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New Supply Powers Ontario's Electricity System

CNW TORONTO: November. 17, 2009

The expected addition of 1,900 megawatts (MW) of new and refurbished supply over the next 18 months will reinforce and solidify Ontario's already positive electricity supply situation, said the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in its latest 18-Month Outlook.

Most of the new supply projects are currently being commissioned or are under construction, and two-thirds of the new facilities comprise a mix of wind, water, gas and biomass projects. When complete, these new clean-energy projects will supply communities across the province, and will support the Province's sustainability goals by displacing more carbon-intensive fuel sources. These new energy supply projects will be complemented by the return to service of two refurbished nuclear units at the Bruce plant in 2011.

"Ontario's electricity supply outlook is very strong," said Bruce Campbell, VP of Resource Integration at Ontario's IESO. "The combination of new and renewed generation, coupled with transmission improvements, should result in high levels of reliability over the next 18 months."

Over the same period, Ontario's transmission system is expected to reliably serve predicted demand levels. Several transmission reinforcement projects are planned to come in service over the next 18 months to ensure reliable local supply and provide additional transmission capacity for future growth.

While the Bank of Canada has declared the recession over, the economic recovery in Ontario is unlikely to stimulate a significant rebound in electricity demand. Over the coming months, industrial energy consumption will continue to be hampered by the high dollar and rationalization within the manufacturing sector. After a drop of 5.7 per cent in 2009, overall, demand for electricity is expected to rebound slightly in 2010, growing by 0.4 per cent. Demand is expected to further increase by 0.8 per cent in 2011 as the economic recovery gains momentum within the industrial sectors.

The IESO regularly assesses the adequacy and reliability of Ontario's power system. The 18-Month Outlook is issued on a quarterly basis and is available at www.ieso.ca/18-month.outlook.

The IESO is responsible for managing Ontario's bulk electricity power system and operating the wholesale market. For more information, please visit www.ieso.ca.

For further information: Alexandra Campbell, (416) 506-2806