Tuesday, July 16, 2024

More Thoughts on TC Energy’s Pumped Storage Proposal

Dear Editor:

As reported in The Meaford Independent last week (3Rs…Rants, Raves & Rumours, October 26 print edition), Ontario’s regulator of the province’s electricity market, the Independent Electricity Services Operator, sanctioned and fined TC Energy $3.72 million for playing fast and loose with the facts and ordered it to repay more than $9 million for claiming payments it was not entitled to, all concerning a gas-fired generating plant at Hilton Hills just west of Toronto.

This is the same company that boasts in its full-page ads in The Meaford Independent that “We’re in it for Meaford” and claims that it will be open and transparent regarding its plans for a pumped storage hydro-electric plant on the Defence Department’s training base. Yet it has not provided up-to-date cost estimates, has withheld information about how it will construct the 375-acre reservoir and the 4.8-kilometre dam which it wants to build above the homes and farms of some 300 families, putting lives and property in danger. It even has the audacity to claim this is not a populated area!

It has never announced its plans to the wider Ontario population – astounding corporate behaviour for a well-oiled public relations machine so active in Meaford and nearby communities. Meanwhile it has been busy at Queen’s Park in Toronto persuading Energy Minister Todd Smith to pressure the supposedly independent IESO to reconsider the project that it has turned down at least once for not providing sufficient ratepayer value. The IESO’s report from last January has been withheld from the public and a new evaluation the energy minister requested by Sept. 30 has yet to appear. Maybe one reason for the delay is that the IESO just doesn’t trust TCE’s claims for this project any more than we do.

Clair Balfour, Meaford


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