Ensuring Reliability

Ensuring reliability

Innovative new storage capacities and major capital projects are among the ways we're working to ensure a stable, reliable electricity system for you.

Growth in the Core

Powering Toronto's high-growth, high-density downtown core

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Copeland Station

A key investment to keep pace with growth and help increase reliability in our city

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Did you know?

Every year, approximately 10,000 new residents move downtown. At this rate, the population could increase to 475,000 in 2041.

Meeting the immediate need for more capacity

The first new downtown transformer station to be built since the 1960s, Copeland Station will help improve the reliable supply of electricity to Toronto’s flourishing downtown core. The new station is needed to relieve strain on the Windsor Transformer Station at Wellington and John, which is struggling to meet the growing downtown demand. Once completed, Windsor Station will go offline for critical infrastructure upgrades.

Construction began in 2013 on the new station, which is named after Toronto Hydro’s former Chair, Clare R. Copeland, as a tribute to his 14 years of service on the Board of Directors.

See how work’s progressing on Copeland Station’s live cam.

An engineering feat

Copeland Transformer Station is only the second underground station to be built in Canada. It features 400 concrete pillars and a structured concrete ceiling and walls, along with a specialized waterproof mixture on the exterior walls and flooring to ensure it can withstand any potential flooding.

Hidden under Bremner Boulevard near the John Street Roundhouse, a designated heritage site, and landmarks such as the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the station was carefully designed to blend in aesthetically with the neighbourhood. The site will feature a public plaza and landscaped garden at street level.

The station was built under the Roundhouse’s heritage machine shop. Before construction, the shop was disassembled brick-by-brick and stored off-site. When the project is complete, it will be reassembled with the same materials.

Environmental assessment

Before construction can begin at any work site, a two-phase Environmental Site Assessment must be conducted to identify potential contamination and minimize any risks. Toronto Hydro has fully complied with these requirements.

View Environmental Assessment Approval Letter

Energy Innovation

Leading the way with reliable, green, on-demand energy

From pole-top batteries to giant underwater “balloons,” we’re pioneering new solutions to meet the challenge of providing a reliable supply of electricity for our city’s growing demand. Here are some of our recent clean energy projects.

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World’s first! Underwater Energy Storage

In 2015, Toronto Hydro and Hydrostor Inc. partnered to activate the world’s first underwater compressed air energy storage (UCAES) system in the depths of Lake Ontario. While this technology has been around since the 1970s, Hydrostor’s patented underwater system is an industry-changing breakthrough.

How does UCAES work, exactly? Located three kilometres off Toronto Island under 55 metres of water, the system stores excess electricity generated at night by driving compressed air into six balloon-like bags, each about two storeys high. During the day, a valve is opened and compressed air is pushed back by the pressure of the water, spinning a generator on land to provide on-peak energy. Not only does the UCAES system provide reserve power and load shifting, it’s a fast, zero-emission, cost-effective solution.

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World’s first! Pole-top Energy Storage

Working with eCamion Inc. and Ryerson University, Toronto Hydro has installed the world’s first pole-top energy storage unit. This unique technology uses lithium-ion batteries that charge during off-peak hours and then discharge energy directly to Toronto Hydro’s grid, during peak hours. Benefits include improved system reliability and reduced peak hour consumption.

Learn more Watch our video
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One of the first in North America: Community Energy Storage (CES)

CES units are custom-designed lithium-ion battery banks that store energy for use when needed. On the outside, CES units look like typical hydro boxes, but on the inside there are 1,700 high-density batteries (similar to those found in cell phones) and an intelligent control system.

In 2013, Toronto’s first CES system was installed at the Roding Arena and Community Centre in North York. This pilot project is expected to offer many benefits to the neighbourhood, including:

  • 250 kWh/500kWh of energy storage (enough to power a community centre or small street)
  • Power supply during an outage
  • 98% energy efficient
  • Can operate between -20°C and 60°C
  • Helps alleviate stress on the grid