IESO Recommends Shift to Grid-Scale Storage in Ontario, Relying on Natural Gas Expansions to Ensure Reliability in the Near-Term


October 7, 2022

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 the eligibility of natural gas projects in ongoing IESO procurements for new electricity capacity. The report makes three key recommendations:

  • The IESO should move forward to procure approximately 2,500 MW of energy storage to provide flexibility to the power system, charging up when demand is low and providing electricity to the grid when it is needed most. Most of this new supply would be operational by 2027, representing what could be one of the largest storage fleets in North America.
  • These procurements should include other non-emitting forms of supply such as biofuels and renewable/storage hybrids – as they can also help meet peak demands and other changes in system needs.
  • In order to mitigate against global supply chain delays and ensure a reliable and affordable electricity system, up to 1,500 MW of natural gas capacity should be added between 2025 and 2027, in large part through upgrades and expansions at existing facilities.

“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.

Key Facts:

  • Ontario’s electricity system currently comprises approximately 38,000 MW of capacity, reflecting a diverse mix of supply options that includes nuclear, hydro, natural gas, wind and solar generation.
  • Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity systems in North America and emissions from electricity generation account for only three per cent of Ontario’s total emissions.
  • Demand for electricity is forecast to grow at 1.7 per cent annually over the next twenty years due to economic growth and decarbonization.

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.


Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • Converting Waves into Electricity with Automation Solutions by ifm

    Converting Waves into Electricity with Automation Solutions by ifm

    By developing wave energy converters, CorPower pursues the idea of converting waves into electricity. The challenge with wave energy is to design devices that are not only robust enough to survive the harshest ocean storms, but also capable of producing enough electricity compared to their size and cost. CorPower masters this difficulty with devices that are naturally transparent and protected in storms, and which produce about five times more energy per tonne of device than state-of-the-art solutions in the ocean. Read More…

  • ABB Completes Acquisition of Siemens Low Voltage NEMA Motor Business Q2

    ABB Completes Acquisition of Siemens Low Voltage NEMA Motor Business Q2

    ABB has recently announced it has completed its acquisition of the Siemens low voltage NEMA motor business. The transaction was originally announced August 11, 2022, and financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The business employs around 600 people and generated revenues of approximately $63 million in 2021. The acquisition of this business is part of the Motion business area’s profitable growth strategy. It strengthens ABB’s position as an industrial NEMA motor manufacturer, and it provides an even stronger platform from which ABB can better serve its global customers. Read More…

Sponsored Content
The Easy Way to the Industrial IoT

The way to the Industrial IoT does not have to be complicated. Whether access to valuable data is required or new, data-driven services are to be generated, Weidmuller enables its customers to go from data to value the easy way. Weidmuller’s comprehensive and cutting-edge IIoT portfolio applies to greenfield and brownfield applications. Weidmuller offers components and solutions from data acquisition, data pre-processing, data communication and data analysis.

Visit Weidmuller’s Industrial IoT Portfolio.

For a Multiplied Value Unified


During the last few years, the Excelpro Group has welcomed AIA Automation, Envitech Automation and Conrad Lavoie Electrical, all of which have become ‘Member of the Excelpro Group’.

It was with great excitement that in November of 2022, Excelpro announced that these three companies officially became Excelpro. This decision is part of a strategy to enhance the Excelpro Group’s brand in its market.

These companies already collaborate on various client projects. This merger brings together the complementary strengths of the employees and ensures a global synergy of the activities throughout the Group.

Read More

Service Wire Co. Announces New Titles for Key Executives

Bruce Kesler and Mark Gatewood have been given new titles and responsibilities for Service Wire Co.

Bruce Kesler has assumed the role of Senior Director – Business Development. Bruce will be responsible for Service Wire’s largest strategic accounts and our growing Strategic Accounts Team.

Mark Gatewood has been promoted to the role of Vice President – Sales & Marketing. In this role, Gatewood will lead the efforts of Service Wire Company’s entire sales and marketing organization in all market verticals.

Read More

Tri-Mach Announces the Purchase of an Additional 45,000 sq ft. Facility

Tri-Mach Elmira Facility

Recently, Tri-Mach Inc. was thrilled to announce the addition of a new 45,000 sq ft. facility. Located at 285 Union St., Elmira, ON, this facility expands Tri-Mach’s capabilities, allowing them to better serve the growing needs of their customers.

Positioning for growth, this additional facility will allow Tri-Mach to continue taking on large-scale projects, enhance product performance testing, and provide equipment storage for their customers. The building will also be the new home to their Skilled Trades Centre of Excellence.

Read More

JMP Parent Company, CONVERGIX Acquires AGR Automation, Expanding Global Reach

Convergix Automation Solutions has completed the acquisition of AGR Automation (“AGR”), a UK-based provider of custom, high-performance automation design and systems integration primarily to the life sciences industry.

Following Convergix’s acquisitions of JMP Solutions in August 2021 and Classic Design in February 2022, AGR marks the third investment in Crestview’s strategy to build Convergix into a diversified automation solutions provider targeting the global $500+ billion market, with a particular focus on the $70 billion global systems integration and connectivity segments. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Read More

Latest Articles

  • Efficient Power Supplies – An Investment in the Future

    Efficient Power Supplies – An Investment in the Future

    In the search for a suitable power supply, the costs play a major role, alongside the technical requirements. The focus is often on the initial purchase price, while other potential costs that may be incurred during the operation of the power supply are not taken into consideration. In this blog post, we demonstrate why the decision to purchase a high-quality power supply is a profitable investment for your company, by taking a close look at all the costs involved. Read More…

  • Q&A with HELU: Oil & Gas Instrumentation Cables

    Q&A with HELU: Oil & Gas Instrumentation Cables

    Reliable data transmission is a must, even under the most extreme mechanical and environmental conditions such as those found in the oil and gas industry. Cables must be versatile to perform whether it is on a ship at sea or in a refining plant on land. Instrumentation cables are the backbone to keeping the industry’s sophisticated machines online and operating at peak performance. Regional Sales Manager Andrew Gill answers some of the questions he hears in the field regarding these low-voltage cables. Read More…