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Wind Power in Ontario Generates a New Record in 2009

Wind generation in Ontario rose by more than 60 per cent over the previous year, Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) reported today in its analysis of 2009 data.

Wind output from Ontario's commercial wind farms was 2.3 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2009, equivalent to the consumption of the City of Oshawa for two full years. At the same time, output from Ontario's coal-fired plants dropped to 9.8 TWh, down dramatically from 23.2 TWh in 2008, and the lowest output in 45 years.

"Ontario's supply mix is evolving," said Paul Murphy, President and CEO of the IESO. "We are making considerable progress in our efforts to integrate energy from cleaner fuel sources."

Demand for electricity in Ontario declined in 2009 as a result of the economic recession, conservation efforts and mild weather. Down 6.1 per cent over 2008, demand reached just 139 TWh, its lowest level since 1997. Peak hourly demand rose slightly in 2009 to 24,380 MW, up 185 MW from 2008 but well off the all-time peak demand of 27,005 MW set in 2006.

Although overall output was down across all fuel types, nuclear and hydroelectric production remained fairly stable. Nuclear generation produced 82.5 TWh of energy in 2009, down 1.9 TWh from 2008, while hydroelectric generation produced 38.1 TWh, a drop of 0.2 TWh from the previous year.

As percentages of total output in 2009, nuclear generation represented 55.2 per cent, hydroelectric generation totalled 25.5 per cent, natural gas came in at 10.3 per cent, coal-fired generation was just 6.6 per cent, wind reached 1.6 per cent, and other fuel types (biomass, solar etc.) contributed 0.8 per cent.

The cost of electricity produced in 2009 was 6.22 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) which includes the average weighted wholesale market price of 3.16 cents/kWh and the average Global Adjustment of 3.06 cents/kWh. In 2008, by comparison, the cost of electricity was 5.8 cents/kWh, which represents a market price of 5.2 cents/kWh and a Global Adjustment of 0.6 cents/kWh.
 
Ontario's electricity imports dropped to 4.8 TWh while exports declined to 15.1 TWh.