Ontario to get 3,000 MW of new power generation over 18 months

Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:50pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Ontario's power grid operator said on Wednesday that generators will add more than 3,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity to the system, over the next 18 months, including about 1,500 MW of nuclear and 1,500 MW of renewable generation.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) said in a statement that total wind and solar generation connected to the grid will reach about 4,800 MW by February 2014.

Meanwhile, Bruce Power is restoring two 750-MW reactors at the giant 6,300 MW Bruce nuclear power station. At least one (and possibly both) of those units was on track to enter service in 2012.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.

Bruce Power is a partnership owned by Alberta-based energy company TransCanada Corp, Saskatchewan-based uranium miner Cameco Corp, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), the Power Workers' Union and the Society of Energy Professionals.

The grid operator forecast the province's energy consumption would remain flat in 2012 before shrinking slightly in 2013 due to weak global economic conditions, provincial conservation initiatives and time-of-use rates that should reduce demand increases.

The IESO said the new generation resources and transmission projects have been brought into service to ensure Ontario can meet future supply needs and to support the government's planned removal of the province's remaining 3,300 MW of coal-fired capacity by the end of 2014.

The IESO said once the refurbished Bruce nuclear units and other new generation and transmission projects enter service, Ontario will be in a good position to continue eliminating coal-fired generation from the system.

(Reporting By Scott DiSavino; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)