Targeted Call for Proposals

The IESO Grid Innovation Fund (GIF) and the OEB Innovation Sandbox will hold a joint, targeted call this year for submissions to support research and demonstration projects that have the potential to provide value to consumers and the grid. The IESO and the OEB are interested in innovative proposals that would test the capabilities of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in providing services at both the local and provincial levels.

DERs generally refer to resources that produce, store or manage electricity and are connected to a local grid or on a customer’s premises. Some examples include rooftop solar panels, battery storage units and demand response devices, such as smart thermostats, that help reduce or shift consumers’ electricity usage.

Collage - rooftop solar panels beign istalled and battery storage units

With Ontario electricity demand increasing this decade, DERs have the potential to increase grid reliability, affordability and competition, as well as enhance value for consumers. The challenge is to harness these resources effectively so that they are integrated as part of the broader electricity system. As the system becomes more diverse and complex, the IESO and the OEB are partnering to help identify and address some of the technical and regulatory barriers that can stand in the way of DERs fulfilling their potential. The IESO will offer financial support for innovative projects through its GIF that increase understanding of DER capabilities, how they can be integrated into electricity markets and the distribution system, and how they can contribute to the cost-effective and reliable operation of the grid. The OEB Innovation Sandbox will offer utilities and other companies carrying out GIF-funded projects assistance on regulatory aspects of their projects where required.
 
High-level objectives of this joint call include:

  1. Demonstrate the potential for cost-effective services that DERs can provide to consumers, distribution systems and the IESO-controlled grid to unlock ratepayer cost savings.
  2. Test and demonstrate effectiveness of technologies, programs, or other innovative strategies to further the IESO, OEB and the market’s understanding of the dependability of DERs and improve reliability to the integrated electricity system. Specific areas of interest include real-time dispatch and compliance of various DER aggregation types, telemetry aggregation services for system visibility and forecasting, and solutions that address barriers in wholesale and distribution settlement and metering.
  3. Test the effectiveness of DERs to defer or eliminate the need for traditional electricity infrastructure (e.g., poles and wires) while maintaining or improving reliability.
  4. Support the development of innovative arrangements that test new activities or business models where regulatory requirements may prevent or impede those arrangements from proceeding.
Grid Innovation Fund Contribution Agreement Template

Prior to submitting an application form for funding under the Grid Innovation Fund, applicants must review and ensure they understand the terms and conditions contained in the template Grid Innovation Fund Agreement. The IESO will not be able to accommodate applicants’ requests for changes to the terms and conditions. The IESO may make amendments to its templates from time to time, in the IESO’s sole discretion. Successful applicants will be required to enter into a Grid Innovation Fund Agreement, which will be the final, binding agreement that governs the relationship between the parties, which will not be affected by any changes to the templates that are not reflected in the final binding agreement. The final agreement may contain additional terms, conditions and/or schedules, as required by the IESO, including those required as a result of the nature of the project that is the subject of the application.

View the standard Grid Innovation Fund Contribution Agreement template.

For further details on this joint, targeted call, the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap Engagement contains presentations, and recorded presentations of previous engagement sessions. The IESO is currently seeking feedback on specific elements of the joint targeted call.