The Ontario Pumped Storage Project (OPSP) will cut greenhouse gas emissions while providing clean, reliable and affordable energy to power Ontario homes and businesses.
Over the coming years, Ontario’s electricity demand is expected to increase. As we transition away from natural-gas power generation we need to work now to ensure our electricity infrastructure can handle that demand. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) estimates that Ontario needs 5,000 to 15,000 megawatts (MW) of new electricity production by 2035. When operational, the OPSP will provide 1,000 MW of flexible, clean energy to Ontario's electricity system — that's enough to power a million homes for up to 11 hours.
Emission-free power generation, such as nuclear, wind and hydro often generates electricity when it’s not needed and is not available when consumers want it. Using water and gravity, this project is effectively a natural battery that will store electricity for when it is needed most and will reduce carbon emissions by 490,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to taking 150,000 cars off Ontario’s roads.
It is a made-in-Ontario solution that will provide clean, reliable, secure and cost-effective electricity for the whole province.
What is pumped storage?
Pumped storage is an effective, responsible way for Ontario to meet its electricity and power system needs.
Using water and gravity, pumped storage acts like a giant battery. It stores excess electricity when demand is low and makes it available when it is high.
This made-in-Ontario project will use state-of-the-art technology to pump water from Georgian Bay to an upper reservoir when electricity demand is low, typically at night.
When electricity demand is high, typically during the day, the water flows from the upper reservoir to Georgian Bay, passing through a turbine, releasing energy back into the system to be used as electricity.