According to two reports released by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the energy outlook for Ontario's electricity system is positive.
According to the IESO, more than 4,600 MW of new generation is scheduled to come into service over the next 18 months. Sources include about 3,000 MW of gas-fired generation, 800 MW of nuclear generation, 100 MW of hydroelectric generation and 700 MW of wind generation.
‘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.
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, according to the report.
In the second report, the "Ontario Reliability Outlook," the IESO identifies the industry's need to shift the focus to ensure 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 maneuverable generation such as distributed generation, wind-powered generation, and new combined cycle gas-fired generation,’ says Derek Cowbourne, chief operating officer of IESO. ‘These resources cannot as easily be ramped up to meet increasing load or reduced as demand drops off. 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 project approvals processes, which presents risks to the timely implementation of the planned generation and transmission projects.
For more information, go to ieso.ca.