Canada – Ontario

Country: Canada

State/Province: Ontario

Document type: Hydrogen Strategy

Title: Ontario’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy

News release: Ontario Launches First-Ever Hydrogen Strategy

Released: April 2022

Summary Points:

The key principles underlying the Strategy include:

  • Generating economic development and jobs
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Promoting energy diversity
  • Promoting innovation and investment
  • Strengthening collaboration

Immediate actions to enable production and expand the low-carbon hydrogen economy in Ontario include:

  • Launching the Niagara Hydrogen Centre: Atura Power plans to produce hydrogen in Niagara Falls using electricity from the Sir Adam Beck hydroelectric generating station as part of its grid regulation services to Ontario’s electricity system.
  • Identifying Ontario’s Hydrogen Hub Communities: Atura Power is working to identify additional strategic locations across the province for hydrogen hubs. The Ministry of Energy will also undertake its own third-party led feasibility study to explore opportunities to establish new low-carbon hydrogen or clean fuel hubs in Ontario.
  • Assessing the Feasibility of Hydrogen Opportunities at Bruce Power: Bruce Power will launch a feasibility study to explore opportunities to leverage excess energy from the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station for hydrogen production.
  • Developing an Interruptible Electricity Rate: Ontario will be working towards reducing electricity rates to support low-carbon hydrogen production through a proposed Interruptible Rate pilot that would offer large electricity consumers reduced electricity rates in exchange for reduced consumption during system or local reliability events.
  • Supporting Hydrogen Storage and Grid Integration Pilots: Ontario will ask the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to report back on program options to support hydrogen storage and grid integration pilot projects.
  • Transitioning Industry Through the Use of Low-carbon Hydrogen: Includes steps to support the efforts of industry to phase out use of coal by transitioning to low-carbon processes and hydrogen-ready equipment. As an example, the Strategy notes that Ontario is contributing CAN$500 million in support to the CAN$1.8 billion project by ArcelorMittal Dofasco at its Hamilton facility to replace coal-fed furnaces with a hydrogen-ready electric arc furnace (EAF).
  • Consulting on an Ontario Carbon Sequestration and Storage Regulatory Framework: Ontario is proposing changes to the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act and the Mining Act frameworks to enable carbon storage activities on Crown land.
  • Supporting Ongoing Hydrogen Research: Ontario is supporting two independent hydrogen research projects in partnership with Natural Resources Canada to advance hydrogen development in the province.

In January 2023, it was announced that the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) had entered into a contract for grid regulation services at the Sir Adam Beck station (starting in 2024) which would support low-carbon hydrogen production at the Niagara Hydrogen Centre.

In February 2023, the Ontario government announced establishment of the Hydrogen Innovation Fund that would invest CAN$15 million over the next three years, supporting projects across three streams:

  • Existing facilities already built or operational and ready to evaluate how hydrogen can support Ontario’s clean grid.
  • New hydrogen facilities not yet constructed but could be in-service by a specified date to demonstrate how hydrogen can support Ontario’s clean grid.
  • Research studies investigating the feasibility of novel applications of hydrogen or support future hydrogen project decision making.

The Fund is to be administered by the IESO, with applications opening in April 2023.


Updated: February 2023