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IESO: Ontario okay for coal phase-out

 

 

Ontario has sufficient electricity generation and transmission resources available to maintain reliability over the next year and a half, according to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in its latest 18-Month Outlook. As a result, the move to eliminate coal-fired generation by 2014 will continue as planned with deregristration of four units later this year.

With 3,400 MW of new generation expected to come online and a transmission system adequate to meet expected demands, the IESO says Ontario will have sufficient generation and transmission resources available to support the reliable operation of the electricity system over the next 18 months.

This new supply comprises over 1,200 MW of new wind generation—more than doubling the existing installed wind capacity. Over 600 MW of gas-fired generation will also be completed in the next 18 months. The IESO says the remaining 1,500 MW will come from two refurbished nuclear units at the Bruce A Nuclear Station that are expected to return to service in the third and fourth quarters of 2011.

“We're in the best supply situation in a decade as a result of the new generation and transmission facilities added over the past five years, and we're making good progress towards removing coal from the fuel mix,” said Bruce Campbell, Vice President of Resource Integration at Ontario’s IESO. “We're now focussed on adapting system operations to meet tomorrow's challenges.”

Electricity consumption in Ontario is expected to show modest growth in 2010 and 2011 with increases of 1.5% and 0.3% respectively as the economy picks up. In particular, industrial demand has increased every month since the start of the year. Peak demand is expected to remain fairly flat as growth is offset by targeted conservation and demand response programs.

The IESO’s 18-Month Outlook is issued on a quarterly basis and is available at www.ieso.ca/18-month.outlook.