“Hydro One will step back temporarily from the scheduled start date of October 27 for vegetation management work on the corridor. We would like to work with the City to set out a process and a timeline that will enable the City to decide which of the two presented options it wishes to pursue for the proposed buffer zone on the Pacific Place side of the corridor. To this end, we would like to meet with you and the appropriate staff as soon as possible.
You are likely aware that, since Thursday’s meeting, we have also received a formal request from a designated representative of the community to defer our work indefinitely. Unfortunately, Hydro One, in good conscience, cannot defer this work indefinitely or even into next year. We will be looking to begin the work within the next three weeks. Current vegetation conditions on this corridor represent an unacceptable risk for both public and worker safety and reliability of power supply to the community.
Additionally, from an environmental perspective, fall is the optimal time of year to undertake this type of work, and we do not want to lose the window. We also need to ensure clear and safe access for crews to install the tele-protection wire on the 230 kV towers later this fall. This wire will monitor the upgraded transmission facilities currently being constructed as part of the Guelph Area Transmission Refurbishment (GATR) project. These facilities are scheduled to be placed in service next year to meet growing electricity needs and improve reliability of supply for Guelph and the surrounding communities.
Hydro One’s goal is to transition its corridors into a more sustainable, low-growing and native plant communities that will be compatible with our transmission facilities over the long term. While we recognize that some people may not agree with this approach to vegetation maintenance, we believe there is great potential for the City to involve the community in redefining this green space for public use after Hydro One has removed the dense, and mostly invasive, vegetation. As discussed, Hydro One is willing to contribute funding for replanting of compatible species.
Please let us know of your availability to meet this week.”
Hydro One staff
I’d like to thank the community for rallying like they did in such a short period of time. I’d like to thank city staff and councillors for helping by giving input and thinking outside the box on options for this issue. I’d like to also thank Hydro One for listening. This process did not start out well in my humble opinion but one of the main goals of the community last Thursday was to buy more time as the city, the community and Hydro One was able to determine the best next steps while not hearing a bulldozer engine start up behind them. Allowing some breathing room for an extra few weeks is a good step.
As usual, I will update this blog when more info is available.