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IESO Issues Request For Proposals for Demand Response Pilot Projects

April 2, 2015

Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is providing new opportunities for electricity consumers to help meet system needs and reduce overall costs. The IESO is competitively procuring a diverse portfolio of demand response (DR) pilot projects, totalling 100 megawatts—about the average peak electricity demand of the city of Kingston. 

As electricity supply and demand fluctuates, the system has traditionally been balanced by managing generation output. DR resources participating in this pilot will provide a cost-effective alternative by increasing or decreasing participants' electricity consumption in five-minute or hourly blocks to help the system match supply and demand. Participants may also provide an alternative to starting up generating stations by committing in advance to reducing their electricity use.  

The IESO will learn from their integration into the operation of Ontario's power grid and the wholesale market. This procurement will also expose participants to additional market opportunities and help the IESO enhance the integration of DR resources.   

"Demand response resources are making significant contributions toward meeting Ontario's energy needs, and this will be increasingly true in the years ahead," said JoAnne Butler, Vice-President of Market and Resource Development. "This procurement will add to our understanding of how these resources can best contribute to our grid and how to most effectively integrate them into the IESO-administered markets." 

Demand response allows consumers to better control costs and to be active contributors to Ontario's electricity system. It reduces the need for electricity production, which in turn helps to defer the need for new infrastructure, reduce the sector's environmental impact and lower costs for ratepayers. 

More information on the RFP is available.

For those wishing to respond, the RFP is available through MERX e-tendering website.

About the IESO

The IESO manages the province's power system so that Ontarians receive power when and where they need it. It plans and prepares for future electricity needs, and works with its partners to guide conservation efforts. A not-for-profit entity established by the Government of Ontario, IESO fees and licenses to operate are set by the Ontario Energy Board. On January 1, 2015, the Ontario Power Authority amalgamated with the IESO. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:

Mary Bernard
Independent Electricity System Operator

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