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The Ontario Coal Conundrum

Tough plant-retirement decisions being made in Canada to reduce its carbon footprint contrasts with America’s embrace of coal-based generation.

Fortnightly Magazine - September 2006

supplied from normal dispatch:

• 10-minute synchronized reserve (also called 10 minute spinning);

• 10-minute non-synchronized reserve (also called 10-minute non-spinning); and

• 30-minute reserve (non-synchronized).

In May 2006, the IESO began testing its new “day-ahead commitment process,” which the grid operator plans to implement for an initial six-month run on June 1. The process is seen as a step toward a formal day-ahead market. The IESO implemented an initial 6-month run starting June 1, but it will not be used past Nov. 30 without IESO board approval.

The only financial market operated by the IESO is the transmission rights (TR) market that allows market participants to hedge for congestion across certain paths. The TR is directional and allows its holder to collect congestion revenues whenever prices between the injection node and the withdrawal node are different. The TR also is an option and unlike financial transmission rights in some U.S. markets cannot take on a negative value.

 

Endnotes:

1. Ontario Power Authority: Supply Mix Analysis Report, December 2005.

2. The Ontario Reliability Outlook, IESO: February 2006.

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