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New electricity Reliability Outlook says Ontario ready for winter and beyond

December 20, 2018

Ontario’s electricity system has adequate resources to maintain reliability and meet the province’s needs over the winter season and beyond, according to a new Reliability Outlook report issued by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

“Looking ahead, the electricity system faces growing challenges, such as cybersecurity, new and emerging technologies, and more extreme weather events,” said Leonard Kula, IESO’s Vice President, Procurement, Acquisition and Operations and Chief Operating Officer “Through prudent planning and a commitment to cost-efficiency, we can continue to ensure a positive and reliable outlook for the electricity needs of Ontario now and into the future.”

The Reliability Outlook includes forecasted electricity demand and system adequacy of the next 18-month period, and includes an extended 42-month outlook to provide increased transparency into the future electricity needs of the province.       

Over the next 18 months, 1500 MW of electricity generation is expected to be added to the province’s grid. Generation includes 985 MW of gas, 400 MW of wind, 100 MW of solar and 15 MW of hydroelectric power.

The trend of flat demand seen in recent years will continue over this period. However, certain regions of the province may see increased demand. The Windsor-Essex area is expected to see its electricity demand increase significantly over the next five years, driven by strong agricultural growth in the region. The IESO is working with communities and regional stakeholders to ensure the electricity system needs are met. 

The extended outlook identified a potential capacity need in 2023 – a time when long-term contracts with generation facilities begin to expire, and nuclear units are being refurbished or retired. The IESO will continue to update and engage with stakeholders to review and refine our resource adequacy forecasts, and where necessary, make decisions about meeting our resource requirements.

As the IESO plans to ensure a reliable supply of electricity into the future, driving down costs for Ontario consumers continues to be a priority. In July 2018 it was announced the IESO would be terminating 756 early stage contracts for generation projects, resulting in $790 million of savings to Ontario consumers. To ensure future supply needs are met at lowest cost, work continues to evolve Ontario’s electricity market and introduce competitive auctions. This is part of a Market Renewal program that will achieve approximately $3.4 billion in savings for Ontario consumers over a ten year period.

About the Reliability Outlook:

The IESO’s Reliability Outlook presents Ontario’s demand forecast and associated drivers, along with resource adequacy projections and the assumptions that inform them, and an assessment of the province’s transmission assets. Read the full outlook here.

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.

IESO Media Contact
Andrew Dow

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