Leamington, a municipality in Ontario, Canada, has an ever-expanding greenhouse industry. In the very near future it will get a major power boost with a new 230-kilovolt transmission line from Chatham to Leamington, Hydro One Ltd. announced Thursday.
The line that will require new towers to be built is expected to be completed by the end of 2025 and will carry an additional 400 megawatts of power to the Leamington area. This will allow for more than 40 medium-sized greenhouses to start operating, said Hydro One communications director Jay Armitage.
“Some greenhouses are very energy hungry, and they may need even more, so that’s why we’re trying to keep up with this fast-growing industry,” she said of the area that in the last few years added cannabis to the list of vegetable crops and plants grown in greenhouses.
Hydro One, Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution provider, had already responded to the greenhouse expansion with a multi-stage, $193-million investment to add 600 megawatts. Armitage said the power will be brought on in stages so the industry won’t have to wait until 2025 to access more electricity. About 200 megawatts have already been added with a new transmission station, she said. Another station should be completed by the end of 2020 and a third transmission station is being planned.
Between the new line and transmission stations, about 1,000 megawatts will be added to the Leamington area.
“That’s an enormous amount of power to be going to rural Southwestern Ontario,” Armitage said. “To give you a comparison, a city the size of Ottawa might need that amount of power.”