Saturday, May 18, 2024

Ontario announces plan for more renewable electricity options

Today the Ontario government released the province’s power generation plan which includes more zero-emissions electricity generation.

“Powering Ontario’s Growth lays out the province’s plan to build the clean electricity generation, storage, and transmission we need to power the next major international investment, the new homes we are building, and industries as they grow and electrify,” said Energy Minister Todd Smith.

The province says it is also working with the steel industry to end coal use and electrify their operations to support the production of green steel in Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie. These investments alone will increase electricity demand in the province by 8 terawatt hours, the equivalent of doubling the energy use of the Ottawa region every year.

While the government has implemented its plan to meet increasing electricity demand from these and other investments through the end of this decade, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has recommended the province start planning early to ensure the Ontario is able to meet its energy demands for 2030 and beyond in the most cost-effective way possible.

Powering Ontario’s Growth outlines the actions the province is taking to meet electricity demand over the long-term, including advancing nuclear power through pre-development work at Bruce Power and three additional small modular reactors at Darlington.

The province is also starting to plan for the next long-term competitive procurement of non-emitting electricity resources including wind, solar, hydroelectric, batteries and biogas, the Ministry of Energy said in a news release.

As far as new transmission infrastructure goes, the province is designating and prioritizing three new transmission lines that will power Algoma Steel and job creators in Northern Ontario, and one new transmission line to power growth in the Ottawa region and across Eastern Ontario.

Ontario Power Generation is being asked to optimize hydroelectric generation from current sites, while the province is working with IESO to assess two proposed pumped hydroelectric storage projects in Marmora and Meaford to improve grid efficiency.

Planning will also begin for energy efficiency programming in Ontario to help reduce demand and support the deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) such as rooftop solar and the EV batteries.

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