Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) recently reported in its 18-month outlook that the connection of new wind and other renewable energy is being achieved without any impact on the reliability of the province's electricity system.
According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), the IESO stated that the retirement of coal-fired generation, combined with transmission-ready renewable wind and solar power, has put downward pressure on peak demands on the electricity system without causing reliability issues. Ontario is Canada's leader in wind energy and has more than 2.4 GW of installed capacity, supplying over 3% of the province's electricity demand, CanWEA notes.
"Procuring a stable and steady stream of wind energy complements Ontario's new energy-conservation measures, and provides the province with unprecedented flexibility to align electricity-supply needs with changing economic and environmental circumstances," comments Robert Hornung, CanWEA's president.
"Progressive governments around the world know that continuing to integrate new wind energy not only results in a major contribution to reducing carbon emissions, it improves the reliability of electricity grids, while ensuring more predictable and stable electricity prices."
In December 2013, Ontario released its latest Long-Term Energy Plan, which strongly emphasizes energy conservation over new generation procurement. However, the plan does still include a target of 600 MW of wind power by 2015 – a goal lower than the 900 MW by 2015 CanWEA had called for earlier.