Reliability outlook for Ontario positive

    TORONTO, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - The outlook for Ontario's electricity system is
positive said the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in two new
reports released today.
    Over the next 18 months, more than 4,600 megawatts (MW) of new supply is
scheduled to come into service, including about 3,000 MW of gas-fired
generation, 800 MW of nuclear generation, 100 MW of hydroelectric generation
and 700 MW of wind generation.
    "This amount of new generation would represent the greatest increase in
new supply ever scheduled to come on-line in Ontario over an 18-month period,"
said Derek Cowbourne, IESO Chief Operating Officer.
    The 18-Month Outlook, which is released quarterly, indicates that under
the normal weather scenario, sufficient resources will be available within
Ontario to meet expected requirements during all but one week over the next
year and a half. Ontario may need to rely on imports from neighbouring
jurisdictions to maintain reliability if extreme weather occurs or if
equipment performance is below normal.
    Reliability within the GTA for summer 2008 is expected to be adequate,
but this will depend on the availability of the autotransformers feeding the
GTA, the availability of the Pickering Generating Station units, and the
planned addition of the Portlands Energy Centre.
    While the Ontario transmission system is expected to be adequate to
supply the normal demands over the next 18 months, the timely completion of
proposed transmission facilities remains a key component to addressing future
reliability needs.
    In the second report, the Ontario Reliability Outlook, the IESO
identifies the industry's need to shift the focus to ensuring that the new
supply is implemented in time to meet Ontario's needs as well as addressing
the integration and operational challenges of a complex and changing
generation mix.
    "Ontario's future supply includes increased amounts of less manoeuvrable
generation such as distributed generation, wind-powered generation, and new
combined cycle gas-fired generation. These resources cannot as easily be
ramped up to meet increasing load or reduced as demand drops off," said
Cowbourne. "The IESO is working with its partners to implement ways to
accommodate the operating characteristics of these generating sources. The
challenge of integrating them should not be underestimated."
    Through the Ontario Reliability Outlook, the IESO continues to raise
concerns about the uncertainty around the length of approvals processes, which
presents risks to the timely implementation of the planned generation and
transmission projects.

    The Ontario Reliability Outlook is available at:

    The 18-Month Outlook is available at:

    The IESO is responsible for managing Ontario's bulk electricity power
system and operating the wholesale market. For more information, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Lisa Pearson, (416) 506-2806,

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