The Independent Electricity System Operator's annual release of supply,
demand and price data highlights three trends that helped shape the management
of Ontario's power system in 2011: increasing production from renewable
resources, reduced dependence on coal-fired units, and a more active role for
consumers in managing their consumption.
With a total installed capacity
of more than 1,700 megawatts (MW) at year-end, Ontario's wind generators are
playing an increasingly important role in meeting demand for electricity. Total
production rang in at 3.9 terawatt hours (TWh) - up substantially from 2.8 TWh
in 2010. November 2011 marked the highest monthly wind output ever seen in
Ontario, with production in that month alone exceeding 0.56 TWh. In annual
terms, wind generation represented 2.6 per cent of total output across all fuel
types of 149.9 TWh.
Production from Ontario's nuclear units continues to supply more than half of
Ontario's power needs. Nuclear generation rose slightly in 2011 to 85.3 TWh, an
increase of 2.4 TWh from 2010. By contrast, output from Ontario's coal-fired
units dropped to 4.1 TWh in 2011, two-thirds lower than it was the year before.
After unusually low water levels resulted in reduced hydroelectric output in
2010, production rebounded to 33.3 TWh from 30.7 TWh. Natural gas facilities
rounded out the mix, with production of 22.0 TWh, up from 20.5 TWh in 2010.
The table below reflects total electricity output in 2011 by fuel
Due to rounding,
percentages may not add to 100.
Total electricity consumption in
Ontario dipped slightly to 141.5 TWh, down from 142 TWh in 2010. A heat wave in
late July pushed peak hourly demand to 25,450 MW on July 21 - a 375 MW increase
from 2010's peak. This increase would have been even higher if not for demand
response (DR) program participants, which include residential, industrial,
commercial and institutional users that agree to reduce their consumption during
peak periods with extreme weather conditions. During the peak hour, demand for
electricity was reduced by more than 500 MW through various DR programs and
"The supply mix is not the only thing that's changing," said Paul Murphy,
President and CEO of the IESO. "By reducing their consumption during periods of
high demand, and by using new tools and applications to monitor their usage,
Ontario's electricity consumers are becoming key partners in maintaining system
The total cost of power in 2011 was 7.16 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), up
from 6.52 cents/kWh in 2010. This cost includes the average weighted wholesale
market price of 3.15 cents/kWh and the average Global Adjustment of 4.01
Electricity trading activity between
Ontario and its interconnected markets slowed, leading to lower imports and
exports. Imports fell to 3.91 TWh from 6.4 TWh, while exports dropped to 12.9
TWh from 15.2 TWh.