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Outlook for Ontario's Electricity System Remains Positive over the Next 18 Months

June 22, 2017

The Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) latest outlook for Ontario’s power system says the province has enough power to meet the expected demand for electricity over the coming summer months, as Canada and Ontario celebrate their 150th anniversary. The latest 18-Month Outlook report covers the period from July 2017 to December 2018.

About 1,550 megawatts (MW) of new supply – 500 MW of wind, 1,000 MW of natural gas, 50 MW of hydroelectric – is expected to be connected to the province’s transmission grid over the Outlook period. Wind generation connected to local distribution networks over the same period is expected to exceed 600 MW, and distribution-connected solar generation will surpass 2,200 MW, continuing the growth of distributed energy resources across Ontario.

“We expect another positive outlook for Ontario as the trend of declining peak demand continues,” says Leonard Kula, IESO’s Vice-President, Market and System Operations and Chief Operating Officer. “The decline in peaks is due to conservation savings, increased generation output on local distribution networks and the Industrial Conservation Initiative, which more than offsets underlying growth.” Annual demand for electricity is also expected to decline slightly.

Under normal weather conditions, Ontario’s highest peak for electricity demand in 2017 is forecasted to reach 22,493 MW during July, which is lower than the highest peak reached in 2016 -- 23,213 MW on September 7. Ontario’s all-time peak for electricity demand was set on August 1, 2006, when demand reached 27,005 MW.

On August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse is expected to pass over parts of the continental United States and Canada. Although Ontario will see only a partial eclipse, this event is expected to cause a decrease in solar production that is similar to a cloudy day. The IESO has been tracking this event for some time and benefits from knowing exactly when the eclipse will be happening and has planned power system operations so that there is no impact to consumers.

The IESO regularly assesses the adequacy and reliability of Ontario's power system. The 18-Month Outlook is issued quarterly and can be found on the IESO website here.

About the IESO

The IESO manages the province's power system so that Ontarians receive power when and where they need it. It plans and prepares for future electricity needs and works with its partners to guide conservation efforts.

IESO Media Contact:
John Cannella
416-506-2806
media@ieso.ca

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