2023 Award Winners

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2023

The following awards were presented at the 2023 Ontario Energy Awards to celebrate and profile the accomplishments of Ontario’s energy sector over the past year.

The award recipients for 2023 are:

OEA: Leader Award

Rob Lister, OEC

We are honored to recognize Mr. Rob Lister as our Leader of the Year in the energy and utility industry. Rob’s illustrious 40-year career has been marked by his unwavering commitment to innovation, excellence, and the betterment of the organizations he has served. As the President and CEO of OEC, Rob has steered the organization toward impressive growth and geographic expansion within the energy and infrastructure services sector. He has championed a national brand and modernized utilities, exemplifying remarkable business leadership. Moreover, Rob’s dedication to OEC’s employees is evident in his initiatives to enhance workplace culture, promote development, and ensure well-being. His vision extends beyond the organization, as he actively participates in industry associations, serves on boards, and promotes sustainability and innovation in the sector. Rob Lister’s outstanding contributions and leadership have left an indelible mark, not only on OEC but also on the energy and utility industry as a whole.

APPrO: Hedley Palmer Award

David Butters

The Hedley Palmer award was created in 1989 to honour an individual who, in the judgment of the APPrO Board, has made an outstanding contribution to the power generation industy in Ontario. Since then it has been awarded 32 times to deserving individuals.

Mr. Butters has been president & CEO of APPrO since 2004, but has recently announced his intention to step down in 2024. This award was given in recognition of his years of service and numerous accomplishments during his tenture.

OEA: Company Award

Hydro Ottawa

Hydro Ottawa deserves recognition and consideration for an award due to its exceptional response and resilience during the unprecedented challenges posed by the May 2022 Derecho storm. This natural disaster, marked by extreme wind speeds and extensive damage, tested Hydro Ottawa’s capabilities and dedication to the Ottawa community. With over half of its customer-base affected by the storm, Hydro Ottawa faced monumental challenges, including the replacement of a staggering 540 broken poles and incurring estimated costs of $23.8 million. Hydro Ottawa was prepared and able to act quickly and safely thanks to its Business Continuity Policy and Business Continuity Management Plan which includes its comprehensive Crisis Management Plan. The company’s swift and organized response, mobilizing internal crisis management teams and securing additional resources, resulted in the restoration of power to 90% of customers within a week and full restoration within two weeks. Moreover, Hydro Ottawa’s commitment to safety, effective material management, and transparent communication with customers exemplified its dedication to service and community well-being. This outstanding response not only showcased the company’s capabilities but also laid the groundwork for future improvements in grid resiliency, emergency response plans, and customer communication, ensuring that Hydro Ottawa continues to be a reliable and resilient utility provider.

OEA: Innovation Award

ONEIDA Energy Storage Project

The partners involved in this project deserves recognition for their pivotal role in achieving two significant milestones with the 250MW/1,000MWh Oneida Energy Storage Project, making it Canada’s largest clean energy storage endeavor to attain Financial Close (FC) and initiate construction. This remarkable achievement reflects years of collaboration among various partners, including Northland as the majority equity owner, SNGRDC, NRStor Inc., Aecon, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank. The project’s significance extends beyond its size, as it serves as a trailblazer for Canada’s emerging energy storage sector and a model for successful collaboration with Indigenous nations, government bodies, and industry peers. Furthermore, Oneida’s impact extends to policy, positioning Ontario as a burgeoning market for energy storage while setting a high standard for Indigenous involvement in clean energy infrastructure.

OEA: Customer Service Award

Hydro One

Hydro One’s Toronto Telecom Circuit Migration Team’s helped a Toronto Hydro successfully migrate 28 critical power lines between 18 transmission stations to a new Multi-Protocol Label Switching technology. The team’s exceptional leadership and customer-focused approach resulted in a seamless transition, ensuring the reliability and security of Toronto’s power system. Their collaboration, problem-solving skills, and dedication to customer satisfaction demonstrated Hydro One’s commitment to going above and beyond for their customers.

OEA: Outstanding Employee Award

Roman Grod, Rodan Energy Solutions

Roman Grod, as the leader of the Rodan team, has demonstrated exceptional leadership in successfully executing two Non-Wires Alternatives (NWA) Pilots, fostering collaborative efforts with utilities to strategically leverage Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) for enhancing distribution infrastructure cost-effectively. These NWA initiatives serve as a compelling testament to the viability of innovative system enhancements beyond traditional investments. In collaboration with Alectra, Roman’s leadership led to the successful realization of the groundbreaking IESO York Region Non-Wires Alternatives (NWA) Demonstration Project, introducing North America’s first distribution-level local electricity market and reducing local system demand through adept response to 15 events. Moreover, in his capacity as Canada Committee Chair within the Advanced Energy Management Alliance (AEMA), Roman actively advocates for business-sensible programs and regulatory frameworks harmonizing customer interests with utility requirements, contributing to the 2023 capacity auction stream 1 enhancements in partnership with the IESO. Roman’s dedication and instrumental contributions have solidified Rodan’s position as an industry thought leader, showcasing the value of NWA programs and advancing the integration of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) within the evolving energy landscape.

OEA: Lifetime Award

Howard Wetston

The OEA recognized the lifetime achievements of the Honourable Howard Wetston and his remarkable career and contributions to Canada.  Among his many contributions to the country, Mr. Wetston has served in the Senate of Canada, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), and as Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Energy Board. At the OEB, he brought a transformative leadership style, and updated many processes and procedures that turned the OEB into a more modern regulator. At the OSC, he led the implementation of the requirement to “comply or explain” in respect of gender diversity disclosure on Boards.  At the Senate of Canada, Mr. Westston led work on Bill C-69 (Impact Assessment Act), a complex piece of environmental legislation that outlines the process for how the Government of Canada goes about assessing the impacts of designated projects and projects carried out on federal lands. He led the review of that legislation and sent it back to the House of Commons with 100 recommended amendments, 77 of which were ultimately accepted. In 2016, Mr. Wetston was awarded the Order of Canada for his significant contributions as a public servant, jurist and regulator.