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A huge waste of $2.2 Billion

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In AWARE News Network
May 18th, 2024
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A huge waste of $2.2 billion

Last week, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) announced that it has awarded Ontario Power Generation (OPG) a $2.2 billion contract to build a 430 megawatt (MW) gas-fired peaker plant in Napanee. That’s great news for fossil gas suppliers, bad news for ratepayers and our climate. 

Ontario has much lower cost options to meet its electricity needs on our hottest and coldest days of the year, including battery storage, industrial, commercial and institutional demand response programs, and the IESO’s residential Peak Perks program.

According to the IESO’s May 9th announcement, it has also contracted for almost 1,800 MW of storage capacity to meet our peak hour needs at a cost per MW that is 60% lower than the cost of OPG’s proposed new gas-fired peaker plant.

The IESO also has a very cost-effective demand response program that pays large electricity consumers to shift some of their demand from peak to off-peak periods. The IESO’s annual payments per MW to industrial, commercial and institutional customers participating in this program are 85% lower than the annual payments per MW it is prepared to pay OPG for its proposed new Napanee peaker plant.

In addition, last year the IESO established the Peak Perks program to turn down the thermostats of residential air-conditioners and heat pumps by up to two degrees Celsius on hot summer days. The program has already enrolled more than 100,000 participants who together can deliver up to 90 MW of peak demand reductions at a cost that is 80-95% lower than the cost per MW of OPG’s proposed new gas-fired peaker.

According to the IESO’s 2024 Annual Planning Outlook, fossil gas will be responsible for 25% of Ontario’s electricity supply in 2030 – up from only 4% in 2017. So instead of embracing zero carbon and lower cost alternatives, the IESO remains all-in on climate wrecking fossil gas.

What you can do

Please send an email to Ontario’s Auditor General here. Ask her to perform a value-for-money audit of the IESO’s $2.2 billion contract for OPG’s proposed new gas-fired peaker plant. We can’t afford to waste money on new polluting gas plants when we have cleaner and lower cost options to keep our lights on.

Thank you!

Angela Bischoff, Director

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