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Imports and Exports

The Review of Ontario Interties released October 14, 2014 examines opportunities to increase the use of Ontario's interconnections.
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A Capacity Sharing Agreement is in place between Ontario and Quebec to take advantage of the complementary seasonal peaks of each province.

A backgrounder has been created to answer questions posed by stakeholders about the agreement.

The IESO has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with NYISO to facilitate capacity exports from Ontario to New York.

Imports and exports help the province's electricity system and market to be more reliable, cost-effective and competitive. Every hour of every day, Ontario imports and exports energy with neighbouring jurisdictions based on changing market and system conditions.​

Being interconnected means that when unexpected problems occur on the system, such as generation unexpectedly tripping off, neighbouring states and provinces can quickly help make up the power shortfall.

An interconnected grid also means that Ontario has the ability to import power if it's available at a lower   price. Conversely, power can be exported when it's not needed in the province.​​​​​ Without the ability to export, Ontario's generators would lose important revenue streams which helps recoup some of the costs for maintaining their facilities and helps maintain reliability. These are costs that would otherwise be paid for by Ontario consumers.

Over the last five years, Ontario has moved from being a net importer of power to a net exporter as it renews its generation fleet in preparation for the closure of coal-fired generating plants and the refurbishment of several nuclear units. Below is a table that shows annual imports and exports by jurisdiction.

Imports and Exports by Jurisdiction (in GWh)

Year TotalManitoba​Michigan​Minnesota​New York​Quebec
Jan 2017
2002 6,3451,8001,16593,05410319519 978 1,493 954 175


Note: Numbers may not add up to totals due to rounding.

2003 data does not included import and export information during the blackout that took place between August 14 and August 22. 
2002 data only include transactions going back to May 1, the opening of the wholesale market.