In a sudden reversal of its energy procurement policy, Ontario announced today that it will immediately suspend the second round of its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP II) process and the Energy-from-Waste Standard Offer Program, halting procurement of over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and energy from waste projects.
The government appears to have been taken unawares by the contents of an independent report, the Ontario Planning Outlook, provided to the Minister of Energy by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on September 1, 2016. In that report, which analyzes a variety of planning scenarios for the future of Ontario’s energy system, the IESO advised that Ontario will benefit from a robust supply of electricity over the coming decade to meet projected demand.
This decision to suspend procurement is framed as an energy saving measure, expected to save up to $3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to Ontario’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) forecast. The government says that this will save the typical residential electricity consumer an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, relative to previous forecasts and that no additional greenhouse gas emissions are being added to the electricity grid.
The government is now looking ahead to the development of its new Long-Term Energy Plan, which is scheduled to be released in 2017. Informed by the Ontario Planning Outlook, the government says that it will begin consultations and engagements this fall with consumers, businesses, energy stakeholders and Indigenous partners.
Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Glenn Thibeault said of the announcement:
” Over the course of the last decade, Ontario has rebuilt our electricity system and secured a strong supply of clean power. Our decision to suspend these procurements is not one we take lightly. This decision will both maintain system reliability and save up to $3.8 billion in electricity system costs relative to the 2013 LTEP forecast. The typical residential electricity consumer would save an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, relative to previous forecasts. As we prepare for a renewed LTEP, we will continue to plan for our future and ensure Ontario benefits from clean, reliable and affordable power for decades to come.”
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