The latest report from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) says the outlook for the reliability of Ontario's electricity system will remain positive for the next 18 months, with adequate generation and transmission to meet demand. The latest 18-Month Outlook report covers the period from January 2017 to June 2018.
Approximately 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new supply – 550 MW of wind, 1,300 MW of gas, 50 MW of hydroelectric and 100 MW of solar generation – is expected to be connected to the province's transmission grid over the Outlook period. By the end of the period, the amount of grid-connected wind and solar generation is expected to increase to about 4,500 MW and 380 MW, respectively. Wind generation that is embedded in the distribution system over the same period is expected to increase to about 650 MW, and embedded solar generation is expected to increase to more than 2,100 MW.
Peak demand continues to face downward pressure. "Demand for electricity has remained stable, largely due to conservation savings, growing embedded generation output and the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI)," says Kim Warren, IESO's Vice-President, Market and System Operations and Chief Operating Officer. Demand is expected to remain flat over the Outlook period as further economic growth is balanced by additional demand reductions coming from conservation.
As part of the electricity trade agreement between Ontario and Quebec announced in October, Ontario will supply 500 MW of capacity to Quebec each winter from December to March until 2023. In addition, Ontario will receive up to two terawatt-hours of clean energy annually. The imported energy will be targeting peak hours to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario.