Ontario's electricity sector has begun a broad-based industry dialogue to develop a vision for a provincial smart grid that will provide consumers with more efficient, responsive and cost-effective electricity service. The Ontario Smart Grid Forum launched March 31st by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in collaboration with representatives from local distribution companies will bring together leaders from across the sector. "The transformation taking place within the province's electricity sector, combined with advances in information technology, creates a unique opportunity for the development of a smart grid," said Paul Murphy, President and CEO of the IESO. "This forum builds on the provincial Smart Metering Initiative to install smart meters in all homes and businesses by 2010 and complements the renewal taking place in Ontario's transmission and generation sectors." Smart grid refers to a two-way system that monitors and automatically optimizes the operation of the interconnected elements of the power system — from the generator through the high-voltage network and distribution system, to the end-use consumer and their thermostats, appliances and other household devices. The goal of a smart grid is to use advanced information-based technologies to increase grid efficiency, reliability and flexibility. It enables the better use of the existing delivery infrastructure and offers benefits for both the consumer and the environment. An initial working group, made up of senior representatives from the IESO, Hydro One, Hydro Ottawa, Burlington Hydro and Toronto Hydro, will help define the membership and terms of reference for the broader Smart Grid Forum. New members will be added over the coming weeks to ensure a broad cross-sector representation. "Hydro One recognized the potential benefits of smart grid advancements during the conceptual stage of its smart meter initiative," said Laura Formusa, President and CEO of Hydro One. "Leveraging the two-way communications provided by advanced metering allows us to monitor performance of our electricity system and will also provide our customers with new opportunities to actively participate in a variety of conservation and demand management initiatives — a key requirement in our design decision." "By leveraging smart grid capabilities, we'll be creating an electricity system that is not only more efficient in the way it delivers electricity, but is also more flexible, accommodating more demand response and other environmentally-sustainable sources of supply," said David Collie, President and CEO of Burlington Hydro and Past Chair of the Electricity Distributors Association. The full Forum will hold its first meeting in May, with a final report expected by the end of 2008, identifying benefits that will arise from smart grid investments and what needs to be done to enable implementation. For more information visit ieso.ca.
EnerNOC, Inc., a developer and provider of clean and intelligent energy solutions, recently announced a five-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to provide demand response capacity in the Greater Toronto Area, Waterloo Region and City of Hamilton.  The contract, which falls under OPA’s DR3 load reduction program, enables EnerNOC to deliver up to 25 MW of capacity. In addition, EnerNOC has the ability to submit applications to the OPA in the future for the delivery of additional megawatts under the DR3 program. These applications will be subject to acceptance by the OPA.   “Demand response is a valuable resource that enables a wide range of benefits for integrated power systems, provides financial incentives for participants and reduces the need for building additional capacity, which has a positive environmental impact,” said Sean Brady, director of demand response and industrial programs for the OPA.EnerNOC uses its proprietary technology to ensure that participating businesses and institutions reduce their non-essential electricity consumption during times of peak demand, and offers financial incentives to organizations participating in the program. One such organization that already has signed with EnerNOC in Ontario is Atlas Cold Storage. During demand response events, Atlas Cold Storage has contracted with EnerNOC to reduce its electricity demand through measures such as turning off compressors and individual fans inside its storage units.   “For us, demand response is a win-win situation. We’re excited to be able to play our part in helping to protect the environment by curtailing our energy consumption when the provincial electricity system is most strained, while also reducing our energy costs as a result of our participation in the EnerNOC program,” said John Fountain, vice president, engineering, Atlas Cold Storage. Meanwhile, Constellation Energy’s subsidiary, Constellation NewEnergy, announced recently that it is now offering its NewResponse demand response program to commercial, industrial and governmental electricity customers in Ontario. Also a member of the OPA’s DR3 Program, Constellation NewEnergy has also agreed to provide 25 MW of demand response capacity, to reduce energy use during times of peak demand. “Enrolling in a demand response program is a smart business decision that delivers an immediate return on investment,” said Peter Kelly-Detwiler, senior vice president for Constellation NewEnergy. “The benefits of participating in the OPA DR3 program are twofold: alleviating pressure on the grid and providing revenue that customers may choose to invest in additional energy efficiency and environmental programs.”Ontario is the first Province in Canada to begin implementation of a demand response program designed to reduce stress on the electricity grid and to help prevent blackouts. Constellation NewEnergy is already offering demand response products to customers in the United States. “We are pleased to see Constellation NewEnergy, a provider of energy services to wholesale, commercial and industrial customers, offering new products and services to the Ontario electric market,” said Paul Shervill, vice president Conservation and Sector Development of the OPA. “We look forward to working with Constellation NewEnergy to provide Ontario-based customers additional opportunities to manage their energy costs while helping to reduce electricity demand when supplies are tight.” For more information on these two providers, visit www.enernoc.com and www.newenergy.com.  
As directed by the provincial government in its BC Energy Plan: A Vision for Clean Energy Leadership, BC Hydro is implementing a Standing Offer Program to encourage the development of small and clean energy projects throughout British Columbia. The program is a process to purchase energy from small projects with a nameplate capacity greater than 0.05 megawatts but not more than 10 megawatts. The Program has been designed to: •    simplify the process, the contract and its administration •    decrease the costs of participation for developers while remaining cost-effective for the ratepayer •    meet the need identified by the BC Energy Plan and embody its policies and principles. The Standing Offer Program Rules, available at the BC Hydro website, explain program details including eligibility requirements, the application process and the Standard Form Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) terms. To be eligible to apply for the Standing Offer Program, the developer and the project must meet a number of requirements. Detailed eligibility requirements can be found in Section 3 of the program rules. Key requirements include: •    The energy generated by the project must be clean, renewable or high efficiency co-generation. •    Projects must be located in British Columbia, which includes Canadian and B.C. territorial waters. •    All proven generation technologies as defined in the program rules are eligible to participate in the program, except nuclear. The developer must be prepared to provide evidence of at least three generation plants (which need not be owned or operated by the developer) using that technology to generate energy for a period of not less than three years, to a standard of reliability generally required by Good Utility Practice (as defined in the Standard Form Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA)). •    Prototype and near commercial technologies are not eligible. •    Conditions and restrictions apply to energy from common generation facilities, projects that have EPAs with BC Hydro, and developers receiving BC Hydro incentives. •    The project’s target commercial operation date must be within three years of signing the project EPA. •    The developer must have obtained all material permits required for the project, as listed in the application form. •    The developer must demonstrate that it has obtained the right to use the project site. •    The project site must be zoned appropriately if local government land use requirements apply. •    Projects must be able to interconnect to the integrated system. Interconnection studies will be required as detailed in the program rules. However, developers should not initiate an interconnection study until requested to by BC Hydro. BC Hydro is holding an information session on May 6, 2008 in Vancouver to review the program rules and the application process. This session is intended for developers that are ready, or are planning, to submit an application. For more information visit www.bchydro.com.
Ontario’s chief energy conservation officer, Peter Love, released his 2007 annual report in November, Taking Action. The report urges the Ontario government to adopt 12 key recommendations to achieve a “culture of conservation” throughout the province.
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