TORONTO, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario is expected to have an adequate supply of electricity to handle the increased demand resulting from air conditioning use over the summer, even under hotter than normal weather conditions. Over the longer term, Ontario's electricity demand-supply forecast remains positive, with sufficient power to meet consumers' needs for the next year and a half, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) reported in its latest 18-Month Outlook.
During that period, there will be more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity added to the grid, comprising approximately 1,500 MW of nuclear generation and 500 MW of grid-connected renewable generation. By November 2013, total wind and solar generation connected to the transmission and distribution networks in Ontario will reach approximately 3,800 MW.
The double-circuit Bruce to Milton transmission line is now operational and can accommodate the full output from all eight generating units at the Bruce nuclear complex as well as the additional renewable resources planned in southwestern Ontario.
"As part of the transition to a more sustainable fuel mix, 3,500 MW of flexible, coal-fired generation will be eliminated over the next two years," said Bruce Campbell, Vice-President of Resource Integration at the IESO. "We're counting on maximum flexibility from all remaining resources to help us ensure reliable operations."
Economic growth in Ontario is expected to result in a modest increase in electricity consumption but that growth will be partially offset by conservation initiatives and increased embedded generation. Total consumption is expected to rise by 0.1 per cent in 2012. Those same factors, as well as the impact of time-of-use rates and other demand response initiatives, should result in peak demand remaining flat over the forecast period.
Over the past several years, and continuing for the next 18 months, new sources of generation have been - and continue to be - brought into service to meet future supply needs and replace coal-fired capacity. The incorporation of this supply, coupled with declining demand during off-peak periods, has caused periods of surplus baseload generation (SBG) which the IESO will continue to manage.
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/18-month.outlook.jun2012.
The IESO is responsible for managing Ontario's bulk electricity power system and operating the wholesale market. For more information, please visit www.ieso.ca.
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