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Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) says a significant amount of renewable energy will be integrated into the province's bulk power system.

According to IESO, more than 3.2 GW of renewable energy will be integrated into the system in the next 18 months, including Ontario's first two transmission grid-connected solar projects.

Additionally, total wind and solar generation connected to the province's transmission and distribution systems are expected to reach approximately 6.8 GW and produce approximately 14.9 TWh of energy annually by August 2014. 

The next element – dispatch of grid-connected renewable resources – is planned to be in place within the forecast period and will give the IESO a necessary tool to help manage the system efficiently and reliably, notes the system operator.

"Integrating renewable resources into Ontario’s changing supply mix has been a learning process for both us and the renewable generators," says Bruce Campbell, vice president of resource integration. "Everything we’ve learned will be applied in the coming months as wind and solar gain even more prominence on the grid."

IESO also says that progress continues to be made in removing coal-fired generation from Ontario's supply mix, saying that the remaining generating units at Lambton and Nanticoke are scheduled to stop burning coal by the end of the year. Additionally, the IESO says the conversion of the Atikokan generating station - from a coal-fired unit to biomass - is underway, with the unit expected to be in service by the third quarter of 2014.

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