The government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, create a single new agency that will merge the OPA's planning knowledge with the IESO's operational expertise. The mandate of the new, merged agency would be to establish market rules to benefit consumers, align contracts and create an electricity system that is more responsive to changing conditions.
According to the province, the new agency would eliminate duplication and save ratepayers up to $25 million a year. It would also allow for a more seamless and co-ordinated approach to planning as Ontario integrates new renewable energy projects into the grid and shuts down its last coal-fired plants by the end of 2014, the province says.
This is the latest in a series of steps Ontario has taken to drive efficiencies in the electricity sector following the launch of the Ontario Distribution Sector Panel and the start of the benchmarking study of Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation.