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Ontario wholesale electricity prices go negative

Ontario Clean Air Alliance: Jessica Fracassi - April 20, 2009

Ontario’s wholesale spot market electricity price was negative for 214 hours between March 24 and April 19, 2009 according to information provided to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance today by the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator. During this period the average negative price was approximately - 1 cent per kWh; however prices fell to - 5.1 cents per kWh on March 29th.

Negative wholesale prices mean that large volume customers in Ontario (e.g., Imperial Oil, Inco) and the U.S.A. are paid to consume our electricity.

Negative wholesale prices are due to the fact that our inflexible CANDU nuclear reactors are not able to reduce their output as demand declines.

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