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Ontario’s Ministers of Energy and Rural Affairs visit Marmora Pumped Storage Hydro Site 

August 22, 2013, Marmora, ON – As part of the municipality of Marmora and Lake outreach on the innovative pumped storage energy project at the former Marmoraton Iron Mine, the Reeve, Terry Clemens, and members of other municipalities in the area hosted an event at the site with Minister of Energy, Hon. Bob Chiarelli and Minister of Rural Affairs, Hon. Jeff Leal on August 15th. The event took place at the mine site on a spectacular day and the guests were able to take in the splendor and size of the proposed pumped storage project.

“I’ve seen a lot of information on paper about the project, but I think it is important to get out and see a project like this first hand,” said Minister Chiarelli. “This is quite a piece of landscape, not only for the potential of hydro generation, but generally it’s very impressive. The project itself is an excellent concept. We are at a stage now where we are looking at the economics of it and supply requirement (electricity) based on our (Ontario) long-term energy plan. I was also pleased to speak with Reeve Clemens, Warden Phillips, Warden Jones and some people from the business community and to hear about the local and regional support for the project.”

Minister Jeff Leal commented that “I grew up in the area of the mine and have seen first-hand its tremendous contribution to the local economy when it was running, and the effects of when the mine closed. The Marmora Pumped Storage Hydro project is an innovative way to build on the massive man-made infrastructure that would otherwise sit dormant. Converting a closed mine into a value-added energy assets and platform for economic development can be a boon for this rural community and the region as a whole.”

The Marmora Pumped Storage Project, currently in development by Canadian independent power producer Northland Power, would turn the currently unused site into a long-term energy asset for Ontario. Surplus power from both conventional and renewable sources would be used to pump water from an existing lower reservoir up into an upper reservoir during periods of low demand. The water could then be stored until the systems needs fast response electricity. The same system would then release the water back to the lower reservoir when needed, generating electricity that can be used in place of costlier power sources during periods of high demand, or to shore up intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Reeve Terry Clemens noted that, “Today we had two Ministers from the Provincial Government visit the proposed Marmora Pumped Storage Hydro project site. For Minister Chiarelli and Minister Leal to coordinate their schedules and make the trip here speaks to the attention this project is receiving at Queen’s Park. I was encouraged to hear the Ministers’ comments about the project’s potential for the electricity system and economic development in eastern Ontario. They also had the chance to see and hear about the broad base of support for the project. We look forward to the government ensuring this kind of project is in the Long Term Energy Plan.”

“We also had the Discovery Channel – “Shades of Green” television crew in here today. They are filming for a segment about the project in an upcoming program to run this fall. Over 100 million viewers will be hearing about Marmora and Lake and the project, which will be great for tourism in general.” Said Reeve Clemens.

Northland Power is prepared to spend approximately $750 million in construction to bring the project to fruition. The project would create approximately 800 jobs during construction, in addition to several long-term jobs, and countless tourism and educational opportunities. The Ministry of Tourism has already confirmed $50,000 in funding to the Municipality of Marmora and Lake for development of the Marmora Pumped Storage Tourism Plan, conditional on overall approval of the project. The project, which has attracted national and international media attention, would be one of the largest land reclamation projects in Ontario’s history.

“We appreciate the Ministers taking the time from their heavy schedules to make a point of coming to see the project” noted Sam Mantenuto, Chief Operating Officer of Northland Power. “We had the opportunity to discuss the value that a pumped storage hydro facility this size can bring to the electricity grid and how it will enable the electricity system operator to make best use of government’s significant investments in improving Ontario’s electricity grid. I’ve said many times, this project is a system operator’s dream and it absolutely should proceed for the benefit of the ratepayer and for what it will bring to the community, the County and eastern Ontario.”


Minister Photo Press Release (382x640)

Minister of Rural Affairs, Jeff Leal (left) and Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli (right), visited the site for the proposed Marmora Pumped Storage Hydro project on August 15, 2013. The visit was an opportunity for Ministers to see the project’s potential for supporting Ontario’s electricity system and providing a platform for economic development in eastern Ontario.