Ontario is taking a bold step to improve flexibility in electricity use and give large consumers more control over their power consumption. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has introduced the Interruptible Rate Pilot (IRP), offering eligible businesses a chance to cut their global adjustment charges by temporarily reducing electricity usage during crucial periods. Starting on July 1, 2023, this pilot helps participating businesses and gives the IESO better planning tools, making the electricity system more resilient.
Objectives of the Interruptible Rate Pilot
The main goal of the IRP is to test new ways to encourage large consumers to actively support the stability of the electricity grid. Participants can lower their global adjustment charges by agreeing to use less electricity when the IESO directs them during stressful times and potentially save costs.
Pilot Duration and Terms
The IRP will last up to three years, allowing time to evaluate its effectiveness. Pilot participants will get advance notice and may experience interruptions for up to 15 events and 60 hours each year. These interruptions come with a reduced global adjustment rate, provided participants use electricity at or below a specific contracted demand level during the designated events.
Building on the Industrial Conservation Initiative, the IRP simplifies the process for large electricity users to cut consumption during peak hours. Unlike the previous program, participants don’t need to closely watch weather and demand forecasts. This simplification reduces uncertainty, allowing businesses to focus on their core operations while still helping stabilize the electricity grid.
Interruption Events and Procedures
The IESO will declare IRP interruption events based on conditions outlined in Exhibit E. This exhibit distinguishes between Long-Notice and Short-Notice Conditions, triggered by factors like forecasted demand exceeding 21,000 MW. Notices are sent via text and email, instructing participants to reduce demand. Dispatchable Loads must identify their entire electricity consumption as Non-Dispatchable during Interruption Hours. The IESO initially dispatches the load to 0 MW, and the load must confirm its intention to be non-dispatchable. Notices categorize events as Long- or Short-Notice for transparency, with conditions subject to IESO amendments. Interruption event notifications are made publicly available through IESO’s Advisory Notices.
Developing the IRP involved extensive stakeholder engagement, ensuring the pilot reflects the needs and concerns of diverse participants. By incorporating feedback, the IESO aims to create a program benefiting large consumers and contributing to broader electricity system goals.
The Interruptible Rate Pilot marks a forward-thinking approach to electricity management in Ontario. By empowering large consumers to actively support grid stability, the IRP benefits individual businesses and contributes to the overall resilience and efficiency of the electricity system. As the pilot progresses, it holds the potential to inform future policy decisions, leading to more sustainable and cost-effective energy practices for all ratepayers.
Edgecom Energy’s pTrack® Solution
To ensure no peaks are missed, Edgecom Energy’s pTrack® solution employs advanced AI algorithms. This technology enables our customers to curtail substantially less while maintaining optimal participation in the IRP. The pTrack® solution is a testament to our commitment to innovation, providing businesses with a smart and efficient way to navigate the demands of the Interruptible Rate Pilot. As the pilot progresses, the integration of cutting-edge technologies like pTrack® holds promise in optimizing electricity consumption and maximizing the benefits for our valued customers. Contact us today to learn more about pTrack®, the ICI program, or becoming a Class A company.