Ontario distributors investigate local transactive energy market


by Jonathan Spencer Jones

Three Ontario distribution companies are to demonstrate the potential for customer-owned distributed energy resources (DER) to provide services to the networks. The three distribution companies, Hydro Ottawa, Toronto Hydro and Bracebridge Generation are to implement Opus One Solutions’ GridOS Transactive Energy Market system to simulate a local distribution energy market.

The pilot in partnership with Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is aimed to explore the economic and technical impacts for the distribution companies to utilise distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, electricity storage and electric vehicles.

If successful, the project should demonstrate the potential for a market platform to support the evolution of Ontario’s electricity system and, for example, how it can optimize DER and develop distribution locational marginal pricing models.

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“Ontario businesses and communities are increasingly using technologies like solar panels, energy storage, and demand management tools to meet their own energy needs,” says Katherine Sparkes, Director, Innovation, Research and Development at the IESO.

“This project joins other pilot projects across the province that the IESO is testing to see how we can organise these resources through local electricity markets, so they can help meet growing electricity demand, improve reliability, and drive down costs.”

In the simulated market, aggregators submit their bids and offers for registered distributed assets in day-ahead and same-day markets. The GridOS platform then generates location and time-specific price signals to enable system operators to create coordinated dispatch schedules that allow the grid to continue operating safely, while highlighting the locational value of the distributed resource services.

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This results in the ability for the distributors to evaluate how these resources can serve load and resolve system constraints through market-based contracts, creating market paths to revenue for the services based on capacity, energy and system resiliency.

“The collaboration between Opus One and the distributors demonstrates a path to market access for distributed resources through energy system coordination,” explains Ben Ullman, Product Manager Transactive Energy at Opus One Solutions.

Jonathan Spencer Jones is a writer and analyst with more than 20 years covering the energy transition and the evolution of digitalisation in metering and the grid. He is a former editor of Smart Energy International and ESI Africa and was involved with the digital offerings of these publications from their conception. He is a physicist by training and began his career as a research astronomer before transitioning to STM publishing.

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