Thunder Bay

An Integrated Regional Resource Plan was released for the Thunder Bay sub-region in December 2016.

Regional Planning status

While electricity demand has decreased in recent years, there is potential for renewed growth in the Thunder Bay sub-region associated with forecast mining and other industrial development throughout the Northwest, due to the area's position as a regional hub.

Regional planning will provide options to address the potential for demand growth, considering both the limits on the existing supply to the area, and opportunities for coordinating new demand and supply options.

 
IRRP Working Group - Next Steps

A Working Group consisting of the local distribution companies in the region, the local transmitter and the IESO will make recommendations to address the longer-term needs in the region based on planning criteria and consideration of community input.

The Working Group currently consists of representatives from Thunder Bay Hydro, Hydro One Distribution and Transmission and the IESO.

How to get involved

A Local Advisory Committee has been established to give advice on the development of the sub-region's longer-term electricity plan, including how best to engage the community in this discussion. To find out when the committee is meeting and to participate, see the engagement page.

Area overview

In addition to being the largest population centre in Northwest Ontario, the Thunder Bay area hosts several industrial facilities, including pulp and paper and primary resource industries. Electricity demand in this area peaks during the winter months, with historical peak demand ranging from around 350 MW to 400 MW.

For regional planning purposes, the Thunder Bay sub-region extends from the north shore of Lake Superior to the southern shore of Lake Nipigon, and from the Township of Nipigon to Kakabeka Falls. In addition to the City of Thunder Bay, several municipalities are located within this area, as well as the Fort William and Red Rock First Nations.
 

Historical Context

In 2007, the OPA (now the IESO) examined the supply adequacy of the Thunder Bay area in anticipation of the shutdown of local coal-fired generation as part of the Integrated Power System Plan. Since that time, the IESO has been monitoring supply and demand in the area, to ensure that a reliable supply of electricity is maintained. To date, the area's supply has been adequate and no reinforcement has been necessary.