Adequate Electricity Supply, Lower Peaks this Summer: IESO

TORONTO, June 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario electricity users can expect an adequate supply of power this summer, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) said in its latest 18-Month Outlook.

The Outlook, which covers the period June 2014 - November 2015, forecasts adequate supply levels and reliable transmission service throughout that timeframe. Approximately 3,500 megawatts of new generation capacity is forecast to come online over the reporting period, comprising wind, solar, hydroelectric and biomass generating units. This new generation includes a 142 MW biomass unit at the Thunder Bay Generating Station, where the last coal stores in the province were burned in April.

Despite population and economic growth, demand on the bulk electricity grid is expected to remain flat in 2014 before declining in 2015. This is largely due to rising levels of smaller generation projects embedded in the low voltage systems owned by local distribution companies. This local generation along with increased conservation and demand response has a significant downward impact on grid-supplied electricity.

In Ontario, demand response is allowing consumers to play a bigger role in the electricity marketplace. Mechanisms such as the Industrial Conservation Initiative, time-of-use prices, market-based demand response and Demand Response 3 (DR3), incent businesses and consumers to reduce power consumption at peak times.

As of June 1, the IESO has the ability to activate DR3 based on price signals - a change that is expected to result in this resource being used when it's needed most - particularly in the summer months. DR3 resources will now be triggered when they are the most competitively-priced option.

"Demand Response will be playing an important role in helping us balance the system," said Bruce Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the IESO. "Last year, we saw consumers reduce their demand by roughly 1,200 MW over the summer peaks. This makes a significant contribution to reliability and helps lower costs. We are actively looking at ways to expand demand response opportunities in Ontario."

The IESO regularly assesses the adequacy and reliability of Ontario's power system. The 18-Month Outlook is issued on a quarterly basis and is available at:

SOURCE: Independent Electricity System Operator

For further information:

Martine Holmsen
Independent Electricity System Operator


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