Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is projecting that more than 1.7 GW of wind will be grid-connected by September 2016, according to the grid operator's 18-month outlook.
The report, which covers the period from April 2015 to September 2016, forecasts about 2.3 GW of new supply will be incorporated into Ontario's existing generation fleet.
Breaking it down by fuel type, the IESO anticipates about 1.7 GW of wind, 10 MW of hydroelectric, 300 MW of gas, 240 MW of solar and 40 MW of biofuel resources. Additionally, the first storage project from the 2014 procurement of 34 MW of energy storage projects, which will help manage grid needs as well as the variability of wind and solar generation, is expected to come into service before the end of this outlook period.
The outlook suggests that there is sufficient capacity to meet demand, which could reach as high as 24.8 GW this summer. However – in a continuation of the trend seen over the last several years – peak demand is expected to decline throughout the period. Conservation, time-of-use rates and the industrial conservation initiative contribute to the downward pressure on peak demands and, in particular, summer peaks.
‘Ontario is in a solid position with adequate generation and transmission capability to meet consumers' needs over the next 18 months,’ says Kim Warren, the IESO's vice president of market and system operations. ‘The combination of conservation, time-of-use and renewable energy now plays a significant role in reducing peak demand, which is quite a change from where we were five or six years ago.’
With the addition of significant wind supplies, conditions for surplus baseload generation are likely to continue over the outlook period. However, it is expected that the surplus will be managed effectively using normal market mechanisms.