Articles

IESO provides clarity on market rules for Ontario energy storage

IESO provides clarity on market rules for Ontario energy storage

By: Workbench Energy
February 11, 2021

Updated market rules clarify how electricity storage can participate directly within existing IESO administered markets

Electricity storage took a big step forward in January towards the goal of removing barriers and broadening participation in the Ontario wholesale electricity markets.   After several years of Stakeholdering with industry leaders, on January 18th the IESO published an updated set of market rules and manuals clarifying how electricity storage can participate directly within the existing IESO administered markets.

The IESO administered markets opened in May 2002 with a fleet of generation resources that looked decidedly different than it does today.   Generators participated in the markets through constructs that were developed and designed partly because of the operating characteristics of the specific resource types, like coal, that existed at the time.  While technologies, the markets, and participation continue to evolve, many of those constructs still exist today and will do so until Market Renewal is completed.  Within those constructs, direct participation of buying and selling electricity based on five-minute price signals has traditionally been as either a dispatchable generator or a dispatchable load.

The interim market rule changes that took effect on January 18th broaden those definitions, allowing the opportunity to participate directly as an electricity storage participant.  This means that electricity storage can take advantage of the ability to operate as both a load and a generator, utilizing market signals to charge when prices are low and discharge or generate when they are high.  It also means the ability to participate in operating reserve markets and finding ways to optimize revenue opportunities.

While the long-term, enduring vision of electricity storage having expanded access to wholesale markets is important and will be a key part of building integration into the IESO Market Renewal Program, participating in the IESO markets as an electricity storage provider is a reality now.   Getting involved as a market participant today provides the opportunity to fully understand the existing IESO administered markets and be involved in shaping the markets in the future.

Jennifer Jayapalan is Vice President of Market Operations at Workbench Energy and is the IESO’s Technical Panel representative for Energy Storage. 

Workbench Energy is a leading service provider for IESO Market Participants, including energy storage facilities, where they enable, optimize, and manage commercial operations in IESO administered markets and programs.

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