Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Roadmap

There are nearly 5,000 MW of DERs already deployed in Ontario, with potential for substantial growth, driven by:

  • Decreasing cost and increasing capability of DERs;
  • Electrification/decarbonisation goals and federal funding;
  • Business environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria; and
  • Municipalities’ community energy planning and customers’ preferences

While DERs can provide benefits to the customer and distribution and bulk systems, they are currently enabled in wholesale markets in a limited way (aggregations of Hourly Demand Response resources or as individual resources over 1 MW in size). Preparing to more fully integrate these resources is important to the reliability and cost-effectiveness of Ontario’s electricity system.

The DER Roadmap engagement will establish IESO objectives, initiatives and timing for DER integration. The Roadmap will be developed with stakeholder input and with regards for other key IESO initiatives (e.g. Resource Adequacy and Enabling Resources Program). The Roadmap will clearly articulate the IESO’s actions for integrating DERs and can also be used as a tool to help ensure coordination across the sector. The IESO intends to complete the DER Roadmap prior to the end of 2021 and will report periodically to stakeholders on progress made thereafter.

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, 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.

Related Information

Draft Engagement Plan

OEB: Framework for Energy Innovation: Distributed Resources and Utility Incentives

Non-Wires Alternatives: Regional Planning Process Review (RPPR) – review of the regional planning process, including identifying barriers to NWAs and development of recommendations to alleviate barriers

Wholesale Market Integration: Aggregated hourly demand response (DR) has been enabled in IESO’s Capacity Auction; recent IESO whitepapers have explored opportunities and options for expanded DER participation in wholesale markets

Transmission-Distribution (T-D) Interoperability: IESO York Region NWA demonstration is exploring a framework for T-D interoperability through a local capacity auction to acquire resources to provide non-wires value while coordinating with the wholesale market; recent IESO whitepaper explored T-D frameworks

Related Engagements

Capacity Auction

Demand Response Working Group (DRWG)

Distributed Energy Resources Survey

Enabling Resources Program

Expanding Participation in Operating Reserve and Energy (EPOR-E)

Hybrid Integration Project

IESO York Region Non Wires Alternatives Demonstration Project

Innovation and Sector Evolution White Paper Series

Resource Adequacy

Schedule of Activities

Anticipated timing for this engagement is presented below.



 Engagement Activity

Expected Actions

Q1/2, 2022

Targeted completion date for DER Potential Study


Q4, 2021

Targeted completion date for DER Roadmap


September/October, 2021

Stakeholder webinar:

  • Introduce next steps on regional planning process updates related to non-wires alternatives 

September/October, 2021

Stakeholder webinar:

  • The initial meeting of the DER Market Vision Project

September/October, 2021

Stakeholder webinar:

  • Introduce DER Roadmap objectives and longer-term timelines

August, 2021

Stakeholder webinar:

  • The initial meeting for Joint Targeted Call of the OEB’s Innovation Sandbox and the IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund

August, 2021

Stakeholder webinar:

  • The initial meeting of the DER Potential Study engagement

July, 2021

Stakeholder webinar:

  • Introduce York Region NWA Demonstration DER Scenarios and Modelling Study and year enhancements

June 22, 2021


Stakeholder webinar:

  • The initial meeting of the DER Roadmap engagement will introduce the initiative, identify IESO focus areas and near-term timelines, and highlight a number of key DER initiatives that are underway or will be launched in 2021. The meeting will also to introduce and seek feedback on opportunities for increased collaboration with the OEB and DER demonstration
  • Presentation
  • Feedback form

Register with engagement@ieso.ca

This webinar is being presented during the IESO's June stakeholder engagement sessions, see full agenda for more information.