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Cablegate: Ontario Electricity Reliability Outlook Positive

VZCZCXRO5297
RR RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHON #0071/01 0741327
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141327Z MAR 08
FM AMCONSUL TORONTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2386
INFO RUCNCAN/ALCAN COLLECTIVE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TORONTO 000071

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

USDOE FOR PI
STATE FOR EB/ESC/IEC/EPC AND WHA/CAN
DEPT PASS FERC

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG PGOV SENV CA
SUBJECT: Ontario Electricity Reliability Outlook Positive

Ref: 07 Toronto 67

Sensitive but Unclassified - Please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) Summary: On March 12 Ontario's Integrated Electricity
System Operator (IESO) predicted an adequate supply of electricity
for the province and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) population
center for the next 18 months. More than 4,500 megawatts (MW) of
new supply is scheduled to come into, or return to service during
this period. The IESO expects energy demand to grow by just 0.4%
for 2008, due to increased conservation and reduced manufacturing
sector demand. The provincial transmission network is also being
expanded and upgraded to transfer power from new projects on the
Bruce Peninsula and southwestern Ontario to users in the GTA and to
provide an increased link to the Quebec network in the coming
months. Ontario provincial officials are working hard to build the
generation and transmission capacity and create the "conservation
culture" needed to ensure a reliable supply of electricity in coming
years while enabling the McGuinty government to live up to its
promise to close the province's remaining coal-fired generation
plants by 2014. End Summary.

-----------------------------------
Ontario Electricity Supply Adequate
-----------------------------------

2. (U) On March 12 Ontario's Integrated Electricity System Operator
(IESO) reported in its "Ontario Reliability Outlook" that the
province's electricity reliability is positive for the next 18
months. More than 4,500 megawatts (MW) of new supply is scheduled
to come into, or return to service during this period, including
approximately 3,100 MW of gas-fired generation, 800 MW of nuclear
generation, 100 MW of hydroelectric generation, and 700 MW of wind
capacity. Over the next year and a half, IESO says there should be
sufficient supply within Ontario to meet electricity demands under
normal weather conditions. Extreme weather conditions, a shortfall
in estimated conservation, or project delays could force Ontario to
rely on imports from neighboring jurisdictions to maintain
reliability.

3. (U) The IESO expects energy demand to grow by just 0.4% for 2008,
though the Ontario Finance Ministry is projecting real GDP growth of
1.8% for this year. IESO analysts believe Ontario consumers are
significantly transitioning to a "conservation culture," which is
reducing peak and overall energy demand. They also expect the
energy intensive sectors of the Ontario economy (i.e. the
manufacturing sector) to continue to reduce energy consumption as
manufacturing plants ratchet back production due to the high
Canadian dollar and a sluggish U.S. economy.

4. (U) The IESO predicts an adequate supply of electricity for the
Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for both summer 2008 and summer 2009
(historically peak demand periods). This reliability is contingent
on the availability of the autotransformers feeding the GTA, the
availability of the Pickering nuclear units, and on-time completion
of the new Portlands Energy Centre and Goreway Station gas-fired
generation facilities.

------------------------------------
Transmission Capacity Being Upgraded
------------------------------------

5. (U) The provincial transmission network is also being expanded
and upgraded in coming months. Hydro One, a crown corporation which
owns and operates the province's transmission infrastructure, is
planning to add seven new high voltage shunt capacitors on the
network in southwestern Ontario, starting in May 2009. These
facilities will help accommodate the additional nuclear and wind
generation capacity that is scheduled to come into service on the
Bruce Peninsula and in southwestern Ontario before the December 2011
completion of the new 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line linking
the Bruce nuclear plant and Milton. This major infrastructure
project is currently proceeding through the provincial environmental
assessment process. Until all additional elements are in service,
the IESO notes that transmission limitations may constrain delivery
of some available supply from the area to the GTA demand center.
The new transmission interconnection between Ontario and Qubec,
scheduled for completion by March 31, 2009, will increase Ontario's
import-export capability by 1,250 MW (or about 30%).

6. (U) The full text of the IESO 18-month reliability outlook report
can be found at http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/pubs/marketReports
/18MonthOutlook_2008mar.pdf.

7. (SBU) Comment: Ontario provincial officials are working hard to
build the generation and transmission capacity and create the

TORONTO 00000071 002 OF 002


"conservation culture" needed to ensure a reliable supply of
electricity in coming years while enabling the McGuinty government
to live up to its promise to close the remaining coal-fired
generation plants by 2014. In the meantime, the IESO will provide
an independent perspective to ensure that the province can meet its
reliability needs in the coming months. So far, so good. End
Comment.

NAY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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