Ontario IESO outlines transmission, power gen developments in new report

The outlook for the reliability of Ontario’s electricity system remains positive for the next 18 months (July 2016-December 2017), with adequate generation and transmission to supply Ontario’s demand, said a report issued June 21 by the Independent Electricity System Operator for this Canadian province.

Long-term forecasts also indicate that Ontario will remain adequately supplied into the foreseeable future. Over the forecast period, peak demand is expected to remain flat as conservation savings, growing embedded generation output and the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) offset increasing demand from population growth and economic expansion. This is a continuation of the underlying trend since the recession.

Although Ontario has a distinct summer peak and winter peak, the summer peak is expected to continue to exceed the winter peak. Energy demand is expected to show a small increase in 2016 due mostly to the additional day in the leap year. In 2017, economic expansion will help drive a small annual increase in electricity demand. Strong U.S. growth and a lower dollar should provide a boost to Ontario’s manufacturing sector throughout the forecast.

About 1,150 MW of new supply – 650 MW of wind, 300 MW of gas, 100 MW of hydroelectric and 100 MW of solar – is expected to be added to the province’s transmission grid over the 18-month period. By the end of the period, the amount of grid-connected wind and solar generation is expected to increase to about 4,500 MW and 380 MW, respectively. The embedded wind generation over the same period is expected to increase to about 700 MW. Meanwhile, embedded solar generation is expected to increase to over 2,000 MW.

The Large Renewable Procurement contracts of 455 MW offered on March 10, 2016, have been signed and executed. The IESO said it initiated a stakeholder and community engagement to invite feedback on the LRP process and understand what improvements can be made prior to the second round of procurement.

As part of its ongoing efforts to help manage variations in generation and demand under a continuously evolving generation mix and demand patterns, the IESO will issue a Request for Information (RFI) for additional regulation service later this month. The RFI will be open to incumbent and new respondents. More information can be found at the Ancillary Services Market webpage at www.ieso.ca/ancillary-services.

The results of a recent operability assessment indicated that there is a system need for enhanced flexibility to balance supply and demand, more regulation and additional grid voltage control. These findings reinforce the need for a portfolio of resources that contribute to the reliability of the grid. The intermediate fleet – gas-fired, oil-fired and hydroelectric generation with storage capability – plays a critical role in complementing the balance of supply by providing response capability, operating reserve and a range of ancillary services.

Ontario’s transmission system is expected to be able to reliably supply the demand while experiencing normal contingencies defined by planning criteria under both normal and extreme weather conditions forecast for this outlook period. Several local area supply improvement projects are underway and will be placed in service during the timeframe of this outlook. These projects will help relieve loadings of existing transmission stations and provide additional supply capacity for future load growth. Additional planning activities through the regional planning process are currently active throughout the province.

When the level of transfers on the 500 kV system are markedly reduced as a result of medium-to-low load conditions combined with the effect of transactions through the interconnections with neighboring utilities, periods of high voltages can occur. While the IESO and Hydro One are currently managing this situation with day-to-day operating procedures, planning work for the installation of new voltage control devices continues, the report noted.

  • Hydro One continues the construction on the Guelph Area Transmission Refurbishment project. The expected completion date is now Q3 2016. This project will improve the transmission capability into the Guelph area by reinforcing the supply into Guelph‐Cedar Transformer Station (TS).
  • In the Cambridge area, work continues to install in-line switches on the Detweiler to Middleport circuits at Galt Junction. This project, which is scheduled for completion by Q2 2017, will ensure that the IESO’s load restoration criteria are met following a contingency on the main supply line. Studies will continue to assess the need for additional measures to address longer-term needs in the area.
  • Work to replace aging components at Manby TS in Toronto is on schedule for completion by Q4 2016. This includes bus reinforcement and insulator replacement work.
  • A new station, Copeland TS, is still planned to be in service in downtown Toronto in Q4 2016. The new station will facilitate the refurbishment of the facilities at John TS, while also enhancing the load security in the downtown core.

This 18-month assessment uses planned generator outages submitted by market participants to the IESO’s Integrated Outage Management System (IOMS) as of May 13, 2016. The following generators completed the market registration process as of May 13:

  • Grand Valley Wind Farm Phase 3 – 39.7 MW;
  • Cedar Point Wind Phase 2 – 100 MW;
  • Armow Wind – 180 MW; and
  • Northland Power Solar Abitibi, Empire, Long Lake and Martin’s Meadows – 40 MW.

The Committed and Contracted Generation Resources are:

  • Bow Lake Phase 1, Northeast Zone, Wind, Commercial Operation, 20 MW Capacity;
  • Bow Lake Phase 2b, Northeast Zone, Wind, Commercial Operation, 40 MW Capacity;
  • Upper White River Generating Station, Northwest Zone, Water, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q2, Commissioning Phase, 9 MW Capacity;
  • Lower White River Generating Station, Northwest Zone, Water, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q2, Commissioning Phase, 10 MW Capacity;
  • Grand Bend Wind Farm (also known as Zurich), Southwest Zone, Wind, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q3, Commissioning Phase, 99 MW Capacity;
  • Harmon Unit 2 Runner Upgrade, Northeast Zone, Water, Estimated Effective Dare 2016-Q3, Under Development, 10 MW Capacity;
  • Beck 1 Unit Overhaul, Niagara Zone, Water, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q4, Under Development, 12 MW Capacity;
  • Green Electron Power, West Zone, Gas, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q4, Under Development, 298 MW Capacity;
  • Niagara Region Wind Farm, Southwest Zone, Wind, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q4, Under Development, 230 MW Capacity;
  • South Gate Solar, Southwest Zone, Solar, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q4, Under Development, 50 MW Capacity;
  • Windsor Solar, West Zone, Solar, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q4, Under Development, 50 MW Capacity;
  • Namewaminikan Hydro, Northwest Zone, Water, Estimated Effective Date 2016-Q4, Under Development, 10 MW Capacity;
  • Kingston Cogen, East Zone, Gas, Estimated Effective Date 2017-Q1, Expiring Contract, negative 140 MW Capacity;
  • Amherst Island Wind, East Zone, Wind, Estimated Effective Date 2017-Q1, Under Development, 75 MW Capacity;
  • Harmon Unit 1 Runner Upgrade, Northeast Zone, Water, Estimated Effective Date 2017-Q3, Under Development, 10 MW Capacity;
  • Peter Sutherland Senior Generating Station, Northeast Zone, Water, Estimated Effective Date 2017-Q3, Under Development, 28 MW Capacity;
  • Belle River Wind, West Zone, Wind, Estimated Effective Date 2017-Q3, Under Development, 100 MW Capacity; and
  • North Kent Wind 1, West Zone, Wind, Estimated Effective Date 2017-Q4, Under Development, 100 MW Capacity.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.