Toronto area businesses to engage in 77MW distributed energy aggregation


Enel X won a $3.3 CAD investment from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to participate in real-time energy markets by providing demand response services through a series of 14 distributed energy storage and generation sites. Together, the projects, which are sited at 11 different businesses, combine for 77MW in capacity.

The project is expected to support grid resilience and reduce carbon emissions. The funds come as part of IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund and OEB’s Innovation Sandbox. The project aims to create opportunities for businesses to reduce energy use and leverage on-site batteries to meet real-time energy needs.

Alone, these commercially sited batteries and generation sites would not have a large enough capacity to participate in the IESO administered markets under current market rules. But when aggregated, the distributed energy resources (DER) can join the market. Enel X said the pilot project will run for two years, and the company will demonstrate the ability of DERs to provide energy load reduction, and serve as a firm, reliable resource to the grid.

IESO said growth in the industrial sector is expected to cause demand for electricity in Ontario to grow at a rate that outpaces the past, climbing 1.7% each year. “With this investment through the IESO Grid Innovation Fund, Enel X will help these businesses better participate in the electricity sector, securing a new revenue stream while contributing to a reliable, sustainable, and affordable electricity system in Ontario,” said IESO president and CEO Lesley Gallinger.

Enel X has been a participant in demand response programs since they began in Ontario. The company has 150MW of managed commercial and industrial capacity, and has more than 60MW of contracted and operational battery energy storage capacity. The company recently secured partnerships with Toronto-based fleet management company Element, and Killam, one of Canada’s largest residential landlords.

“Large energy users in Ontario continue to make significant commitments to reducing emissions, recognizing emissions reductions not only as an opportunity to make operations more sustainable but an opportunity to manage their energy costs. It’s critical that we continue to unlock these businesses’ energy resources to reduce demand on the grid, lower energy costs, improve sustainability, and deliver economic value.” Surya Panditi, head of Enel X North America.

In North America, Enel X has about 4,500 business customers, representing $10.5 billion in energy spending under management. It has about 4.7GW of demand response capacity, over 100 battery storage projects under operation, more than 100,000 electric vehicle charging stations, and 3GW long-term renewable energy contracts.

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