Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on Energy,
The Ontario Ministry of Energy has now issued its long-awaited
Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP). It replaces what used to be called
the Independent Power System Plan or IPSP. It again covers a
20-year planning horizon with planned updates every three
Key features of the plan include:
Demand will grow moderately (about 15%) between 2010 and
Ontario will be coal-free by 2014. Two units at the Thunder Bay
coal plant will be converted to gas and the Nanticoke coal plant
will be converted to biomass.
The government is committed to nuclear power remaining at
approximately 50% of the province's electricity supply. To do
so, the units at the Darlington and Bruce sites will need to be
refurbished and the province will need two nuclear units at
Ontario will continue to grow its hydroelectric capacity with a
target of 9,000 MW (up from about 8,100 MW). The Ontario Waterpower
Association will be lobbying for additional capacity.
Ontario's target for wind, solar and bio-energy is 10,700
MW by 2018 (excluding hydroelectric). The government will continue
to support the FIT and microFIT programs.
Natural gas generation will be maintained to support peak needs
and support the increase in renewable sources over time and provide
generation while nuclear units are being refurbished.
Implementation of a standard offer program for combined heat
and power projects under 20 MW.
Proceed with five priority transmission projects, primarily to
support renewable energy growth. This will include a new line west
of London, one of the most transmission-constrained areas in the
province. This will be in addition to the Bruce to Milton
transmission line. The government intends to direct Hydro One to
carry out these projects immediately.
Increase the target for conservation to 7,100 MW.
Estimated capital investments total C$87-billion required over
the next 20 years.
Residential bills are expected to rise by 3.5% per year over
the next 20 years and industrial prices are expected to rise by
2.7% per year over the next 20 years.
The government is proposing an Ontario Clean Energy Benefit to
provide Ontario families, farms and small businesses with a 10%
benefit on their electricity bills for the next five years.
Future development of renewable energy potential is based in
part on planned transmission expansion. Future rounds of FIT
projects will be connected to the Bruce to Milton transmission line
and the priority transmission projects identified as being part of
the LTEP. It is stated that this will enable 4,000 MW of new
renewable energy projects to be connected.
In the near term, it is stated that the OPA will be releasing
information regarding the status of all FIT applications not
offered contracts as of June 4, 2010. These applications will be
subject to the first Economic Connection Test (ECT) under the FIT
As part of the scheduled two-year review of the FIT program in
2011, the FIT price of renewables in Ontario will be re-examined.
The LTEP notes that successful and sustainable FIT programs in a
number of international jurisdictions (such as Germany, France and
Denmark) have decreased price incentives. Advances in technology
and economies of scale reduce the cost of production. The new price
schedule will be carefully developed to achieve a balance between
the interests of ratepayers and encouraging investment in renewable
energy in Ontario.
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