Current State of the Ontario Grid
As I write this, there are 2,312 MW of wind power being dumped into the Ontario grid. This is out of a total of about 19,000 MW of demand. That’s a whopping 12% of total grid power being met by wind. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think Ontario renewable energy was doing that well. Did you?
Combine that with 4,091 MW of hydro, and 159 MW of other renewable energy, and we get a nice round number of 6562 MW of renewable energy. That makes for a total of 35% of the grid being renewable! That’s awesome! I don’t know if this is a record or not, but that seems likely, given how windy it is! In any case, it’s an interesting snapshot. I’ve contacted the Ontario Power Authority for a comment, and I’ll update if they get back to me.
We don’t hear too much about Canada when it comes to renewable energy. Environmental messages about Canada typically involve the tar sands, pipelines, and their potentially devastating consequences. Now don’t get me wrong, those are messages we definitely need to keep repeating. However, I thought it might be cool to look at the progress being made in the province of Ontario in green electricity.
If you want, you can check out our projected wind power generation map here!
The Future of The Ontario Grid
Where are we going energy wise, and how fast are we going to get there? For that I turn to Ontario Power Generation. We find that as of the beginning of the year, there were a lot of projects under development, including:
- 2,962 MW of wind power
- 998 MW of solar
- 248 MW of biomass-based thermal generation
- 662 MW of hydro
Add that all up and you get a net total of 4,870 MW of new renewable generation currently under development. That’s in a market of about 25 GW of peak demand.
Once the new renewable comes online and is combined with our existing renewable, we’ll have a total of 10,690 MW of renewable nameplate capacity. That’s capable of meeting nearly half our average peak demand. That’s not half bad, eh?
Canada often gets a bad rap for environmental policy. I’ll be honest, we’ve earned that and we have a long ways to go. This is only a snapshot of a small portion of one of the biggest countries in the world. Ontario is the largest energy market in the country, though, so hopefully it’s significant. With the amount of generation we have scheduled to come online in the next few years, it’s my sincere hope that we’ll be able to further cut down on our use of both natural gas and nuclear power.
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