November 18, 2022
Ontario is planning for the long-term reliability and affordability of the province’s clean energy supply by appointing the remaining members of the Electrification and Energy Transition Panel. Recently, the province appointed Dr. Monica Gattinger and Chief Emeritus Emily Whetung, former Chief of Curve Lake First Nation, to the Panel, where they join Panel Chair Mr. David Collie.
“Ontario comes from a position of strength, we have already done the heavy-lifting building one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world, giving us a clean energy advantage,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “Through the Electrification and Energy Transition Panel, our government is planning for the future to ensure we can continue to serve a growing population and support the new jobs from unprecedented investments including everything from electric vehicle and battery manufacturing to clean steelmaking.”
The Electrification and Energy Transition Panel will advise the government on the highest value short, medium, and long-term opportunities for the energy sector to help Ontario’s economy prepare for electrification and the energy transition. Their goal is to help enable investment, job creation and skills development in Ontario by keeping energy rates low and creating a more predictable and competitive investment environment.
The Panel will also identify opportunities to strengthen Ontario’s long-term energy planning process by better coordinating the fuels and the electricity sector. To support this work, the Ministry is commissioning an independent Cost-Effective Energy Pathways Study to help better understand how Ontario’s energy sector can best support electrification and the energy transition. Together, the Panel and the Pathways Study will help the government make the best strategic decisions to reform our long-term energy planning process to serve Ontarians and prepare our province for the energy system of the future.
This Panel will build on the plan the Ontario government is already implementing to meet emerging energy needs and ensure a reliable, affordable and clean electricity supply including:
- Procuring 4,000 MW of new electricity generation and storage resources, which includes the largest procurement of clean energy storage in Canada’s history.
- Rolling out $342 million in new and enhanced energy efficiency programs while helping families and businesses reduce their electricity use so they can save money on their energy bills.
- Supporting Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) continued safe operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station and tasking OPG to update their refurbishment feasibility assessment for the station.
- Building Canada’s first grid-scale Small Modular Reactor (SMR) at OPG’s Darlington site.
- Directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to recontract clean generation at existing forest biomass and hydroelectric facilities.
- Conducted a successful Medium-Term Request for Proposals to recontract existing resources at a 30 per cent discount, keeping costs down for ratepayers.
The work of the Panel will be supported by the Honourable Howard Wetston K.C., who brings his experience from his time serving as Chair and CEO of the Ontario Energy Board and the Ontario Securities Commission, as well as his service in the Senate of Canada between 2016 and 2022.
Electrification and Energy Quick Facts
- In 2021 the IESO published it’s Gas-Phase Out Impact Assessment which found a phase-out of natural gas generation without adequate time to prepare would add an estimated $100 a month to the average residential bill by 2030, and even under the most optimistic scenario would lead to emergency actions such as rotating blackouts to manage energy shortfalls.
- The significant impacts to affordability and reliability outlined in the IESO’s report is unacceptable to the government as it would not only impact current consumers but would hinder other progressive actions to reduce emissions including electrification.
In 2021 Minister Smith asked the IESO to develop an achievable pathway to zero emissions in the electricity sector, with specific direction to consider reliability and affordability in their work. The IESO will deliver this report by the end of 2022.
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