Society of Energy Professionals

Society of Energy Professionals

October 07, 2010 16:35 ET

Transmission Solution for Oakville is the Right Decision

Energy Professionals Support Cancelling Oakville Gas Generator

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor TORONTO--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2010) - Rod Sheppard, President of the Society of Energy Professionals, praised the Ontario government's decision to cancel the Oakville gas generation plant and instead meet local demand through transmission solutions.

"We have met with Minister Duguid and policy staff from the Ministry of Energy a number of times over the past several months, and we have consistently recommended that localized gas generation plants are not the way to go when suitable transmission solutions exist," said Sheppard. "Certainly we think the Ontario government has made the right decision in this instance".

Transmission solutions allow existing generation, which is generally produced from low cost, low CO2 emitting nuclear or hydroelectric sources, to be dispatched to where it is needed. This can greatly reduce the need for new gas generating plants, which provide guaranteed above market revenues to private sector operators, while still contributing significantly to CO2 emissions.

"In the scant few hours since the Oakville announcement, critical voices are already suggesting that the Oakville decision was made for purely political reasons. That may be so, I can't speak to that," said Sheppard. "What I don't want to get lost here in the political crossfire is the fact that, for whatever reason, the decision that was made is the correct one from an environmental, economic and energy policy perspective. We need to find ways to make the right decisions the first time, every time'.

"Above all what today's decision speaks to is the need for the need for a long term sectoral plan that is rational and evidence based," said Sheppard. "From our perspective a great many of the problems which plague the electricity sector are the result of an accumulation of individual policy decisions that were driven by local dynamics, political considerations and short-term tactics, rather than evidence and long-term strategy".

The government is currently in the process of developing a new Long-Term Energy Plan to replace the 2007 Integrated Power Supply Plan which was put on hiatus to accommodate the introduction of the Green Energy Act. Major decisions need to be made about the future supply mix of electricity generation in the post-coal environment, along with developing a plan for major investments in new transmission and the maintenance of current aging transmission infrastructure.

"As professionals in the electricity industry, we know firsthand just how complex and interconnected the system is. Decisions simply cannot be made in isolation, or in response to short-term considerations. It's a recipe for chaos and inefficiency," said Sheppard. "We're pleased that the government acknowledges this, and we're extremely supportive of the Ministry of Energy's new planning process "

The Society of Energy Professionals represent more than 8,000 engineers, telecommunications and information technology professionals, scientists, supervisors, and others who, for generations, have designed, built, operated and helped safeguard Ontario's vast electricity system. These women and men manage our electricity system and ensure our power is there when we need it, reliably and safely. The Society's members work for Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One, Bruce Power, the IESO, the OEB, the ESA and other key electricity sector employers.
/For further information: Rod Sheppard: mobile (416) 670-6835
Mike Belmore: mobile (905) 308-4300/ IN: ENERGY, LABOUR, TELECOMM

Contact Information

  • Mike Belmore, External Relations Officer, Society of Energy Professionals
    Primary Phone: 905-308-4300