Agricultural operations supported by IESO electricity programs

WINDSOR, ON, June 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Greenhouse operators in the Windsor-Essex Region will reduce their electricity costs and expand their production by taking advantage of electricity programs offered by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

A media conference was held today in the offices of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, where the IESO, Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli and local greenhouse growers Cervini Farms, C.L. Solutions, Brunato Farms and Amco Farms to showcase two electricity programs in which they are participating – the Combined Heat and Power Standard Offer Program (CHPSOP) and the Industrial Electricity Incentive (IEI) program.

Cervini Farms, C.L. Solutions and Brunato Farms were recently awarded a contract to develop a combined heat and power electricity generating facility to supply power to the electricity grid. Amco Farms has recently signed an IEI contract, under which it will receive a reduction in the cost of electricity until the end of 2024 in return for expanding its existing production facilities.

"Ontario's greenhouse operators are an essential part of Ontario's economy. The IESO programs we are highlighting today will reduce electricity costs and allow successful proponents to expand production to meet growing demand. Making programs like these available to greenhouse operators is a key commitment made in Achieving Balance, Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan," said Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy.

"IESO programs offer a great opportunity for industries, including agricultural operations, to efficiently generate electricity, expand operations in Ontario and reduce their electricity costs," said Bruce Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer, IESO.  

CHPSOP supports the use of gas-fired electricity generating facilities that use combined heat and power (CHP) technology. CHP is efficient because, in addition to electricity, heat or steam are produced and put to use. The program facilitates these projects in particular sectors, specifically agricultural industry and district energy projects. The IESO has recently awarded 13 CHPSOP contracts for projects across the province. More information on CHPSOP can be found here.

In return for building new or expanding existing production facilities, IEI Program participants will receive a reduction in the associated costs of electricity. The program has expanded to include additional energy-intensive sectors, such as greenhouses, nursery and floriculture production, refrigerated warehousing and data processing. Mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction and manufacturing companies continued to be eligible under the program. To date, the IESO has awarded 22 contracts to industrial companies across the province through the program, including 15 contracts in 2015. More information on the IEI program is available here.

Essex County Warden, Tom Bain said, "We are very pleased that the Ontario Government recognizes the vital role this program plays in Ontario and in Canada's largest agri-business cluster… the Windsor-Essex Region. This energy program helps make our businesses more competitive on the world stage…we thank you for that!"

"As major energy users in our greenhouse sector of agriculture, we appreciate efforts by IESO to make programs available to our growers to make the costs of electricity more competitive and to promote energy efficiency through combined heat and power applications," TOGA Chair, Jan Vanderhout stated. A greenhouse vegetable grower himself, Vanderhout added, "We look forward to working with IESO to extend the participation in these programs to more of Ontario's 439 commercial greenhouse growers."

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. On January 1, 2015, the Ontario Power Authority amalgamated with the IESO. For more information, please visit www.ieso.ca.

SOURCE Independent Electricity System Operator

For further information: IESO Media Contact: John Cannella, 416-506-2806, media@ieso.ca

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