The IESO released a Scoping Assessment Report in September 2014. It concluded that an Integrated Regional Resource Plan (IRRP) should be undertaken to further assess the capacity and restoration needs in the Pickering-Ajax-Whitby sub-region.
A Working Group, consisting of representatives from Hydro One Distribution, Veridian Connections Inc., Whitby Hydro Electric Corporation, Hydro One Networks Inc., and the IESO, determined that conservation, generation, transmission and distribution, and innovative resources are potential options to be considered to meet local needs. An IRRP was selected as the preferred planning approach in this sub-region.
The IESO engages with local and regional communities to seek input to help inform regional planning activities. An Integrated Regional Resource Plan (IRRP) from the latest Pickering-Ajax planning cycle was finalized in 2016. See engagement materials on the previous planning cycle.
The Pickering-Ajax-Whitby area includes most of the City of Pickering, Town of Ajax, part of the Town of Whitby, and part of the Townships of Uxbridge and Scugog. Over the past 10 years, new residential development and associated commercial and small industrial customers have pushed the average electrical demand growth rate to approximately 2 per cent per year. In addition, the area hosts many large industrial customers, including steel and auto manufacturers that connect directly to the transmission system.
The peak demand in this area is currently around 430 MW, and is served by two step-down transformer stations, Cherrywood TS, and Whitby TS.