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A message for our market participants

April 9, 2020

All across Ontario’s electricity sector, the coronavirus pandemic has required changes to the way we do business. The IESO is grateful to our market participants for the flexibility they’ve shown in changing circumstances, which has enabled us to ensure the continued reliability of the province’s power system.

Operating the grid – especially at a difficult time like this – takes commitment, cooperation and open dialogue among all the partners. One of the ongoing challenges has been to forecast demand for electricity given these unprecedented circumstances, although new demand patterns have started to emerge.

One of the most important steps we’ve taken in recent weeks has been to work with market participants to minimize the number of generation facilities and transmission elements that are out of service. Although a certain amount of redundancy is essential at all times, this redundancy is especially valuable to provide the flexibility the system needs right now.

We’ve achieved this by taking a hard look at planned outages (and asked our market participants to do the same) to see what types of non-critical work can be deferred or rescheduled. We are working collaboratively with the generator and transmitter community to manage outages in a way that supports reliable operation of the system.

OPG and Bruce Power have also taken additional measures to provide flexibility to the system by ensuring the manoeuverability of their generation fleets, both hydroelectric and nuclear, which has enabled us to maintain the balance between supply and demand in real time.

We continue to have regular conversations related to emergency preparedness and response with OPG, Bruce Power, Evolugen, Hydro One, distributors including Alectra, Hydro Ottawa, Toronto Hydro, and Enbridge, as well as the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and associations such as APPrO, AMPCO, EDA and BOMA. This commitment to collaboration and information-sharing has helped all our organizations be more responsive and resilient during this time.

We’ve asked a lot of you in recent weeks, so thank you to all our market participants and other stakeholders. We are committed to continue to make every effort to keep market participants informed, engaged and well positioned to respond to changing system needs, starting with a webinar in the coming days. See particulars of upcoming webinar.

Peter Gregg
President and CEO, IESO

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