Beginning November 1, 2011, many wind and solar PV generators will be required to submit real-time meteorological and output data to the IESO.

The market rule amendment is part of IESO plans for renewable integration. As part of this integration, the IESO is seeking to implement centralized forecasting. Instead of providing energy forecasts, renewable facilities will be required to submit real-time, site specific data (“dynamic data”) to the IESO that will be used to produce variable generation forecasts provided by a third-party.

The requirements will apply to all wind and solar facilities connected to the IESO-controlled grid in addition to embedded non-market participants with an installed capacity over 5MW.

Starting November 1, 2011 these facilities will be required to submit both site-specific data in addition to their own forecasts. Once the IESO has implemented its central forecasting approach, renewable generators will no longer be required to submit their own forecasts. However, there is no indication from the IESO of an exact date centralized forecasting will be implemented.          

Of particular note, the market rule amendment specifies reporting standards. 

In addition to dynamic data, both wind and solar facilities will be required to provide information concerning the physical layout and details of the facility (“static data”) at the time of connection assessment and/or registration. A summary of these collection requirements are found below.

Wind  

For wind facilities, the following static and dynamic data will be required:

Click here to view the tables.

Additionally, the IESO had mandated collection standards for dynamic data listed above. At minimum, each facility will be required to provide this data from nacelle mounted data collection points. Every turbine is required to be within 5km from the nearest data collection point. Furthermore, each facility over 10MW will be required to provide data from at least one standalone meteorological tower. The number of towers required will correspond to the facility size (MW). Towers will be required located on the prevailing upstream side of the wind facility in areas that have representative microclimates and winds at hub height. Data is to be reported to the IESO in real-time every 30 seconds.

Solar

For solar facilities, the following static and dynamic data will be required:

Click here to view the tables.

Like wind, solar will be subject to data collection standards. At minimum, each facility will be required to have two meteorological data collection points. All solar arrays in that facility are required to be within 12km of a collection point. Data must be provided to the IESO every 30 seconds.

For both wind and solar PV, there is no requirement that the data collection devices be owned by the same owner of the facility.

Stakeholder Engagement

These new obligations are part of a larger IESO plan to accommodate the phase-out of coal and increased contribution of wind and solar. These developments will significantly impact Ontario’s electric grid. Declining demand and variability associated with renewable sources could result in a surplus of baseload generation. Furthermore, the IESO is facing a reduced flexibility to deal with the variability of supply due to increased regulatory constraints and limited ramping ability of gas facilities (compared to coal).

In an attempt to accommodate this variability, the IESO will implement changes to three major areas: forecasting, visibility and dispatch. The IESO is currently undertaking stakeholder engagement initiative (SE-91) in an effort to include stakeholders, such as developers and distributers, in the talks surrounding these changes.

Currently, eleven design principles have been approved relating to the three areas of change. This amendment is based upon SE-91 Renewable Integration Final Design Principles - Principles 1, 4 and 5. 

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is watching SE-91 closely. It has committed to working with supplies on OPA contract issues that may result from these IESO rule amendments (RESOP, RESIⅈ RESIII, FIT, HCI).

In any event, the IESO will continue consulting with stakeholders in renewable integration. Currently, two working groups for SE-91 exist: the Dispatch Technical Working Group and the Visibility Technical Working Group. This fall, the IESO intends to form a dispatch merit order working group that will comment on the order of curtailment in the event of baseload surplus.

For more information on SE-91 or to participate in the next meeting, email stakeholder.engagement@ieso.ca.