Creating an Electricity System to Serve the Digital Age: Ontario Smart Grid Forum Issues Recommendations



    TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - The Ontario Smart Grid Forum today issued its
report "Enabling Tomorrow's Electricity System," calling for a co-ordinated
effort to increase reliability, develop economic opportunities and promote
environmental sustainability through smart grid technologies.
    "Now, more than ever, the move to create a smarter, more integrated
electricity grid is an absolute necessity for Ontario," said IESO President
and CEO Paul Murphy. "We need a more flexible and resilient power system to
support the rapid growth of renewable generation and conservation in the
province."
    The report represents the work of 10 leaders from within Ontario's
electricity industry who looked at the various aspects of smart grid
technologies and how they should be deployed and integrated in the province.
    "Emerging technologies and the need to connect clean and renewable
generation are challenging transmission and distribution companies to
recalibrate and establish more flexible and smart electricity grids," said
Wayne Smith, Hydro One Vice President of Grid Operations. "A smarter grid can
further facilitate investment in renewable sources of power generation like
solar, wind and biomass - key to this Province's goal to increase the amount
of renewables in our system and decrease our reliance on carbon-based fuels."
    Smart grids refer to the integration of advanced information and
communications technologies to manage an increasingly complex and diverse
provincial electrical system. They can accommodate a wide range of activities
- from consumers charging up their electric cars to wind turbines and solar
panels producing energy within city boundaries.
    "Smart Grid opens up new and exciting opportunities to work with our
customers. We will be able to provide innovative services to deliver
electricity that is reliable, efficient, and secure," said Anthony Haines,
President, Toronto Hydro Electric. "Through new technologies such as solar
panels and plug-in hybrid vehicles, we can work towards a more
environmentally-sustainable city. We're not only building a smarter grid -
we're building a brighter future."
    Smart grids also improve electrical system performance by reducing the
impact of faults and making better use of existing infrastructure. By helping
to reduce peaks in demand through conservation, smart grids can also work to
delay additional infrastructure investments.
    "Local distribution companies are becoming focused on rethinking,
redesigning and reinforcing their grids with intelligence," said David Collie,
President and CEO of Burlington Hydro Electric.
    The report calls on the provincial government to facilitate the
development of Ontario's smart grid through legislation and regulation to
clarify roles, set standards and promote investment. This approach is needed
to provide a framework for the development of a co-ordinated and
cost-effective smart grid.

    
    Other recommendations include:
    -   Developing requirements for and the sufficient monitoring of
        distribution-connected generation, energy storage and responsive
        load. In addition, the authority necessary to direct the operation of
        these facilities needs to be determined, as do the conditions under
        which their operation could be directed and any compensation that
        would be provided.
    -   Establishing a task force to develop a comprehensive plan for
        enabling the broad-based deployment of plug-in vehicles in the
        province.
    -   Creating a framework for smart grid research, including proposed
        funding mechanisms, to promote innovation and create green jobs.
    

    "While the term 'smart grid' may sound lofty, it is all about creating a
more efficient and reliable electricity grid, and giving customers more
control. Smart grid technology will give customers access to continuous
information about price and consumption, and the ability to pre-set appliances
to respond to changes in price," said Norm Fraser, Hydro Ottawa Chief
Operating Officer. "Eventually we will all wonder how we ever lived without
it."
    "We have a clear opportunity to leverage investments in smart grid
technology to promote innovation and create green jobs," said David McFadden,
Chair of the Ontario Centres of Excellence. "Research and development in smart
grid technologies coupled with a commitment to a highly-skilled workforce can
provide our province with a competitive edge."

    A copy of the Ontario Smart Grid Forum report is available at
www.ieso.ca/smartgridreport. A backgrounder about the benefits of the smart
grid technologies is also available at
www.ieso.ca/smartgridreport/backgrounder.

    Aussi disponible en français





For further information:

For further information: Alexandra Campbell, IESO, (416) 506-2806; David
Collie, President and CEO, Burlington Hydro Electric Inc., (905) 332-2264; R.
Susan Barrett, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, Hydro Ottawa
Limited, (613) 221-0063; Daniele Gauvin, Hydro One, (416) 345-6908; Denise
Attallah, Media and Public Relations Specialist, Toronto Hydro, (416)
542-2636


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