Monday, November 24, 2014

Ontario and Quebec sign memorandum to share electricity generation capacity seasonally

Friday November 21st, Ontario and Quebec signed a "Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to exchange electricity capacity."

The deal is important in a couple of ways

  1. Formalized the existing supply relationship should contribute to both province's ability to meet reserve requirements as defined by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) 
  2. The increased ability for Ontario to utilize Quebec's generation resources to provide capacity reserve
I can write much more on this, and may do so, but after providing a harsh rebuttal to the first of a number of dishonest and ignorant media reports on the agreement, I think it's now appropriate to note what content there is in the agreement is positive, if only understandable to the public service that achieved the MOU.

Agreements Reached at Québec-Ontario Joint Meeting of Cabinet Ministers
November 21, 2014 3:00 P.M. | Office of the Premier
At a joint meeting of ministers today in Toronto, the Ontario and Québec cabinets reached several agreements that will strengthen Ontario and Québec's partnership to build up Central Canada's economy, create jobs and make a difference in people's lives.
The governments signed agreements in the following areas: 
Electricity Trade 
Ontario Ministry of Energy Graphic
Ontario and Québec have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to exchange electricity capacity to help make power more affordable and reliable in each province.
The Seasonal Capacity Exchange -- the first agreement of its kind between the two provinces -- takes advantage of the fact that electricity demand peaks in the winter in Québec and in the summer in Ontario. Starting in late 2015, Ontario will make 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity capacity available to Québec in the winter, and Québec will make 500 MW available to Ontario in the summer. This agreement comes at no additional cost to Ontario and Québec electricity ratepayers. It will help Ontario reduce future costs, by reducing the need to build new electricity generating stations after 2020, and it will help Québec meet its seasonal capacity needs.

The two provinces also agreed to increase the amount of electricity that Ontario can call on Québec to supply within 10 minutes' notice from 50 MW to 100 MW. This operating reserve provides stand-by power in the event of an emergency, such as a power-plant shutdown or the loss of a transmission line. Ontario's current operating reserve is about 1,400 MW -- or one and a half times the size of the largest generating unit in the province.
  • As well, the provinces have agreed to:
  • Explore scheduling further electricity imports from Québec to Ontario;
  • Investigate long-term opportunities to expand electricity trade;
Read the full release from the Office Of Ontario's Premier

There's a lot of misinformation being opined on this, but the capacity recognition is a  cautious formalization of an existing relationship - presumably for the NERC requirements.


The background:

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