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Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator Releases 2012 Electricity Production, Consumption and Price Data

Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) today released its annual statistics on electricity supply, demand and price, which reflect the changes taking place in the provincial electricity system in the way electricity is produced and consumed.

"Over the last number of years, Ontario has made significant investments in new supply, new transmission, and now virtually every Ontarian is under time-of-use pricing," said IESO President and CEO Paul Murphy. "These numbers demonstrate just how far the transition of Ontario's electricity sector has come."

Supply
Nuclear units remained the cornerstone of Ontario's supply mix.  Gas and hydroelectric units continued to provide important flexibility by ramping production up and down in response to changes in demand and wind output. Wind generation has grown to become a mainstream resource.

In 2012, nuclear output showed a modest increase to 85.6 TWh, up from 85.3 TWh the year before, representing 56.4 per cent of total generation.  Contributions from renewable resources continued to grow. Wind production increased from 3.9 TWh to 4.6 TWh. On a percentage basis, it represented 3.0 per cent of total output - up from 2.6 per cent in 2011 - and exceeded the output of Ontario's coal plants.

Output from hydroelectric and natural gas facilities was essentially unchanged from 2011, coming in at 33.8 TWh and 22.2 TWh respectively. Ontario's coal-fired units remained at less than three per cent of production.

Electricity transactions between Ontario and its interconnected markets picked up in 2012, resulting in higher import and export volumes. Scheduled imports rose to 4.7 TWh from 3.9 TWh in 2011, while exports increased to 14.6 TWh from 12.9 TWh the year before. Total production from Ontario's power generators rose in 2012, for a total of 151.8 TWh.

The table below reflects total electricity production in 2012, broken out by fuel type.

Year

Nuclear

Hydro

Coal

Gas

Wind

Other

2012

85.6 TWh
56.4%

33.8 TWh
22.3%

4.3 TWh
2.8%

22.2 TWh
14.6%

4.6 TWh
3.0%

1.3 TWh
0.8%

2011

85.3 TWh
56.9%

33.3 TWh
22.2%

4.1 TWh
2.7%

22.0 TWh
14.7%

3.9 TWh
2.6%

1.2 TWh
0.8%

2010

82.9 TWh
55.0%

30.7 TWh
20.4%

12.6 TWh
8.3%

20.5 TWh
13.6%

2.8 TWh
1.9%

1.3 TWh
0.8%

2009

82.5 TWh
55.2%

38.1 TWh
25.5%

9.8 TWh
6.6%

15.4 TWh
10.3%

2.3 TWh
1.6%

1.2 TWh
0.8%

2008

84.4 TWh
53.0%

38.3 TWh
24.1%

23.2 TWh
14.5%

11.0 TWh
6.9%

1.4 TWh
0.9%

1.0 TWh
0.6%

Due to rounding, percentages may not add to 100.

Demand
Electricity demand patterns in Ontario continued to change; peaks in demand fell far below historical highs, while the growth in overall consumption remained in check.

In response to price signals and programs such as the OPA's DR3 and peaksaver PLUS, Ontario's consumers had a direct impact on reducing the year's summer peak. For example, industrial, commercial and institutional consumers helped reduce at least 400 megawatts (MW) during the year's demand peak on July 17, helping to bring the peak down to 24,636 MW. This peak was lower than the previous year's, when record-breaking heat and humidity pushed hourly demand to 25,450 MW.

Total annual electricity consumption stayed virtually flat at 141.3 TWh. Factors constraining growth include the current economic conditions, the growth in embedded generation capacity (which reduces demand for electricity from the bulk power system) and ongoing conservation and demand management initiatives. 

Price
The total cost of power in 2012 was 7.37 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), up from 7.16 cents/kWh in 2011. This cost includes the average weighted wholesale market price of 2.41 cents/kWh and the average Global Adjustment of 4.96 cents/kWh*. 
 
The IESO is responsible for managing Ontario's bulk electricity power system and operating the wholesale market.  It provides a range of historical and real-time electricity data, such as hourly demand, generator output and prices on its web site at www.ieso.ca.

*incorporates an estimate for the December Global Adjustment