December 18, 2023
New clean electricity generation is needed beginning in 2030 to keep pace with Ontario’s growing economy and advance grid decarbonization, according to a new report from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). This new supply will help meet overall energy needs and support the process of eliminating emissions from the electricity system.
In an update to the Minister of Energy, the IESO is targeting 2,000 MW of new non-emitting electricity generation, including wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy. Subsequent procurements will target an additional 3,000 MW. The IESO is also looking at options to re-acquire, upgrade, or expand existing facilities. While recent procurements were designed to secure flexible supply that can provide capacity to the system, this new supply will help meet the province’s overall energy needs.
“With new supply on track to meet demand mid-decade, we are now addressing energy needs going into the 2030s and beyond,” said Lesley Gallinger, IESO President and CEO. “The next round of procurements will be a perfect complement to our storage fleet – generating energy to charge recently procured batteries that can be deployed when needed to meet system needs.”
The IESO’s competitive procurement process is structured to deliver maximum ratepayer value and helps ensure that cost-effective proposals will be chosen. To avoid overbuilding infrastructure and manage costs, the IESO will secure this new supply through a series of procurements, adjusting as circumstances change. Targets will be finalized early next year following external engagements, with the next procurement set to launch later in 2024.
More information is available on the IESO backgrounder.
- The IESO’s most recent forecasts confirmed that the province’s electricity demand will continue to grow by roughly two per cent per year over the next 20 years.
- These procurements will complement the storage currently being developed – which could be as much as 3,000 MW on the grid in 2028 – by ensuring that the energy produced by wind and solar generation can be stored and used during times when they are most needed. When demand is low, generators will produce energy that will be sent along transmission lines to store for when it is needed.
- Electricity consumption patterns are changing, making variable generation more valuable to the electricity system. The IESO expects that by 2030, Ontario will be a dual peaking province with similar winter and summer peaks.