IESO Recommends Shift to Grid-Scale Storage in Ontario, Relying on Natural Gas Expansions to Ensure Reliability in the Near-Term
TORONTO, Oct. 7, 2022 /CNW/ - As part of its plans to acquire 4,000 MW of new electricity supply, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is recommending to the Minister of Energy that Ontario make a significant investment in battery storage, balanced by natural gas and other forms of non-greenhouse gas emitting generation to ensure reliability and affordability. This new capacity – enough to power a city the size of Toronto – is needed to support economic growth and electrification in the province.
"Our report sets out what is needed to maintain a reliable and affordable system as demand for electricity continues to grow year-over-year," said Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the IESO. "These recommendations are designed to ensure that Ontario remains a magnet for businesses looking to invest while supporting communities as they push ahead with their decarbonization plans."
The IESO's Resource Eligibility Interim Report responds to a request from the Minister of Energy to provide recommendations on th eligibility of natural gas projects in ongoing IESO procurements for new electricity capacity. The report makes three key recommendations:
"The IESO should tap into a diverse set of available options to meet projected electricity supply shortfalls mid-decade – including additional energy-efficiency programs and imports," said Chuck Farmer, Vice-President, Planning, Conservation and Resource Adequacy. "This combined effort would ensure that the grid will be able to support a substantial energy storage fleet which will be essential for the decarbonization of the electricity system."
The IESO's recommendations are based on an assessment of the potential readiness of new projects to provide electricity capacity given current global supply chain and project development issues. Like other system operators, the IESO will build greater operational experience with batteries at grid scale while relying on additional natural gas capacity to ensure reliability when system conditions are strained.
Recommendations on the future role of natural gas will be included in the IESO's Pathways to Decarbonization report to be released later this year.
Pre-taped interviews with Lesley Gallinger and Chuck Farmer and b-roll of the IESO's system control centre are available on request.
A copy of the report can be found on the IESO web site.
SOURCE Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
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