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Your chance to respond to IESO misdirection on gas plant phase-out

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Oct 22nd, 2021
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By Angela Bischoff, Director of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance

There is great opportunity to have your say on the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) deeply flawed and highly superficial report on phasing out gas-fired electricity.

The IESO is held a public consultation meeting to discuss the on Thursday Oct. 21 at 9:30 a.m.

This is our chance to raise important issues about a report that contains a lot of misplaced praise for gas plants, and a lot of misinformation about what would result if we phased them out to reduce damaging climate pollution.

For example, the IESO report:

  1. Provides a plan to achieve a 99.7% gas plant phase-out by 2030, but falsely claims that it would be impossible to obtain the remaining 3/10ths of 1% of our electricity supply from carbon-free sources by 2030.
  2. Falsely claims that attempting to achieve a gas plant phase-out by 2030 will lead to blackouts, while ignoring the fact that, in 2030, 20% of our gas-fired capacity will still be under contract with the IESO and some of our gas-fired power plants will remain under contract with the IESO until 2040. As a result, Ontario will have gas plants on standby reserve from 2030 to 2040 to provide emergency backup supply to the Ontario electricity grid if necessary.
  3. Claims that a gas plant phase-out will raise residential electricity rates by 60% despite the fact that it is forecasting that overall costs will rise by only 20% if we follow its plan.
  4. Falsely claims that costs will rise by 20% by underestimating the carbon tax savings from a gas plant phase-out; ignoring our two lowest-cost storage options; and including the cost of a $3 billion new GTA nuclear reactor as part of its phase-out plan despite saying it would focus on replacement options that were “sufficiently mature today – i.e., commercially feasible, scalable, and cost-effective in the near-term,” which a new nuclear reactor definitely is not.

 

The IESO needs to go back to the drawing board to develop a least-cost plan to phase-out our gas plants by 2030 and lower our electricity bills. Scare tactics about blackouts and huge rate increases are not what we need from what is supposed to be an unbiased planning agency.

For more details, read our powerpoint presentation: “The IESO Report on Phasing-Out Ontario’s Gas Plants: A Critical Review.”

Watch Jack Gibbons’ video presentation about the IESO’s report here.

Read the Globe and Mail story from Oct. 19, 2021: “Stop refunding carbon payments to natural gas plants, panel urges” (or here).

What You Can Do

If you haven’t already done so, please send a message to Ontario’s Energy Minister Todd Smith and your MPP (click here) asking them to direct the IESO to develop a serious plan to phase-out gas power by 2030.

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