company Fortis Inc. has completed the transaction to increase its share in the ownership of the transmission partnership by acquiring the interest of Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES). As a result of this increased investment, Fortis’s equity in the Limited Partnership has increased to 49%, while the 22 First Nations communities will continue to hold the remaining 51% interest.
"We are very excited to announce we have received approval from the Ontario Energy Board and have completed this transaction to increase Fortis’ investment in this important project," said Scott Hawkes, President and CEO of FortisOntario, and President of Wataynikaneyap Power.
"Fortis continues to demonstrate its commitment to the project through this increased participation", says Margaret Kenequanash, Executive Director of Shibogama First Nations Council, and Chair of Wataynikaneyap Power. "At the same time, our partnership allows the First Nations to remain majority owners in the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project and ensure that our communities benefit."
The Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project will reinforce the existing transmission grid to Pickle Lake. Connections to the Remote Communities will expand grid service north of Pickle Lake and Red Lake to 17 remote First Nations communities. Wataynikaneyap has advanced engineering, permitting, and completed several rounds of engagement with potentially impacted communities, and further engagement will continue. Construction is currently planned to start in 2018; however, firm government funding commitments and various approvals are required.
About Wataynikaneyap Power:
Wataynikaneyap Power is owned by 22 First Nations communities and Fortis. The partnership will develop new transmission facilities to connect remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario, currently powered by diesel generation, which has become financially unsustainable, environmentally risky, and inadequate to meet community needs. More information about Wataynikaneyap Power can be found at www.wataypower.ca
About FortisOntario:
FortisOntario, through a project management partnership, manages various aspects of the Wataynikaneyap Power transmission project. FortisOntario is an electric utility, which owns and operates Canadian Niagara Power Inc., Cornwall Street Railway Light & Power Company Ltd. and Algoma Power Inc., serving a combined 65,000 customers. FortisOntario also owns regulated transmission assets with approximately 3,430 km of distribution and transmission lines. FortisOntario is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (TSX: FTS), with total assets of approximately CAD$28 billion and fiscal 2015 revenue of CAD$6.7 billion, serving more than 3 million customers across Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
Media Contact:
John Cutfeet, Communications Officer, Wataynikaneyap Power
807-738-0935cutfeetj@hotmail.com
Kristine Carmichael, Director of Corporate and Customer Services, FortisOntario Inc.
905-871-0330, extension 3209 – kristine.carmichael@fortisontario.com
 

FortisOntario Inc. to Increase Investment in Wataynikaneyap Power LP

Friday, December 16, 2016


TORONTO, ONTARIO (December 15, 2016) – Wataynikaneyap Power LP is pleased to announce that FortisOntario Inc. ("FortisOntario") through its parent company Fortis Inc. has agreed to increase its share in the ownership of the transmission company by acquiring the interest of Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES). As a result of this increased investment, FortisOntario’s equity in the Limited Partnership will increase to 49%, while the 22 First Nations communities will continue to hold the remaining 51% interest.
"This increase of our ownership of Wataynikaneyap Power LP demonstrates the solid commitment FortisOntario has to the success of this Project and to our partners," said Scott Hawkes, President of CEO of FortisOntario Inc., and President of Wataynikaneyap Power LP. "FortisOntario firmly believes in the mission and our collective mandate with First Nations to connect communities to the provincial electricity transmission system. Not only will this reduce reliance on high-cost diesel for power, but it will also serve as a platform for further infrastructure and socio-economic development in the North."
RES has agreed to sell its holdings in the Limited Partnership to FortisOntario. RES will remain a strong developer, constructor, and operator in the Canadian renewable generation and energy storage sectors. "RES has made significant contributions to the Project to-date" said Hawkes. "As part of the short term transition plan, RES will remain a service provider to the project while Wataynikaneyap Power LP and Fortis implement resource options, including opportunities to utilize certain resources from the Fortis Group of companies."
"We are very pleased that FortisOntario has shown continued commitment to Wataynikaneyap Power and to the important work that lies ahead in connecting out communities to the grid," said Margaret Kenequanash, Executive Director of Shibogama First Nation Council, and Chair of Wataynikaneyap Power. "This is a transformational project. Along with FortisOntario’s participation, First Nations ownership will not only ensure responsible development of infrastructure in our traditional homelands, but it will maximize the health, safety, environmental, social and economic benefits for those First Nations communities that have been unable to provide adequate infrastructure and services to their people."
"We are very proud of the progress that we have made with RES as a partner and we thank them for their tireless support," said Kenequanash.
The closing of the transaction is subject to approval of the Ontario Energy Board. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.
Wataynikaneyap Power is an unprecedented partnership of 22 First Nations who have joined together with FortisOntario to build 1,800 km of transmission lines. The project, currently forecasted to be $1.35 billion, includes the grid reinforcement to Pickle Lake, expanding the grid north of Pickle Lake, and Red Lake to connect remote First Nations communities. Earlier this year the Government of Ontario prioritized the Remote Connection Plan to connect participating First Nations communities, and designated Wataynikaneyap Power LP as the licensed transmitter to undertake the Project.
In addition to the 17 communities that will now be connected, other communities can be expected to be connected to the grid in the near future.
The connection of remote First Nation communities to clean electricity through transmission lines was identified in Ontario’s 2013 Long Term Energy Plan. It is expected to save over $1 billion and is estimated to result in over 6.6 million tonnes of avoided CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to continued dialogue with First Nations communities with a vested interest in the project, Wataynikaneyap Power’s next steps will be to apply to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for Leave to Construct the project, as well as to complete all necessary environmental assessment work. Pending permitting, approvals, and a cost sharing agreement between the federal and provincial government, construction is expected to begin in 2018.
About Wataynikaneyap Power:
Wataynikaneyap Power is owned by 22 First Nations communities and FortisOntario. The partnership will develop new transmission facilities to connect remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario, currently powered by diesel generation, which has become financially unsustainable, environmentally risky, and inadequate to meet community needs. More information about Wataynikaneyap Power can be found at www.wataypower.ca
About FortisOntario:
FortisOntario is an electric utility, which owns and operates Canadian Niagara Power Inc., Cornwall Street Railway, Light and Power Company Limited and Algoma Power Inc., serving a combined 65,000 customers. FortisOntario also owns regulated transmission assets with approximately 3,430 km of distribution and transmission lines. FortisOntario also holds a 10 per cent share in three other distribution utilities with a combined customer base of approximately 40,000. FortisOntario is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. ("Fortis") (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS), with total assets of approximately CAD$47 billion and fiscal 2015 revenue of CAD$6.7 billion, serving more than 3 million customers across Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.fortisinc.com, www.sedar.com, or www.sec.gov.
About RES:
Since 1997, RES has been providing development, engineering, construction, and operations services to the utility-scale wind, solar, and energy storage markets across the Americas. The company has constructed more than 1,600 kilometers (km) of transmission lines, including the 344.4km MATL project, and over 9,000 MW of utility-scale renewable energy and energy storage projects, throughout the Americas. RES’ corporate office in Canada is located in Montreal, Quebec with a regional office in Oakville, Ontario. For more information, visit www.res-group.com.
Media Contact:
John Cutfeet, Communications Officer, Wataynikaneyap Power
807-738-0935 – cutfeetj@hotmail.com
Kristine Carmichael, Director of Corporate and Customer Services, FortisOntario Inc.
905-871-0330, extension 3209 – kristine.carmichael@fortisontario.com
Jeff Silverstein, Sussex Strategy Group
416-879-4353 - jsilverstein@sussex-strategy.com
 
 

Canadian Niagara Power Inc. Announces Completion of the International Power Line

Thursday, December 17, 2015

For Release:December 17, 2015
Contact:  Kristine Carmichael, (905) 871-0330 x 3209, Kristine.Carmichael@cnpower.com
                Steve Brady (716) 831-7744, Stephen.Brady@nationalgrid.com
              
Fort Erie, ON – In late 2014, Canadian Niagara Power Inc. (“CNPI”) announced plans for the removal and replacement of the International Power Line (“IPL”) located to the north and parallel to the Peace Bridge.  The work is being done in three stages: Stage 1, involved the removal of the cables from the two existing steel towers; Stage 2, resulted in the dismantling and removal of the two steel towers located on Queen Street in Fort Erie, Ontario and the Buffalo High Tower, in Buffalo, NY; and Stage 3, will see CNPI undertake the rebuilding of the line.  
 
Stages 1 and 2 of the project were completed in late 2014.   The final stage of CNPI’s IPL project is expected to wrap up by the end of 2015, taking to the air to string new electrical lines between Fort Erie and Buffalo.  This weekend, crews will employ a helicopter to stretch ropes between the new towers on either side of the Niagara River, with the ropes then being used to pull the wire from tower to tower.
 
As a safety precaution, traffic on interstate 190 near the Peace Bridge will be interrupted on Saturday and Sunday as posted on the New York State Thruway Authority website at www.thruway.ny.gov.
 
The wires connect CNPI’s transmission system at the base of Queen Street in Fort Erie to National Grid’s transmission system at its Terminal House B on Busti Avenue, in Buffalo, New York.  The re-energizing of the wires between the two transmission systems will then follow.
 
CNPI’s, Vice President of Operations, Jie Han said, “The final stage of the project will complete the interconnection of the two transmission systems and will allow for the continuation of providing safe and reliable 115kV connection of the Ontario CNPI transmission system to the National Grid transmission system in New York.  There is great strategic value to maintain an international transmission corridor now and in the future should further interconnection capability be required".
 

Rate adjustment for Cornwall Electric Customers effective July 1, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

For immediate release
April 30, 2013 (Cornwall, Ontario) - Cornwall Electric rates will increase 2.56% July 1, 2013. Michael Pescod, Regional Manager of Cornwall Electric, attributed the moderate increase to the long-term wholesale electricity supply contracts with Hydro Quebec. A residential customer using 800 kWH per month will see their monthly invoice increase by $2.52.

The long term wholesale agreements ensure security of supply and rate stability. Cornwall Electric eligible residential and small business customers continue to receive the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit which will save 10% on electricity costs. Also, Cornwall Electric customers are not subject to the debt retirement charge.

“Like all other utilities in Ontario, the wholesale cost of electricity in Cornwall is passed through to customers. The long term contracts with Hydro Quebec provide security of supply and rate stability to December 2019,” said Pescod. “Cornwall Electric rates continue to compare favorably to surrounding electrical utilities”.

The wholesale cost of electricity represents approximately 80% of the customer’s total bill. The remaining 20% represents the distribution charges. These distribution charges pay for Cornwall Electric to deliver safe and reliable power from the Cedars Rapids Transmission lines to the customers’ homes and businesses and to provide for system maintenance and capital equipment replacement. In 2013, Cornwall Electric’s capital program will invest approximately $7 million dollars in system expansions and capital replacements. This work includes $3.2 million to double the capacity at the Boundary Road Substation to supply new load in the Industrial Park.
Cornwall Electric promotes the wise use of electricity and urges customers to conserve energy and consider changing to energy efficient appliances, lighting, shower heads, and installing programmable thermostats, weather stripping and pool pump timers. These measures will reduce consumption and help customers manage costs.

Cornwall Electric supplies electricity to 24,090 customers in the City of Cornwall, South Glengarry, South Stormont, and the Ontario portion of the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of FortisOntario, headquartered in Fort Erie with operations in distribution and transmission serving approximately 65,000 customers in Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Cornwall, Gananoque and the Algoma district of Ontario. FortisOntario is 100% owned by Fortis Inc. of St. John’s, Newfoundland. For more information on FortisOntario, please visit the corporate website at www.fortisontario.com.

For further information, please contact:
Mr. Michael Pescod
Regional Manager
Cornwall Electric
Phone: (613) 932-0123 Ext. 4228

To download this article, click here.
 

Brock celebrates historic local archives donation

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today, Brock University and FortisOntario Inc. (formerly the Canadian Niagara Power Company Ltd.) celebrated an historic archives donation to the school that will keep a significant piece of Niagara’s cultural heritage in our region.
 
Working together, FortisOntario and Brock had a collection of the Canadian Niagara Power (CNP) Company’s early records certified as being of “outstanding and national importance” to Canada by the Moveable Cultural Property Review Board in Ottawa.
 
The collection, valued at more than $650,000, includes correspondence, design and operation records; photographs and field notebooks; and more than 1,000 maps, sketches, blueprints and plans.
 
The donation has been earmarked as a gift to the Campaign for a Bold New Brock.
 
“Such a collection of records could easily have ended up in an archive in Ottawa,” said Jack Lightstone, President of Brock University.
 
“This Niagara collection is staying here in Niagara because the people of FortisOntario determined that this is where it belongs, and they collaborated with Brock to make it possible,” he said. “They also agreed to make this collection a gift to the Campaign for a Bold New Brock, a gift not just to Brock, but to the entire Niagara community.”  
 
FortisOntario has sent more modern CNP records to Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, but wanted these early records to stay in Niagara.
 
“Canadian Niagara Power has a long and proud history of providing electricity to communities in the Niagara region for over 100 years,” said Bill Daley, President and CEO of FortisOntario. “We are delighted to donate this historic material to Brock University’s exceptional archive facility, and thereby ensuring that this one-of-a-kind collection will be available to the entire Niagara community for decades to come.”
 
The Canadian Niagara Power Company was the first hydroelectric venture on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. It harnessed electricity from Niagara Falls and distributed it to help power the industries and light the homes where Ontarians worked and lived.
 
The collection contains materials relating to the CNP and power generation on the Niagara River mainly dating from the 1890s until the 1950s. The records document the early years of the company revealing details on the political, economic and technological efforts required to make the venture a success.  
 
The acquisition of this significant collection, a major milestone for the James A. Gibson Library, prompted the Library to work for and achieve its recent Department of Canadian Heritage Category “A” designation for textual and archival materials. The accreditation means that Brock’s Special Collections and Archives have achieved the highest standards for an archival repository in Canada.
 
“Preservation and stewardship of the Canadian cultural record are one of the Library’s most important functions,” said Margaret Grove, University Librarian.
 
“Materials like the Canadian Niagara Power Company archives require the proper environment and organization to ensure long-term access for researchers and members of the community,” she said. “We thank FortisOntario for their trust and patience as we pursued the lengthy process of attaining this significant designation.”
 
The Canadian Niagara Power Company archives at Brock are open for research. The collection will be of interest to students, faculty and community researchers interested in local history, engineering, power generation, Niagara Falls tourism, and international and domestic politics.
 

For more info:
 
* Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687;
jsinibaldi@brocku.ca
 
* Kristine Carmichael, Corporate Communications, FortisOntario, 905-871-0330 x3209;
Kristine.Carmichael@FortisOntario.com 
 


 

FORTISONTARIO SENDS CREW TO ASSIST IN HURRICANE

Thursday, November 8, 2012

On October 31, 2012, six of FortisOntario’s Power Line Technicians left for Poughkeepsie New York
to assist Central Hudson Gas and Electric with the massive restoration effort in front of them. They are six of about 700 crew members working around the clock to help get life back to normal after Hurricane Sandy.   At one point, 105,000 of Central Hudson’s 300,000 customers were without power.
Whenever there is a devastating natural event, emergency services and utility companies often travel outside of their jurisdiction to assist where needed.  When Bill Daley, FortisOntario’s Chief Executive Officer and President  spoke to Central Hudson’s management he said “The message to me was quite simple... send everybody you can."
FortisOntario crews were initially expected to return on Sunday but have extended their stay to assist
with restoration efforts in neighbouring utilities of Central Hudson Gas and Electric. “This is a chance for our company to give back," said Bill Daley. 
 
 

Eastern Ontario Power announces Time-of-Use Electricity Billing to begin in June 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

GANANOQUE, ONTARIO (May 22, 2012) – Eastern Ontario Power Inc. will send eligible customers** their first Time‐Of‐Use (TOU) bill beginning in July 2012 for energy consumed in June 2012.

TOU billing divides a consumer’s electricity consumption into three different time periods; onpeak, mid‐peak and off‐peak. Each time period has a corresponding rate that will be charged for electricity used during that time. On‐peak electricity rates are the highest, off‐peak electricity rates are the lowest with mid‐peak rates falling somewhere in between. Weekends and holidays are off‐peak and at the lowest TOU rate.

Time‐Of‐Use billing provides an incentive for customers to use electricity during off‐peak periods by charging a lower price during these times, thus managing their electricity costs. By shifting energy‐intensive activities to off‐peak periods, consumers will help smooth electricity demand peaks, create a sustainable electricity supply, and help the environment.

While weekends and holidays are always off‐peak, TOU periods for weekdays change seasonally. When Eastern Ontario Power’s customers receive their first TOU bill in July, it will reflect the current TOU pricing for the summer season, as outlined in the chart below:


Time-of-use Periods Summer: May 1 – Oct. 31 Winter: Nov. 1 – April 30
Off-peak, 6.5 cents/kWh Weekdays: 7 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Weekends & Holidays: All day
Weekdays: 7 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Weekends & Holidays: All day
Mid-peak, 10.0 cents/kWh Weekdays: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Weekdays: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Weekdays: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
On-peak, 11.7 cents/kWh Weekdays: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Weekdays: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Weekdays: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.


“With TOU billing, making simple changes to your daily routine can impact your electricity bill because you shift your electricity from the on‐peak or mid‐peak rates to the off‐peak rate,” remarks Michael Pescod, Regional Manager Eastern Region. “For example, running larger household appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine after 7 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. can make a difference.”

Online resources are available to consumers to educate and inform about making changes under the new TOU structure. Residential consumers can visit Ten Smart Meter Lane at: http://www.ieso.ca/house/ and use the online tool that calculates the amount of electricity household appliances consume, and illustrates the savings possible by shifting to mid‐peak and off‐peak periods. A similar tool is available to small commercial consumers and it can be accessed at http://ieso.ca/smallbiz/.

** Customers who have signed an electricity contract with an electricity Retailer will continue to pay the rates as specified in their contract.

** Customers who are classified as General Service > 50 kW and Large Users > 5 MW will not be affected by TOU rates.

For more information, please contact:
Michael Pescod
Regional Manager, Eastern Region
Eastern Ontario Power
Telephone: 613‐382‐2118, ext. 4228

To download this article, click here. PDF

 

Canadian Niagara Power announces Time-of-Use Electricity Billing to begin in June 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

FORT ERIE, ONTARIO (May 24, 2012) – Canadian Niagara Power Inc. will send eligible customers** their first Time‐Of‐Use (TOU) bill beginning in July 2012 for energy consumed in June 2012.

TOU billing divides a consumer’s electricity consumption into three different time periods; onpeak, mid‐peak and off‐peak. Each time period has a corresponding rate that will be charged for electricity used during that time. On‐peak electricity rates are the highest, off‐peak electricity rates are the lowest with mid‐peak rates falling somewhere in between. Weekends and holidays are off‐peak and at the lowest TOU rate.

Time‐Of‐Use billing provides an incentive for customers to use electricity during off‐peak periods by charging a lower price during these times. By shifting energy‐intensive activities to off‐peak periods, consumers will help smooth electricity demand peaks, create a sustainable electricity supply, help the environment, and manage their electricity costs.

While weekends and holidays are always off‐peak, TOU periods for weekdays change seasonally. When Canadian Niagara Power’s customers receive their first TOU bill in July, it will reflect the current TOU pricing for the summer season, as outlined in the chart below:


Time-of-use Periods Summer: May 1 – Oct. 31 Winter: Nov. 1 – April 30
Off-peak, 6.5 cents/kWh Weekdays: 7 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Weekends & Holidays: All day
Weekdays: 7 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Weekends & Holidays: All day
Mid-peak, 10.0 cents/kWh Weekdays: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Weekdays: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Weekdays: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
On-peak, 11.7 cents/kWh Weekdays: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Weekdays: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Weekdays: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.


According to Kristine Carmichael, Manager, Customer Service, Human Resources and Corporate Communications, “With TOU billing, making simple changes to your daily routine can impact your electricity bill because you shift your electricity consumption from the on‐peak rate or mid‐peak rate to the off‐peak rate. For example, running larger household appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine after 7 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. makes a difference.”

Customers are encouraged to visit www.cnpower.com for TOU tips and information about the suite of conservation programs offered to residential, commercial and industrial consumers. Canadian Niagara Power is committed to providing our customers with the information necessary to prepare them for TOU billing, and the tools to manage their electricity costs under this new billing structure. Canadian Niagara Power customers will be receiving a Spring/Summer newsletter in early June with further information about the switch to TOU.

Online resources are available to consumers to educate and inform about making changes under the new TOU structure. Residential consumers can visit Ten Smart Meter Lane at: http://www.ieso.ca/house/ and use the online tool that calculates the amount of electricity household appliances consume, and illustrates the savings possible by shifting to mid‐peak and off‐peak periods. A similar tool is available to small commercial consumers and it can be accessed at http://ieso.ca/smallbiz/.

Customers are invited to come and talk with representatives from Canadian Niagara Power at the Time‐of‐Use Information Sessions offered in Fort Erie and Port Colborne on Monday, May 28, 2012. The Fort Erie Info Session takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Fort Erie Centennial Library (136 Gilmore Road). The Port Colborne Info Session will be held at Guild Hall (72 Charlotte Street) from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

** Customers who have signed an electricity contract with an electricity Retailer will continue to pay the rates as specified in their contract.

** Customers who are classified as General Service > 50 kW and Large Users > 5 MW will not be affected by TOU rates.

For more information, please contact:
Kristine Carmichael
Manager, Customer Service, Human Resources and Corporate Communications.
Canadian Niagara Power
Telephone: 905‐871‐0330

To download this article, click here. PDF