TC Energy said that the Canada Ministry of Energy will begin a final evaluation of its proposal to build the 1GW Ontario Pumped Storage project before making a decision later this year.

The Canadian energy company plans to construct the pumped storage facility just north of Meaford on land owned by the Canadian Department of National Defense (DND) in the territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation.

TC Energy will co-develop the Ontario Pumped Storage project with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. The project is designed to store enough clean electricity to power one million homes for 11 hours.

It is expected to have a total stored energy capacity of 8,000MWh with an efficiency of 70%-75%.

Besides, the project will boost the economy and maximise the value of Ontario’s electricity by generating about C$12.1bn ($9.1bn) in energy system cost benefits.

The pumped storage facility will also generate over 1,000 direct jobs in the area and in Ontario.

According to TC Energy, the Ministry of Energy has instructed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to carry out a final analysis of the Ontario Pumped Storage project for justifying its role as part of the province’s electricity system.

The IESO is anticipated to provide its analysis to the ministry by 30 September 2023.

Simultaneously, the ministry expects to start consultations on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry and the Environmental Registry of Ontario regarding the capability to rate regulate the Ontario Pumped Storage project through the Ontario Energy Board.

The final decision on the pumped storage facility will be made by the Minister of Energy by 30 November 2023.

TC Energy power and energy solutions executive vice-president and president Corey Hessen said: “Ontario Pumped Storage will be a critical component of Ontario’s growing clean economy and will deliver significant benefits and savings to consumers. Ontario continues to attract major investments that will have large power needs — many of which are seeking zero-emission energy before they invest.”

TC Energy aims to make a final investment decision (FID) on the pumped storage project in 2024.

The Ontario Pumped Storage project secured a conditional motion of support from the Municipality of Meaford in February 2023.

Municipality of Meaford Mayor Ross Kentner said: “The Municipality of Meaford recognizes the significant stimulus a project like this would have on the local economy, and the benefits it would bring as a whole to Ontario’s electricity system.

“We look forward to continuing to work with TC Energy to develop a community benefits agreement that will ensure we move into the future stronger and better for years to come.”

Subject to receipt of regulatory and corporate approvals as well as a successful partnership agreement with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, the Ontario Pumped Storage project is scheduled to be commissioned in the early 2030s.