Positive Summertime Outlook for Ontario's Electricity System

TORONTO, May 20 /CNW/ - Ontario's bulk power system has enough supply available to meet summer demands and accommodate Ontario's power needs over the next 18 months, said the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in its latest 18-Month Outlook.

The positive supply situation will help meet the expected increase in electricity demand that occurs over the summer months as a result of the widespread use of energy-intensive air conditioners by Ontario's residential, commercial and institutional customers.

From June 2010 to November 2011, approximately 2,900 megawatts (MW) of new and refurbished supply are scheduled to enter commercial operation, representing a mix of wind, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric and biomass generation projects.

The province is also making good progress on the planned phase-out of coal-fired generation, and the shutdown of four coal units later this year - two each at the Lambton and Nanticoke generating stations - is not expected to impact reliability.

Over the last decade, demand growth in the province has resulted in some areas reaching or exceeding the capability of the local transmission system. To alleviate the situation, several local projects will come into service over the next 18 months to relieve the strain on transmission infrastructure and provide additional capacity for future growth.

"Ontario's electricity system is going through a period of renewal," said Bruce Campbell, VP of Resource Integration at Ontario's IESO. "The industry is working together to ensure this transition occurs in a coordinated manner while we maintain a reliable supply of energy for Ontario."

Demand for electricity is expected to increase slightly over the next 18 months as Ontario's economy grows throughout 2010-11. Peak demand, however, is expected to remain flat for the foreseeable future.

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.

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.

SOURCE Independent Electricity System Operator

For further information: For further information: Alexandra Campbell, (416) 506-2806

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