A New Opportunity for Existing Standby Power Generators
The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has recently announced the release of their Demand Response 3 (DR3) program. DR3 is the latest release in a series of OPA programs that offer Ontario electricity consumers an opportunity to benefit financially while helping reduce electrical load on the Ontario supply grid.
In the DR3 program there are two means of participation; reduce electrical consumption and on-site electrical production. The OPA has identified approximately 1600 hours in the year when they may call upon their participants to initiate a reduction of electrical consumption from the grid. Of those 1600 hours, each participant may be asked to reduce their load for up to 200 hours dispersed through individual 4 hour reductions. For participating in the program the OPA will compensate each customer financially with a stand-by payment and time of use payment for each kilowatt reduced or produced. The amount of compensation varies broadly over the province and contract length. Most participants will work with an OPA approved aggregator who is contracted to provide at least 25MW of dispatched load. Alternately any single customer may contract directly with the OPA if they can provide a minimum of 5MW of dispatched load.
This new program provides an opportunity for companies with existing emergency power generation to use their generator sets as dispatched generation. Currently there are thousands of stand-by generator sets permanently installed throughout Ontario providing emergency back-up to building systems and for business continuity. By making these generator set installations available to the OPA’s DR3 program, companies can receive a substantial financial return ($90-$120/kW). When called upon to operate an additional financial incentive includes reimbursement per kW/hr produced and reduction of electrical usage on the monthly hydro bill. In cases where a generator set is installed, this new income can be used for upgrades or to off-set maintenance costs. Alternately these funds can also help provide the capital for the installation of new on-site generation.
There are specific requirements that must be met before being approved by the Ontario Power Authority for DR3. Some of them are:
- Compliance with noise and exhaust emission regulations for power generation.
- Provision of reliable load displacement.
- Appropriate metering to calculate actual kW reductions.
There are many opportunities to participate in this program. Please contact 1-800-619-4219 to discuss how you can benefit from the OPA’s DR3 program.