The outlook for Ontario's bulk electricity grid is positive over the next year and a half, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) says in its latest 18-Month Outlook.
The report anticipates adequate supply levels and transmission resources to meet provincial demand under both normal and extreme weather conditions.
Between December 2013 and May 2015, more than 3.3 GW of renewable resources are expected to be added to the system. At the same time, the IESO says the province will close nearly 2.15 GW of generation through the retirement of its remaining coal-fired generators.
The IESO adds that the flexible resources to adapt to this evolving fuel mix have been found through the maneuverability of nuclear units, demand response measures and new tools for managing wind and solar variability.
‘The IESO will continue to look for new opportunities to add flexibility into the market to support reliable and efficient operation of the electricity grid,’ says Bruce Campbell, president and CEO of the IESO.
Electricity demand will remain relatively flat over the period of the report, as population and economic growth are mitigated by conservation initiatives and growth in embedded generation capacity, which is expected to reach 2,500 MW by May 2015. Generation embedded in distribution systems serves to reduce demand on the bulk power system.
For more on Ontario's energy future – including wind power plans – click here.