Ontario's large electricity consumers are joining the ranks of traditional generators by providing regulation service to balance the power grid, with the launch of a new initiative by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
Using ENBALA Power Network's GOFlex™ smart grid platform, the province’s C&I consumers will be able to help the IESO, as the province's power grid operator, to balance supply and demand on a second-by-second basis. This service has until now been provided by generators.
“This project represents a big step forward for Ontario's electricity sector,” said IESO president and CEO Bruce Campbell at its launch yesterday. “We are taking demand response to a new level. We are looking to major power consumers to provide a highly sophisticated – and critical – component of grid reliability.”
ENBALA has been contracted to provide up to a maximum of 4 MW of aggregated regulation service. Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, McMaster University, Confederation Freezers, Atlantic Packaging, Collingwood Public Utilities and Walmart will be among the first to participate in the Ontario Grid Balance® network.
Regulation service acts to match the generation on the system with the demand by responding to small and frequent changes in electricity consumption and generator output in order to maintain a constant balance. As a result, participants in the ENBALA network will increase and decrease their power use in response to real time system needs.