Ontario Construction News staff writer
The $26.35 million sale of the Orillia Power Distribution Corporation (OPDC) to Hydro One Inc. (Hydro One) officially closed on Sept. 1, 2020.
Hydro One Inc. plans to build a new Ontario grid control centre in the city, about 125 km north of Toronto, on Lake Couchiching. This new, state-of-the-art facility is expected to serve as one of the company’s technology hubs and will deliver electricity to communities across the province.
“On behalf of Orillia Council, I would like to welcome Hydro One to the Sunshine City. Hydro One’s continued investment in our community and their proven philanthropic spirit will serve our community well now and into the future,” said Mayor Steve Clarke.
“Orillians will benefit from a one per cent reduction in their base distribution rates, which will be frozen for five years, along with the significant economic spin-off benefits generated by the construction of new facilities in West Orillia and the hundreds of jobs coming to our community.”
Hydro One plans to construct a provincial warehouse and a regional operations centre in the Horne Business Park in West Orillia, adjacent to the primary Ontario Grid Control Centre currently under construction on the site. The company anticipates moving approximately 150 to 250 high-quality jobs to this facility. It is anticipated that $200 to $300 million in near-term economic impact to the City will come as a result of these facilities.
“We are thrilled to become a part of Orillia and to continue energizing life in the community for years to come,” said Mark Poweska, President and CEO, Hydro One. “At Hydro One, we’re deeply committed to the communities where we work and live, and look forward to finding more ways to support families, businesses and the local economy in Orillia.”
CAO Gayle Jackson welcomed Hydro One to the community.
“When driving down University Avenue in West Orillia you can see the significant investment Hydro One is making in Orillia with the construction of the Ontario Grid Control Centre,” she said.
“With the closing of the sale of OPDC, Hydro One will further invest in our community by building operational facilities that will bring new jobs and growth to our city. It’s through investments like these that the City of Orillia is building a strong economic foundation that will see our community prosper for years to come.”
Three new facilities being built on the Horne Business Park in West Orillia:
- Primary Ontario Grid Control Centre (currently under construction)
- Provincial Warehouse
- Regional Operations Centre
Horne Business Park land sale:
- Hydro One has purchased 16.41 acres of the land required for the Ontario Grid Control portion of the development for approximately $3 million – validated as fair market value by a third-party valuator. Hydro One intends to make further land purchases for the two additional facilities after the deal closes.