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Ontario adding 3,300 MW of renewable energy to grid by 2015

Wind, solar generation capacity in Ontario to exceed 7,000 MW by May 2015, according to IESO



TORONTO—The organization in charge of Ontario’s power system said more than 3,300 megawatts of renewable energy will be added to the province’s electricity grid by the spring of 2015.

Renewable energy sources—wind and solar installations and biomass stations—that go online in Ontario between December 2013 and May 2015 will be used to offset the loss of about 2,150 MW in generation capacity from the shutdown of coal-fired generators over the same time, according to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

In its latest outlook published this week, the not-for-profit IESO said 280 MW of that renewable capacity is solar generated power.

It did not break down the sources of the remaining 3,000 MW.

The IESO said it has also introduced “several new operating initiatives” to help balance supply and demand across the province’s generation system, including tools to manage wind and solar variability.

That includes variable generation dispatch capability rolled out in September 2013 that allows grid-connected wind and solar installations to be called upon when needed to avoid nuclear generator shutdowns during peak demand.

According to the IESO, it expects total wind and solar generation capacity connected to both transmission and distribution networks in Ontario to exceed 7,000 MW by May 2015.

Solar generation—which up until now has only been embedded within distribution networks—will include 10 new projects connected to the province’s transmission grid, with a total capacity of 280 MW.

That’s on top of the anticipated 700 MW of embedded solar capacity that the IESO expects to be in service between now and May 2015.

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