Ontario municipalities and communities invited to help improve Ontario's energy planning and siting processes

OPA and IESO call on public and over 1400 stakeholders to share their views

TORONTO, June 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) invite Ontarians to join the conversation and share their views about Ontario's regional energy planning and siting processes. 

On May 6, 2013, the Minister of Energy directed the OPA and IESO to work together to develop recommendations that will ensure municipalities and communities have a greater voice in meeting local energy needs and siting large energy infrastructure, such as natural gas plants.  http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2013/05/new-ontario-government-strengthens-energy-planning.html.

Over the last decade, Ontario's power system has undergone a significant transformation. After a number of years of energy shortages, Ontarians today are benefitting from a robust supply of new, clean energy resources.

The OPA and IESO have invited over 1400 people to share their views, including Ontario chiefs, Métis leaders, mayors, planners, developers, consumer groups, chambers of commerce and boards of trade, business improvement associations, residential and ratepayer associations, and community groups.

"We are asking for input about how Ontario can improve its engagement process, integrate municipal and energy planning and site large electricity infrastructure," explains Colin Andersen, CEO, Ontario Power Authority.

The two organizations will hold in-person engagement sessions across the province to gather insight and perspectives from the public. Online engagement tools will also be used to seek feedback from interested groups, including a series of webinars and a new consultation website. Input gathered from this engagement process will inform the recommendations presented to Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli. The OPA and IESO have been asked to submit a joint report to the Minister on August 1, 2013.

"Strong public engagement in regional energy plans will lead to better decision-making so that future infrastructure is in place where and when it is needed," added Bruce Campbell, President and CEO, Independent Electricity System Operator. "The feedback, research and current experience gathered in the public engagement process will be essential to developing effective recommendations." 

The first webinar for the broader public takes place this week on Thursday, June 20 from 7 pm to 9 pm. To participate in the webinar by phone, please dial 1-866-212-9078.  To connect on-line, please visit the following address any time during the webinar: http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=645011&s=1&k=A6135888AF87CC701608486F32BF32FB

Ontarians are also invited to submit their views through a survey on the dedicated website:  www.ONregional-planning-and-siting-dialogue.ca.  Written submissions are welcome by July 15, 2013. The feedback received during the engagement process will be posted on this website for broader review.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) manages the reliability of the provincial power grid and works at the heart of Ontario's power system, balancing supply and demand through the electricity market. For more information about the IESO visit www.ieso.ca.

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is responsible for ensuring a reliable, sustainable supply of electricity for Ontario. Its key areas of focus are coordinating province-wide conservation efforts, planning the electricity system for the long term, and contracting for clean electricity resources. For more information about the OPA visit www.powerauthority.on.ca.

SOURCE: Ontario Power Authority

For further information:

Media Contacts:

Tim Butters, Ontario Power Authority: 416-969-6307 / Toll Free: 1-800-797-9604
media@powerauthority.on.ca

Martine Holmsen, Independent Electricity System Operator: 416-506-2837
media@ieso.ca



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