Ontario launches initiative to balance power grid

TORONTO - - Ontario's large electricity consumers are joining the ranks of traditional generators by providing a special service to balance the power grid, with the recent launch of a new initiative by the Independent Electricity System Operator IESO.

Using ENBALA Power Network's GOFlex smart grid platform, Ontario's institutional, commercial and industrial consumers will be able to help the IESO, as the province's power grid operator, to balance supply and demand on a second-by-second basis. This service, known as regulation, has until now been provided by generators.

"This project represents a big step forward for Ontario's electricity sector," said IESO President and CEO Bruce Campbell at the launch of the new initiative at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "Every day in our control room, we see the efforts consumers make to reduce their energy use at peaks, which in turn strengthens reliability."

Now we are taking demand response to a new level. We are looking to major power consumers to provide a highly sophisticated - and critical - component of grid reliability."

ENBALA has been contracted to provide up to a maximum of four megawatts of aggregated regulation service. Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, McMaster University, Confederation Freezers, Atlantic Packaging, Collingwood Public Utilities and Walmart will be among the first to participate in the ENBALA's Ontario Grid Balance network.

"Large electricity users are such a valuable resource to our electricity power system," said Ron Dizy, President and CEO of ENBALA. "By intelligently managing the flexibility in when and how they use power, we're able to deliver value back to the grid in a number of ways - while generating a new revenue stream for connected users."

Regulation service acts to match total generation on the system with total demand on a second-by-second basis. It does this by responding to small and frequent changes in electricity consumption and generator output in order to maintain a constant balance. As a result, participants in the ENBALA network will increase and decrease their power use in response to real-time system needs.

"Innovation is a cornerstone of health care delivery - and that includes the way we manage our facilities," said Michael Young, Executive Vice-President and Chief Administrative Officer at Sunnybrook Health and Sciences Centre, one of the inaugural participants in the Grid Balance initiative. "That's why we joined forces with ENBALA and the IESO. This initiative provides a new opportunity for Sunnybrook to contribute to the overall reliability of Ontario's power system and generate new revenue to help sustain our services - all without impacting the comfort of our patients or our employees."

"Building a smarter grid is part of Ontario's plan to modernize our energy infrastructure and provide clean, reliable power to consumers. Innovative technologies, like ENBALA's platform, support the Province's conservation efforts through improved efficiency for generations to come," said Bob Delaney, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy and MPP Mississauga-Streetsville.


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