TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario's electricity system is well resourced to meet electricity demand this winter and over the next year and a half, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) reports in its latest 18-Month Outlook.
The Outlook, which covers the period from December 2014 to May 2016 forecasts there is sufficient capacity to meet demand which could reach as high as 23,300 MW this winter.
As has been the norm over the last number of years, this report forecasts that both energy demand and peak demand will continue to decline. The effects of population and economic growth are being offset by conservation initiatives as households and businesses shift electricity use to lower cost time periods and achieve energy reductions through more efficient lighting.
"The IESO monitors weather variations and other factors that could have an impact on the system and works to ensure there is adequate generation to meet demand," said Bruce Campbell, President and CEO, IESO. "And this year we've enhanced our protocols with gas generators to ensure we have better insight into their fuel-supply levels as we head into the winter."
This year, gas generators report that gas storage levels already exceed the average for the last five years. Last winter, gas-fired generation was an integral resource in meeting Ontario's demand requirements. As such, gas storage levels were significantly depleted over the course of the colder winter. The IESO and the gas sector took this experience into account in planning for the coming winter to achieve better visibility of gas availability.
More than 2,800 MW of new supply will be incorporated into the province's existing generation fleet. This includes Ontario's first grid-connected solar projects. By the end of the outlook period, the amount of solar generation connected to the grid is expected to grow to 280 MW, complementing the 1,800 MW of embedded solar facilities located within distribution networks. Generation embedded in distribution systems serves to reduce demand on the bulk power system.
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: www.ieso.ca/18monthoutlook.
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) manages the province's power system so that Ontarians receive power when and where they need it. Ontario's IESO balances demand for electricity against available supply through the wholesale market and directs the flow of electricity across the transmission system. A not-for-profit entity established by the Government of Ontario, IESO fees and licences to operate are set by the Ontario Energy Board.
SOURCE: Independent Electricity System Operator
For further information: IESO Media Line, 416-506-2823