must build more electricity capacity to deal with shortfall,
By Gillian Livingston
The agency that monitors Ontario's electricity system
raised the alarm Wednesday about a "severe potential
shortfall" of electricity over the next decade.
Ontario has to get more electricity supply online and
do a heavy push for conservation to address the expected
electricity shortfall, said the 10-year outlook released
Wednesday by the province's Independent Electricity Market
The government's promise to close the province's five
coal plants by 2007, uncertainties with the refurbishment
of nuclear reactors at the Pickering nuclear station,
and a lack of investment in new generation "all contribute
to the potential shortfall," IMO president and CEO
Dave Goulding said in a release.
By 2014, up to 11,600 megawatts of Ontario's electricity
needs will have to be met with new supply, refurbished
generation or conservation measures, Goulding said.
"Resources are required in every year of the next
10 years," he said.
Energy Minister Dwight Duncan said that by the middle
of April the province will issue a call for proposals
to build up to 2,500 megawatts of new electricity generating
capacity by 2005, as well as 300 megawatts of renewable
energy to be put in service as soon as possible.
Goulding said the province has taken the right action
by moving to boost its electricity generating capacity.
The province has also taken its first steps toward conservation,
and as of Thursday Ontario residents will be paying more
for the electricity use.
The electricity price cap will rise to 4.7 cents per
kilowatt-hour for the first 750 kilowatt-hours used per
month, and will rise to 5.5 cents after that level. The
previous cap was at 4.3 cents.
The warning came as Natural Resources Minister David
Ramsay was set to announce Wednesday that the government
will open up Crown land so companies can build wind farms
and small water powered electricity plants there.
Ramsay said in a release that the move to open Crown
lands to renewable energy producers will help the government
increase its electricity capacity and reach its goal of
having five per cent of the province's energy come from
renewable energy sources by 2007.
Any interested groups will be able to apply to the government
to build wind turbines and wind farms or water powered
electricity generation stations on provincial land, he
The first wind turbines could be built by 2005.
The province will be able to handle the challenges that
come with wind power, such as reliability and cost, said
To deal with that "you build more capacity,"
he said. "The more you bring on the lower the price
Wind power can cost between about eight to 11 cents per
kilowatt hour, Duncan said. That's a bit higher than other
types of energy such as water and nuclear.
The government believes there are more than enough companies
out there interested in investing in renewable energies,
such as wind.
Duncan said he has already met with between 10 to 20
large companies that are interested in wind power in the
The most viable wind farms on Crown land would be on
the north shore of Lake Superior and offshore in the Great
Lakes, Ramsay said.
Wind turbines could also be located near Thunder Bay,
Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, Sarnia, Chatham-Kent, Hamilton
It's estimated that about 3,000 megawatts of wind power
capacity could be developed on private and Crown land,
New Democrat Marilyn Churley said opening up Crown land
to wind farms is "a good move," but the problem
is that for years some municipalities have prevented wind
turbines from being built in their areas.
To deal with that, the government has to take over that
responsibility, she said.
Even if wind power costs more, "we've got to start
paying the price for clean energy," she said. "If
we're not, we're in great peril."
"We need to invest in renewable power on an emergency,
In his report on the future of Ontario Power Generation,
former deputy prime minister John Manley recommended the
province let lands owned by the Crown corporation be available
to private developers to build more electricity generating
Manley's report also stressed that more electricity capacity
has to be built quickly since the province is facing a
possible shortage by 2007.