Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Market Vision and Design Project

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) have emerged as major players in the electricity sector in Ontario and across jurisdictions around the world. At least 5000 MW* of DERs have already been deployed in Ontario and there is potential for substantial growth, with additional DERs being deployed to support customer and policy-driven electrification and decarbonization goals. Ontario communities are increasingly expressing preferences for the source of their energy, and DERs can provide them with an opportunity to express and realize those preferences. The IESO is thus seeking to determine how to cost-effectively enhance the value DERs can provide to Ontario’s electricity system by expanding participation in the wholesale markets. 

The Market Vision and Design Project is a key focus area of IESO’s DER integration activities and is what much of the near-term DER Roadmap efforts build towards. This project is separated into two key phases; the first, the DER Market Vision Project (MVP) will explore new, “foundational” participation models for DER integration into wholesale markets and will identify the criteria for more sophisticated models that will form the basis of future DER integration efforts. The second phase, the DER Market Design Project (MDP) will design and implement the foundational participation models from the MVP.

Through the Innovation and Sector Evolution White Paper Series on Exploring Expanded DER Participation in the IESO-Administered Markets the IESO and stakeholders have identified barriers to DER participation in Ontario's wholesale markets as well as opportunities to address those barriers. At the same time, in response to FERC Order 2222, jurisdictions across the US are developing and implementing enhanced wholesale participation models for DERs. These efforts will inform potential enhancements in Ontario, including:

  • Opportunities to enable new and more diverse DER aggregations (DERAs) to better reflect existing and emerging DER potential in the province
  • Potential to enable greater flexibility of aggregated demand-side resources
  • Addressing barriers to participation for small resources (e.g., metering/telemetry processes and requirements)

Stakeholders have identified, and the IESO agrees, that wholesale market participation is one of several options to incentivize efficient investment in and operation of DERs; different approaches may be appropriate in different situations. Net metering or electricity rate structures are examples of other approaches that can unlock DER potential in Ontario. This DER Market Vision and Design Project is focused on ensuring the IESO is addressing opportunities for DERs that fall within its mandate. Key inputs for this project include the DER Potential Study, the IESO/OEB Joint Targeted Call, the T-D Coordination Working Group (TDWG), and the DER Scenarios and Modelling Study.

The IESO encourages all interested parties to participate in this engagement. The IESO anticipates that this initiative will be of particular interest to current and prospective market participants, resource developers, DER technology and service providers, municipalities and Local Distribution Companies (LDCs). To be added to the email list for communications related to this engagement or to submit comments and enquiries, please email engagement@ieso.ca.

*per DERs that IESO has visibility to as a result of markets, procurements, programs, the Industrial Conservation Initiative

Schedule of Activities


Engagement Activity

Expected Actions

January 26, 2022

Engagement webinar:

  • EPRI will provide a presentation on FERC Order 2222 and the market participation models being developed and implemented in other jurisdictions
  • IESO will present a more detailed plan for Market Vision Project timelines and deliverables
  • Presentation - EPRI
  • Presentation
  • Feedback form

Register or Join meeting

This webinar was presented during the IESO's January stakeholder engagement sessions, see full agenda for more information.

November 10, 2021

Following the October 20th webinar, the IESO is seeking feedback from participants on the focus areas and questions for Phase I of the project, whether the scope of the project is clear, and any additional inputs to the project the IESO should consider.

January 14, 2022: IESO Response to Stakeholder Feedback

October 29, 2021

Deadline for stakeholder feedback on topics presented at the September 22nd Stakeholder DER presentations.

October 20, 2021

Engagement webinar:

  • The purpose of this session is to is to introduce the DER Market Vision and Design Project. The focus of this project is to examine how to cost-effectively enhance the value DERs can provide to Ontario’s electricity system by expanding participation in wholesale markets.
  • Presentation
  • Feedback form

Recorded Presentation

This webinar was presented during the IESO's October stakeholder engagement sessions, see full agenda for more information.

September 22, 2021

Engagement webinar:

Stakeholder DER Presentations

  • The IESO will welcome stakeholders to present their perspectives on the DERs that are most likely to emerge in Ontario and how they should be incorporated into wholesale markets to inform the Market Vision Project.
  • Feedback form

Recorded Presentation

This webinar was presented during the IESO's September stakeholder engagement sessions, see full agenda for more information.