Ontario to invest in smart electricity grid



    Proposal would better accommodate renewable power

    TORONTO, Feb. 5 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario is planning to modernize its electricity transmission system to
make it more reliable and more able to accommodate renewable power, Premier
Dalton McGuinty said today.
    A new Green Energy Act, to be introduced in the Ontario legislature later
this month, would make Ontario a leader in North America in building renewable
energy, encouraging energy conservation and creating green jobs.
    By enabling smart grid investments the bill would better equip the
electricity grid to handle the many smaller, renewable sources of energy the
bill would help bring online. A smart grid would also allow electricity
utilities to quickly identify problems and bring the lights back on when there
are outages. A smart grid would help send and collect information, enabling
greater demand response programs and help reduce consumption during peak
hours.
    The bill would also help the government ensure our province's future by:
    
    -   Supporting and expanding economic investment, thus building a
        stronger, greener economy with an estimated 50,000+ direct and
        indirect jobs over the next three years;
    -   Expanding Ontario's use of clean and renewable sources of energy such
        as wind, solar, hydro, biomass and biogas; and
    -   Better protecting our environment, combating climate change and
        creating a healthier future for generations to come.
    

    Premier McGuinty made the comments while addressing the Ottawa Chamber of
Commerce.

    QUOTES

    "We need a 21st century electricity grid that can better meet the
changing nature of power consumption in Ontario. A smarter grid is essential
to maximizing the energy from Ontario's abundant natural solar and wind
energy," said Premier Dalton McGuinty.
    "Our current electricity transmission system was meant to deliver large
amounts of electricity from a few big generating stations. I'll be introducing
legislation soon that would jumpstart hundreds of smaller renewable projects
across the province, changing the way we make and deliver electricity," said
George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -   Smart grids enable a more efficient use of electricity and promote
        overall reductions in energy use. According to the Electric Power
        Research Institute, smart grid technologies have the potential to
        reduce electricity consumption in 2025 by 10 to 15 per cent in the
        United States.

    -   Smart grids better facilitate the integration of distributed
        generation and new energy resources such as solar, wind and pumped
        storage.

    -   Using smart grid technology, distributors have the ability to
        anticipate and address problems before they lead to outages. They can
        automatically reconfigure the grid to reduce the impact of faults
        that do occur. With a smart grid, your local distribution company
        will instantly know if the power is out in your home, even if you are
        not there to report it.

    -   On February 4, the Ontario Smart Grid Forum issued a report about the
        economic opportunities and environmental sustainability provided
        through smart grid technologies. A smart grid will help support
        Ontario's renewable energy and help make the electricity system more
        reliable.

    LEARN MORE

    Read more about Ontario's energy system and efforts to promote green
energy(http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/).

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For further information:

For further information: Premier's Media Office: (416) 314-8975

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