A vision for Ontario’s smart grid


Paul Murphy,
President &
Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — April 1, 2008 – Ontario’s electricity sector has begun a broad-based industry dialogue to develop a vision for a provincial smart grid that will provide consumers with more efficient, responsive and cost-effective electricity service. The Ontario Smart Grid Forum launched by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in collaboration with representatives from local distribution companies will bring together leaders from across the sector.

"The transformation taking place within the province’s electricity sector, combined with advances in information technology, creates a unique opportunity for the development of a smart grid," said Paul Murphy, President and CEO of the IESO. "This forum builds on the provincial smart metering initiative to install smart meters in all homes and businesses by 2010 and complements the renewal taking place in Ontario’s transmission and generation sectors."

The goal of a smart grid is to use advanced information-based technologies to increase grid efficiency, reliability and flexibility. It enables the better use of the existing delivery infrastructure and offers benefits for both the consumer and the environment.

An initial working group, made up of senior representatives from the IESO, Hydro One, Hydro Ottawa, Burlington Hydro and Toronto Hydro, will help define the membership and terms of reference for the broader Smart Grid Forum. New members will be added over the coming weeks to ensure a broad cross-sector representation.

"Hydro One recognized the potential benefits of smart grid advancements during the conceptual stage of its smart meter initiative," said Laura Formusa, President and CEO of Hydro One. "Leveraging the two-way communications provided by advanced metering allows us to monitor performance of our electricity system and will also provide our customers with new opportunities to actively participate in a variety of conservation and demand management initiatives – a key requirement in our design decision."

"Smart meters are just the first step – sending and receiving information to and from the power grid," said David O’Brien, President and CEO of Toronto Hydro Corporation. "Smart meter technologies open the door to smart homes, where residential consumers can manage their electricity consumption more effectively with in-home control systems, self-generation such as solar panels, and smart appliances."

The full Forum will hold its first meeting in May, with a final report expected by the end of 2008, identifying benefits that will arise from smart grid investments and what needs to be done to enable implementation.