The electricity reliability outlook for Ontario has improved significantly as a result of a number of decisions and actions taken since June 2006, reported the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) today in the release of its third Ontario Reliability Outlook.

The IESO says the improved outlook is a result of the planned addition of 7000 MW of new or refurbished generation by 2011 and the provincial government's direction to the Ontario Power Authority and the IESO to jointly develop the coal transition plan.

"The additional supply will begin to address the concerns we had identified in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area and contribute to improved overall resource adequacy for the province," said Paul Murphy, IESO president and CEO.

"The improved outlook provides assurance that reliability can continued to be maintained if there are some delays in either the in-service dates of planned facilities or achievement of savings from Conservation and Demand Management initiatives that have been introduced," said Murphy.

The IESO continues to express concern about the uncertainty around the length of approvals processes affecting generation and transmission projects and the impact on the timing of the implementation of the projects. The report addresses the need for transmission enhancements to accommodate the planned additional supply and to address local reliability needs and identifies the plans that are proposed to address those needs.

The report also highlights the potential of Ontario's Smart Metering Initiative in addressing future reliability needs. Local distribution companies are installing 800,000 smart meters by the end of 2007 with all Ontario customers to have smart meters installed by 2010.