Reports Highlight Progress To Phase-out Coal, Increase Wind Power


The reliability outlook for Ontario's electricity system remains positive, says the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in two reports that were issued recently.

Plans for the phase-out of coal-fired generation in the province are on track with new, cleaner forms of generation coming online. In its most recent Ontario Reliability Outlook, the IESO highlights the province's new natural gas and wind generation capacity, as well as the need for a coordinated approach to maintain reliability as the region's aging nuclear generating units are replaced or refurbished.

The report identifies three priority areas for the province's electricity system: the changing nature of Ontario's supply mix, the operational requirements of a greener electricity system,and the continuing need for transmission enhancement.

By mid-2009, Ontario's proportion of natural gas-fired generation will have increased to 23% of total capacity. Additional generation is required to address a number of regional reliability concerns before the phase-out of coal generation.

New limitations on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired generation will take effect in 2009, resulting in lower production from these facilities. The IESO is taking steps to manage the reliability impacts of these reduced levels of generation.

The province is also poised to incorporate increasing levels of wind generation within the provincial supply mix. Ontario now leads the country in wind generation capacity. The IESO forecasts that at least 2 TWh of electricity will be produced by wind farms over the next year.

Significant work is under way to upgrade the province's aging transmission infrastructure and expand it to accommodate new sources of supply. Expanded transmission capability along the Bruce-Milton corridor, the Quebec-Ontario interface and the north will support increased levels of output from nuclear, hydro and wind facilities to supply load centers in southern Ontario.

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SOURCE: Independent Electricity System Operator

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