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Electricity deregulation in Ontario reset for May 2002

The Ontario Minister of Energy, Science and Technology has announced that the province will move to a deregulated m...


The Ontario Minister of Energy, Science and Technology has announced that the province will move to a deregulated market for energy by May 2002. This change, which has a major impact on consulting engineers serving the power and energy sector, ushers in an era when government caretaking of this crucial infrastructure gives way to competitive market conditions, such as now exist in Alberta and California.
The Ontario government originally planned to deregulate the power market in 2001, but evidently now wants to ensure that conditions are right and that the province does not experience the power black-outs and rising prices that have occurred in other deregulated markets. “We are committed to an open market while guaranteeing a safe, affordable and reliable supply,” said Jim Wilson, the Minister in charge. He also agreed that there were parties who would like to open the market sooner, but said, “As government, we bear a responsibility to ensure the opening is done right for all involved.”
The province says $3 billion will be put into new generation projects, representing over 3000 MW of capacity. The province also says it is increasing its nuclear power generating capacity in the next two to three years, with the return of Pickering A to service in early 2002, and the return of two units at the Bruce power plant by 2003.