The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) were asked by the Ontario Minister of Energy to provide recommendations for a new integrated regional energy planning process, specifically looking at improving the way large energy projects are sited in the province.

All feedback received through the engagement has been considered in the development of the OPA and IESO’s recommendations and the report has been submitted to the Ontario Minister of Energy. The report to the Minister also includes a summary of comments received through the feedback sessions, results of the online survey, and written submissions.

  • On May 6, 2013, the Ontario Minister of Energy asked the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to provide joint recommendations for a new integrated regional energy planning process, specifically looking at improving the way large energy projects are sited in the province.

    These recommendations will be considered by the provincial government to support the development of future regional energy plans and site new energy infrastructure.

    On this website, Ontarians were able to make their views known on this important issue. Visitors to this site responded to specific questions about regional planning and siting issues, and provided more detailed submissions to our email address.

    During the months of June and July, the OPA and the IESO engaged with a broad spectrum of municipalities, First Nation and Métis, community associations, advocacy groups and other stakeholders to hear their perspectives about how best to improve these processes. This feedback has informed the development of the OPA and IESO’s recommendations. We thank all those who provided their advice and suggestions.

    The report, with recommendations, was provided to the Minister in early August and posted on this site.

    The Agencies

    The Ontario Power Authority’s responsibilities include co-ordinating province-wide conservation efforts, planning the electricity system for the long term and contracting for clean energy resources. For more information about the Ontario Power Authority, please visit

    The Independent Electricity System Operator is responsible for managing the real-time operations of the provincial power system and the wholesale electricity market. For more information about the IESO, visit


  • Why This Engagement Matters

    We all have an interest in ensuring a reliable and sustainable electricity sector. A well-planned electricity system with continual investments in modern and reliable infrastructure can contribute to vibrant and healthy communities.

    This engagement will help the Province establish processes that will provide all Ontarians with opportunities to make their voices heard on energy issues within their communities.

    Ontario’s Changing Electricity Infrastructure

    Over the last decade, Ontario’s power system has undergone a significant transformation. After a number of years of energy shortages – particularly in the summer months – Ontarians today are benefiting from a robust supply of new, clean energy resources.

    These include 5,100 MW in new natural gas supply since 2005, which has helped ensure reliability during the phase-out of all coal generation in the province. In addition, more than 2,500 MW of new wind and solar power generation have been brought into service since 2005, providing emissions-free energy electricity into the system. In the same time, 1,900 MW in energy savings have been achieved through conservation and consumers are seeing the benefits of managing their energy use – whether it’s taking part in conservation efforts or reducing consumption during peak hours to reduce the strain on the system

    Ontario’s electricity sector now has an opportunity to reflect on this experience and evolve its processes for planning and siting large energy infrastructure – ensuring an effective balance between local and provincial needs.

    This engagement will parallel the broader work being done to reach out to Ontarians on the future direction of the province’s power system. The Government of Ontario is in the process of reviewing the Long Term Energy Plan and has launched a public dialogue on the priorities for the province’s energy sector.


    June 17-July 15
    Stakeholder Engagement
    This engagement with stakeholders will begin through regional and direct meetings with a variety of stakeholder groups, as well as an online survey to inform and gather feedback from the broader public.

    Regional Planning Introductory Regional Planning Introductory Regional Planning Introductory

    June 20
    Information Webinar
    The OPA and the IESO will provide an overview of the engagement’s objectives and timelines, as well as provide background information to bring all stakeholders to a common starting point.
    Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
    Recorded presentation
    Note: Registration is required to access the presentation.

    June 24-July 10
    Public Sessions
    All sessions take place from 6:00pm until 8:00pm.   For more information about the meetings and to register to attend, please contact

    June 24 - Sudbury
    June 25 - Niagara
    June 26 - Ottawa
    June 27 - GTA (North & West)
    June 27 - Guelph
    July 8 - Windsor
    July 9 - Oakville
    July 9 - GTA (East)
    July 10 - Thunder Bay

    Regional Sessions Presentation
    Discussion Guide

    July 11
    Feedback Webinar

    This is a follow up session to the Information Webinar. The OPA and the IESO will hold a webinar to hear feedback from the broader stakeholder community.
    Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
    Register here

    Report on Comments Posted
    An overview of the public comments and recommendations received during the engagement process (for example, in meetings and online survey) was posted for broader review. The IESO/OPA considered these comments as the recommendations were developed.

    August 1
    The IESO and OPA submitted a report to the Minister of Energy. The recommendations in the report will feed into a new integrated regional planning process that aims to improve how large energy infrastructure projects are sited in Ontario. This recommendation report is posted on this website.


  • Regional plans define the local electricity needs of various parts of the province – highlighting specific reliability issues such as transmission and generation needs. These plans typically consider the adequacy of the high-voltage transmission infrastructure that deliver electricity directly to cities and towns and identify integrated solutions that may include energy efficiency, local power plants, demand response programs or transmission and distribution infrastructure that would serve the local area.

    In Ontario, regional electricity system planning has largely been undertaken on an as-needed basis, responding to specific areas of concern as they arose. The challenge moving forward is to formalize the regional planning process and enhance integration with other local planning processes, providing a more comprehensive approach to planning for a region’s electricity needs.

    The Ontario Energy Board convened a stakeholder working group (the “Planning Process Working Group”) to prepare a report to the Board that set out the details of a more structured regional planning process. The Board recently endorsed the process set out in that report. Stakeholder engagement occurs at several stages throughout the regional planning process:

    Stakeholder Engagement In Regional Electricity Plans


    This stakeholder engagement seeks your views on how to create a formal regional energy planning process that incorporates adequate opportunities for communities to express their support for or concerns about local energy issues.

  • The siting of large energy projects is a complex process, which includes procuring the land, obtaining environmental assessments, ensuring compliance with local zoning and municipal by-laws, and engaging with communities -- including Aboriginal communities. This engagement will help define what projects should be considered a large energy project, as well as when and how engagement should be conducted.

    The current electricity generation procurement process in Ontario

    The current-electricity generation procurement process in Ontario

    Currently, there is no standard stakeholder process for siting a project in Ontario. Stakeholder engagement practices vary depending on the type of generation to be sited, and the way in which it is procured.

    This stakeholder engagement also reviewed siting-related processes in other jurisdictions including New York, Vermont, California and Oregon to determine best practices.

  • First Nation, Métis and municipalities have a fundamental interest in regional planning issues. Their communities may be impacted by electricity planning decisions – whether it’s ensuring that their future electricity needs will be met or in the siting of large energy infrastructure. Conversely, through land use planning, these communities can influence their future needs for electricity, and impact where electricity infrastructure can be sited.

    Both Aboriginal communities and municipalities are initiating community energy or sustainability planning that sets a long-term vision for their communities, integrating social, cultural, environmental and economic considerations. Indeed, an integrated approach to land use, energy, transportation and water planning can work to reduce the production of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Some municipalities are forming GHG emissions plans to inventory emissions in their communities and develop action plans to reduce them.

    This stakeholder engagement looked at ways to tap into existing municipal planning processes – and the many ways in which municipalities reach out to their residents, associations and businesses to determine priorities.

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