Electricity Investments Help Ontario Meet Summer Power Demand
McGuinty Government Builds A Strong And Reliable Energy System
During a heat wave that is expected to result in the highest demand on Ontario's electricity system this year, the province is expected to have enough power to meet demand - keeping the lights on in Ontario homes and businesses.
Recent energy investments have helped Ontario turn the corner to a cleaner, stronger electricity system that can support demand. The electricity system has come a long way since 2002, when families were asked to cut back on electricity use during the hottest days of summer due to the lack of supply.
Since 2003, Ontario has brought 8,900 megawatts of new supply online including more than 2,000 megawatts from sustainable and clean energy sources like wind, solar and bio-energy. That's enough to meet the needs of more than 2 million homes.
Ontario is replacing dirty, coal-fired plants with clean, renewable energy, creating jobs and cleaning up the air we breathe. Conservation efforts and Time-of-Use pricing through smart meters is also helping to reduce demand and provide a more efficient and balanced energy system. As of May 1, 2011, families have been benefiting from an extra 10 hours of electricity every week at the lowest rate, with the off-peak period starting at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. This change will help consumers reduce their electricity bills. It is part of the McGuinty government's plan to keep costs down for families today, while building a clean, modern and reliable electricity system for future generations.
- Today's energy demand is expected to reach 25,300 MW - the highest level since 2007.
- From 1996 to 2003, Ontario's installed generation capacity fell by about six per cent while demand grew by more than eight per cent. That's the equivalent of Niagara Falls running dry.
- Coal-fired generation was down 90 per cent in the first three months of 2011 compared to the same timeframe in 2003. Ontario's plan to eliminate coal-fired power plants is like taking up to seven million cars off the road.
- An average household can expect to save about $150 in 2011 through the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.
“A hot day like today puts real strains on the electricity system. Investments in new supply and transmission reinforcements have helped build a stronger system to manage stretches of high demand. We've brought on this new supply while eliminating dirty, coal-fired generation to create a healthier future for our children and our grandchildren.”
“We are well prepared to manage the high demands for electricity we have been seeing this week. Our supply situation has improved over the past few years with new generating facilities now online and we are starting to see the lower demand resulting from demand management programs that have been implemented.”