Hydro Ottawa and Hydro One unveil $60 million investment that strengthens power grid and accommodates future growth for Ottawa

June 9, 2019

Today, Hydro Ottawa and Hydro One unveiled a $60 million investment in significant infrastructure upgrades in Overbrook, including new transformers, switchgear, circuits and power lines to improve service reliability and support future customer growth in central and eastern Ottawa.

The Overbrook Transmission Station, originally put in-service in the 1960s, was upgraded to improve reliability and station efficiency.  Two new, more powerful transformers were installed to accommodate growth in the region. In addition, new buildings will improve reliability by protecting equipment from the weather and potential hazards. A new 115 kV (kiloVolt) transmission line was also added to double the amount of power that can be made available for central and eastern sections of the city.  This additional line, from Hawthorne Transmission Station to Overbrook, improves access to power for customers and will, in the event of a planned or unplanned outage, provide another source of power to keep the lights on.  Electricity started flowing through the new line on May 31, 2019.

Jointly, Hydro Ottawa and Hydro One have invested nearly $60 million in the Overbrook Transformer Station. Hydro One invested $30 million in upgrades to the transformer station and $2 million in switchgear replacement. The new transmission line, an investment close to $10 million, was shared jointly between the two utilities. Hydro Ottawa, which receives the electricity and supplies it to the end customer paid 66.5 per cent of the line project costs, and 33.5 per cent was paid by Hydro One which feeds the power across Ontario to local distributors such as Hydro Ottawa. Hydro Ottawa, in turn, continues to invest $17.5 million in switchgear replacement and renewal of its distribution stations.

Overbrook Transmission Station is more than 60 years old, and its 75 MVA transformers and components were at the end of their expected life. The original station design presented challenges and increased costs to maintain equipment, occasionally requiring planned power outages. 

These capacity upgrades support growth in the Overbrook and surrounding area driven by the Ottawa Light Rail Transit, transit-oriented development projects, intensification along Beechwood Avenue, and major residential developments such as the Wateridge Village. The upgrades also aid in Hydro Ottawa’s plans to increase the capacity of the King Edward station, which will provide system capacity required for future growth through the downtown core and Lebreton Flats.

 “Partnering on major projects like the Overbrook Transmission Station makes financial sense and allows us to leverage important upgrades to provide the best possible service to our customers,” said Bryce Conrad, President and CEO, Hydro Ottawa. “Forecasting the future reliability of our nation’s capital requires years of strategic planning and large investments in our aging infrastructure, particularly in our city’s oldest and most densely populated neighbourhoods. This project has been a win-win for both of our utilities, and our customers.”

“A loss of power grinds life to a halt, impacting businesses, families and productivity. By investing in Ottawa, Hydro One plans to minimize power outages and keep the public safe,” said Darlene Bradley Chief Operating Officer, Hydro One.  “We know a strong and reliable high-voltage system entices business and industry development. Through the replacement of aging infrastructure in the region and across Ontario, Hydro One will be able to build a stronger, safer and more reliable electricity system for current and future customers.”

Media contact

Rebecca Hickey
Supervisor, Media and Public Affairs
Hydro Ottawa
Tel: 613-738-5499 ext. 2345
[email protected]

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