Firelane Upgrades

We need to make sure we can provide electricity to everyone safely and reliably, and plan for future demand on the grid in your area. The infrastructure on the firelanes is old and needs to be upgraded.  The 2.4kV technology voltage on some of the distribution lines will be updated to 16kV. As part of the conversion, all electrical hardware (transformers, poles and wire) will be replaced. Any communications (NRBN, Cogeco and Bell) may also move to the new poles but that will be performed by their respective owners.

If you have any feedback, please use our contact us page. If you would like to speak with a staff member regarding this project, please call our offices at 905-468-4235.

The image below shows the anticipated timeline for the updates:

There are many benefits to this update:

  • Same Voltage Everywhere – The update removes a voltage class from our system creating an homogeneous 16/27.6kV system, advantageous for inventory and work practice. NOTL Hydro will only need to stock inventory for these classes to replace should a failure or accident happen.
  • New Infrastructure – Access to better power quality and reliability thanks to the replacement of older infrastructure. The existing equipment is reaching end of life.
  • Lower Losses – Higher Voltage leads to higher efficiency, or lower line losses. Losses are a part of your bill. Over time, because of voltage conversion, NOTL Hydro has reduced line loss from 5.01% in 2008 to 3.73% in 2023.
  • Increased Capacity – Using a higher voltage allows for growth (if desired). This provides the availability for additional connections and service upgrades to be performed without having to add additional poles and wires.

During a meeting on July 19, 2023 local residents met with NOTL Hydro staff to discuss this update. We have compiled a list of FAQs that will help you understand more about the project.

+- What type of disruption should I expect?

Every effort will be made to keep power interruptions to a minimum during the construction process. There will be times when the power will need to be turned off, during circuit cut-over from the existing system to the new system, for example. NOTL Hydro crews will inform you of planned power disruptions as needed.

+- How much is this going to cost me?

The cost of these changes are included in your service charges that every NOTL Hydro customer receives. There is no direct charge to you for these updates.

+- Are timelines set in stone?

No. NOTL Hydro looks forward to your feedback on these updates as timelines can change based on your input. Unforeseen events may cause the early replacement of certain locations. If you have any input, please write to us in the CONTACT US page or call us at 905-468-4235.

+- Why are easements needed?

Easements are required because the firelanes are mostly privately owned. The majority of NOTL Hydro’s infrastructure is on Municipal Rights-of-Way where easements are not required. Easements allow NOTL Hydro to access their circuits for construction, maintenance and operations purposes.

+- When will I be notified of any easements?

Once the design plan is completed our easement process will begin. We do not have a specific timeline to completing the designs but encourage residents to contact us if there are any plans for road widening or other construction that may happen in your area.

+- Are Poles going to be in the same place?

The existing 30ft poles will be replaced with 45ft poles which can have longer spans. While many poles will be in similar locations all designs will attempt to place poles at the edge of a property for aesthetics, function and farming operations where applicable.

+- Are we going to have an underground connection now?

The purpose of this update is to replace like for like. If you have an existing underground connection, it will be kept. If you would like an underground connection to replace your overhead service, contact our offices for a quote on the conversion.

+- What about tree trimming?

Hydro lines need a clearance of about 10ft with surrounding vegetation. NOTL Hydro has a tree trimming program to ensure that these clearances are met. When new infrastructure is installed, tree trimming will be performed to ensure that clearances are met.

+- Why wasn't the wire connecting my house replaced?

Secondary service drops to your home are replaced on a case-by-case basis depending on the location of the new wires and the condition of the wire.