IESO Recommends Shift to Grid-Scale Storage in Ontario, Relying on Natural Gas Expansions to Ensure Reliability in the Near-Term

EIN 37 CS IESO logo 400

October 28, 2022

As part of its plans to acquire 4,000 MW of new electricity supply, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is recommending to the Minister of Energy that Ontario make a significant investment in battery storage, balanced by natural gas and other forms of non-greenhouse gas emitting generation to ensure reliability and affordability. This new capacity – enough to power a city the size of Toronto – is needed to support economic growth and electrification in the province.

“Our report sets out what is needed to maintain a reliable and affordable system as demand for electricity continues to grow year-over-year,” said Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the IESO. “These recommendations are designed to ensure that Ontario remains a magnet for businesses looking to invest while supporting communities as they push ahead with their decarbonization plans.”

The IESO’s Resource Eligibility Interim Report responds to a request from the Minister of Energy to provide recommendations on the eligibility of natural gas projects in ongoing IESO procurements for new electricity capacity. The report makes three key recommendations:

  • The IESO should move forward to procure approximately 2,500 MW of energy storage to provide flexibility to the power system, charging up when demand is low and providing electricity to the grid when it is needed most. Most of this new supply would be operational by 2027, representing what could be one of the largest storage fleets in North America.
  • These procurements should include other non-emitting forms of supply such as biofuels and renewable/storage hybrids – as they can also help meet peak demands and other changes in system needs.
  • In order to mitigate against global supply chain delays and ensure a reliable and affordable electricity system, up to 1,500 MW of natural gas capacity should be added between 2025 and 2027, in large part through upgrades and expansions at existing facilities.

“The IESO should tap into a diverse set of available options to meet projected electricity supply shortfalls mid-decade – including additional energy-efficiency programs and imports,” said Chuck Farmer, Vice-President, Planning, Conservation and Resource Adequacy. “This combined effort would ensure that the grid will be able to support a substantial energy storage fleet which will be essential for the decarbonization of the electricity system.”

The IESO’s recommendations are based on an assessment of the potential readiness of new projects to provide electricity capacity given current global supply chain and project development issues. Like other system operators, the IESO will build greater operational experience with batteries at grid scale while relying on additional natural gas capacity to ensure reliability when system conditions are strained.

Recommendations on the future role of natural gas will be included in the IESO’s Pathways to Decarbonization report to be released later this year.

Key Facts:

  • Ontario’s electricity system currently comprises approximately 38,000 MW of capacity, reflecting a diverse mix of supply options that includes nuclear, hydro, natural gas, wind and solar generation.
  • Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity systems in North America and emissions from electricity generation account for only three per cent of Ontario’s total emissions.
  • Demand for electricity is forecast to grow at 1.7 per cent annually over the next twenty years due to economic growth and decarbonization.

Pre-taped interviews with Lesley Gallinger and Chuck Farmer and b-roll of the IESO’s system control centre are available on request.

A copy of the report can be found on the IESO web site.

Source

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • A Career with Purpose – Apprentices Building Canada’s Reduced Carbon Future

    A Career with Purpose – Apprentices Building Canada’s Reduced Carbon Future

    January 27, 2023 By Yoana Turnin, Project Manager, EHRC In 2021, Canada joined 120+ other countries in committing to achieving net-zero emissions by year 2050 in an effort to “avert the worst impacts of climate change.” In a few words, that means either reducing or offsetting the economy’s greenhouse gas emissions through electrification, energy efficiency… Read More…

  • Challenges, Opportunity, and Labour Demand in the Construction Industry

    Challenges, Opportunity, and Labour Demand in the Construction Industry

    January 27, 2023 By Blake Marchand There is some uncertainty in the overall market right now, relating to inflation, interest rates, even global events like the war in Ukraine has an impact. These factors will have an impact on the construction industry, which may have an impact on broader opportunities for electrical contractors. Although, anecdotally… Read More…

  • First Retrofit Financed by the Canada Infrastructure Bank Receives IREE Certification

    First Retrofit Financed by the Canada Infrastructure Bank Receives IREE Certification

    January 27, 2023 The Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) have announced Dream’s 366 Bay St. redevelopment in Toronto is the first retrofit project financed by the CIB to achieve Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification. IREE certification is part of the CIB’s Building Retrofits Initiative and is administered through… Read More…

  • Natural Resources Canada Launches Call for Proposals for the Delivery of the Codes Acceleration Fund

    Natural Resources Canada Launches Call for Proposals for the Delivery of the Codes Acceleration Fund

    January 27, 2023 The Government of Canada is taking action to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency. The buildings sector is the third-largest source of emissions in Canada, which is why Canada’s upcoming Green Buildings Strategy will be critical to achieving Canada’s climate targets, creating more climate-resilient buildings and supporting jobs in many sectors across the… Read More…


Changing Scene

  • Electricity Canada and Smart Grid Innovation Network Canada Enter Collaborative Agreement

    Electricity Canada and Smart Grid Innovation Network Canada Enter Collaborative Agreement

    January 27, 2023 Electricity Canada and Smart Grid Innovation Network Canada have entered into a collaborative agreement to share knowledge and create a climate of cooperation that initiates a new direction for both organizations to better serve the professional needs of the members, industry, and community. This agreement will increase collaboration to benefit industry in… Read More…

  • Government of Canada Launches New Intake Model for Zero-Emission Vehicles Infrastructure Funding

    Government of Canada Launches New Intake Model for Zero-Emission Vehicles Infrastructure Funding

    January 27, 2023 The Government of Canada is now accepting applications from not-for-profit organizations, public institutions and governments to locally deliver federal funding from the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). Applications will be accepted throughout 2023 and 2024. This is yet another step the government is taking to make electric vehicle (EV) charging more accessible for… Read More…

  • Southwire Casts First Copper Bar at New Plant

    Southwire Casts First Copper Bar at New Plant

    January 27, 2023 On Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, at 12:45 p.m. (EST), the first copper bar was cast at Southwire’s new, state-of-the-art Copper Rod Plant in Carrollton, Ga. This moment is a key milestone in the start-up of the largest and most sophisticated Southwire Continuous Rod (SCR®) system in the world. “It is truly an exciting day… Read More…

  • UL Solutions Addresses Rapid IoT and Wireless Device Market Growth with Expanded EMC Testing Capabilities

    UL Solutions Addresses Rapid IoT and Wireless Device Market Growth with Expanded EMC Testing Capabilities

    January 27, 2023 UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science, today announced plans to expand its electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing laboratories in Fremont, California, Basingstoke, United Kingdom (U.K.), and Taiwan to enhance capacity for wireless device EMC testing and certification. The U.K. and Fremont laboratories are equipped with the latest testing technologies to… Read More…