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May '11

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Electricity, Sources & Delivery

Jerry Van Ooteghem

In 2007 the Ontario Power Authority setout 5 key initiatives;

  • Double renewable energy by 2025
  • Phase out coal by 2014
  • Refurbish the Nuclear Fleet
  • Upgrade the Transmission System
  • Aggressively pursue Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) targets

In 2010 when the Ministry of Energy issued a supporting long term plan.  It is expected electricity prices will increase by 3.5%/year over the next 20 years.

Renewable sources of energy include wind turbines and solar panels.

CDM is a key part of the plan.  There are 4 conservation categories:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Demand management
  • Behind the meter distributed generation
  • Fuel switching

Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge are working together to deliver programs in Waterloo Region.  They delivered all 4 programs mentioned above from 2008 – 2010 and will be expanding these in 2011 – 2014.

The Smart Grid is fundamental to this.  It includes:

  • Two-way power flows and metering for connection of new renewable generation systems.
  • Two-way communication links between the customer and the Local Distribution Companyfor:

o   Outage notification

o   Peak load control

o   In-home displays

  • Smart meters and time-of-use pricing and billing
  • Distribution automation to improve reliability
  • Charging of electric vehicles

Smart Meters are important to the strategy.  Peak demand periods  have a number of impacts

  • Electricity costs increase – higher demand means higher prices
  • Environmental impact of building extra hydro generation plants
  • It creates additional infrastructure which the consumer pays for
  • It puts a strain on the system

Working together to reduce use at peak times makes sense.  Smart meters and Time-of-Use rates help do this.