Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) recently issued its 18-month Outlook covering the period up to March 2010. The IESO "remains positive" with respect to reliability under normal weather conditions as more then 5,000 MW of new and refurbished supply is scheduled to come into service during the Outlook's time frame. The transmission system is expected to be "adequate to reliably supply electricity during the next 18 months."

Import capacity is also planned to increase by 750 MW with the completion of the first stage of the interconnection between Ontario and Québec, which is scheduled for completion by the spring of 2009. Reinforcement in Québec, which may allow for transactions of up to 1,250 MW, are expected to be in service in 2010.

Transformer capacity north of Toronto in Newmarket and Aurora has been exceeded due to load growth. The IESO expects that supply requirements will be met with a new transformer station which will be operational by mid-2009, and the current procurement process which is underway at the Ontario Power Authority. In the meantime, to ensure that requirements are met, existing equipment will be operated at full capacity and contracts with consumers who have the ability to reduce consumption on demand will be executed.

Increasing conservation efforts and the slowing economy are continuing to have an effect on the overall demand profile. Energy demand is expected to increase by 1.3% in 2008 and 1.1% in 2009. However, peak demand is expected to decrease as conservation takes further hold. The following table summarizes peak demands under normal and extreme weather conditions.

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 The full text of the Outlook can be viewed at the following site: http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/media/md_newsitem.asp?newsID=4307