Capital Power is looking to increase the capacity generated in Windsor to meet rising demand RS News

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With larger projects and more demand for electricity on the horizon in Windsor, Capital Power said it is looking at increasing capacity at its power generation site in Ford City.

Capital Energy CEO Brian Vaasjo said the East Windsor Cogeneration Center is “perfectly positioned” to help meet growing energy needs.

“We are confident that we have viable options for adding significant capacity at this plant, all within the available one and a half acre site,” he said at a press conference outside the facility on Wednesday.

He made the announcement alongside Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, city councilors Jo-Anne Gignac and Ed Sleiman and Jelena Payne, the city’s commissioner of economic development and renewal.

A large power plant is shown in a panoramic image.
The East Windsor Union Building is shown in a photo from Capital Power. (Submitted by Capital Power)

Under the proposal, power will be supplemented by a battery energy storage system that can accommodate up to 40 megawatts, enough to power around 40,000 homes. The company is also evaluating whether it can expand capacity within the plant.

Vaasjo said those aren’t the only options, the company will be sharing proposals with the public and the Independent Electricity System Administrator, which manages electricity in Ontario, to determine the best option.

The goal is for decisions to be made and agreements signed by February. Capital Power hopes to have additional power online by May 2025 or sooner, Vaasjo said.

High demand in the Windsor area

The announcement comes amid concern over regional energy efficiency following the announcement of the $4.9-billion Stellantis-LG Energy Solutions electric vehicle battery plant, a large facility slated to open in 2024.

But that’s not the only source of new demand.

The IESO has said that demand in southwestern Ontario as a whole is expected to double in five years to about 2,000 megawatts.

At the beginning of this year, several power transmission projects in this region had important decisions by the local government, which will speed up the approval process.

Dilkens said those projects will bring in electricity from elsewhere, but building local generation capacity is a “critical part” of securing energy reliability for the city.

“We are a growing city, and we want to make sure that we continue to grow and have the resources and the power and, therefore, the ability to make sure that we can continue to grow the community,” he said.

The report urged the council to find sources of energy

The city has hired a consultant to explore solutions for possible supply constraints along the way.

Energy consulting firm Energy Advisory issued a 68-page report recommending a city council ask Ontario to investigate the idea of ​​importing energy from Michigan.

In addition to the need for more power, some aging power generation facilities in Ontario need to be renovated and others have expired private contracts, the report explains.

Sarah Simmons, director of utilities and innovation at Energy Advisory, said the biggest takeaway from the report was the desire from Windsor city council to engage developers who might be interested in building electric power.

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