Waterpower Expansion at Existing Infrastructure Continues

Transmission Capacity Clarity Key to Sustained Growth

TORONTO, March 10, 2016 /CNW/ - The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) congratulates proponents of waterpower projects awarded contracts under the first Large Renewables Procurement (LRP), the results of which were released yesterday by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).  Four (4) hydroelectric contracts totaling 15.5 MW were announced.  All proponents are OWA members.

"I am pleased that these four (4) projects can now move forward and invest in existing infrastructure" said Paul Norris, President of the OWA. "It is clear, however, that awarding contracts based on current and changing connection capacity is limiting waterpower's potential."

Under the first LRP, waterpower was allocated up to seventy five (75) MW of contract capacity.  In response to the program, approximately half of that allocation was applied.  A key impediment for long lead time projects such as waterpower has been the disconnect between coordinating the availability of transmission capacity with the planned in service date for the facility which in many cases is five (5) to eight (8) years hence. Connection availability indicated at the time of application may not be up to date or reflective of future availability.

"Given that some contract capacity available was unallocated, it is apparent that waterpower faces some unique challenges", added Norris.  "The OWA looks forward to working with the IESO as it begins the review of the LRP."

According to data from the IESO, in 2015, waterpower accounted for twenty percent (20%) of the energy required to meet summer peak demand and sixty percent (60%) of the system reliability services. As Ontario's electricity system mix continues to evolve, the attributes unique to waterpower will increase in importance.

The OWA was founded in 2001 to represent the common and collective interests of the province's original renewable energy sector – waterpower. More than 160 members are committed to advancing responsible resource management and sustainable development.

SOURCE Ontario Waterpower Association

For further information: Stephanie Landers, Communications and Public Outreach Coordinator, Ontario Waterpower Association, slanders@owa.ca, 1-866-743-1500 ext. 25

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