Ontario could add nearly 3,000 MW of hydro by 2025

Ontario Power Authority proposes a 20-year plan that would more than double the amount of renewable energy on Ontario’s grid by 2025, including nearly 3,000 MW of new hydropower.

OPA filed its 4,000-page Integrated Power System Plan with the Ontario Energy Board in late August, just days after Ontario’s Energy Ministry announced the province would procure additional renewables, including hydropower. (HNN 8/29/07)

The plan anticipates hydropower will contribute more renewable resource capacity by 2025 than wind power -� 10,771 MW vs. 4,685 MW. However, it said, new hydro generation — mostly originating in northern Ontario — likely would come on line later because of the need for transmission investments. The 2025 renewables target totals 6,411 MW, including hydroelectric resources totaling 2,921 MW. Wind and bioenergy make up the remainder.

A list of the most attractive renewable resource facilities and geographic areas is included in the plan. Facilities are expected to be developed in order of transmission availability. The report lists hydroelectric potential totaling 6,979 MW, including 1,194 MW from 81 sites where no policy constraints exist, and 5,786 MW of additional hydroelectric potential from sites where policy constraints do exist. Constraints generally involve parks and other protected areas.

Only C$15.4 billion (US14.9 billion) of the plan’s C$60 billion (US$58 billion) in capital costs is for renewables. Much of the plan is aimed at conservation initiatives, natural gas distributed generation, nuclear generation, and the transmission capacity required to deliver the electricity to consumers.

The Ontario Energy Board will conduct hearings to evaluate the plan, which can be obtained from the Internet at www.powerauthority.on.ca.

Ontario is working toward a target of 10,402 MW from renewables for 2010, increasing the installed capacity of new renewable energy resources by 2,700 MW from the 2003 base. It plans to increase the total capacity of renewable energy sources used in Ontario to 15,700 MW by 2025.

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