IESO York Region Non-Wires Alternatives Demonstration Project

Alectra is partnering with Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to deliver the IESO Non-Wires Alternatives Demonstration project, Canada’s first distribution level local electricity market. Through the project we will procure customer distributed energy resources (DERs), including gas-fired resources, battery storage, and demand response activities as alternative supply options to address accelerating demand and defer the need for traditional wires infrastructure.

These resources will provide both capacity and energy through separate competitive mechanisms. Capacity auctions are held in the fall of 2020 and 2021, for delivery in the summer of 2021 and 2022 respectively.

This demonstration allows businesses, institutions, and aggregators of residential homes to leverage their DERs to earn revenue while helping power local communities.  The project will help us understand how local DERs can meet local, regional, and province-wide electricity needs.

This pilot project takes place in Southern York Region municipalities, including Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill, where electricity demand is forecasted to outpace system capability within the next 10 years. The demonstration market will operate in a simulated, test environment that is isolated from the IESO market and system operations. Alectra will act as an Independent Distribution System Operator (DSO) in the demonstration, facilitating third-party competition to secure and dispatch participating DERs.

Alectra discover the possibilities
“The amount of interest from the market and the diversity of the successful resources shows tremendous potential for using local solutions as a cost-effective alternative to traditional electricity infrastructure.” Brian Bentz, President and CEO of Alectra Inc.

A local energy market has its benefits!

Bill with credit card in hand

New revenue opportunity for businesses and consumers.

Mobile with message

Real-time energy auction, bringing forward competitive, affordable energy alternatives.

Boosting graph

Reduced system constraints leading to immediate grid supply

Earth with plug-in cable around it

Aging technology replaced with clean resources

Join the 2021 Capacity Auction

For the purposes of this demonstration, eligible resources include demand response, battery storage and gas-fired generation, with available capacity ranging from 100kW up to 3,000kW, available for 4 consecutive hours. Participants can take part in the project directly or through an aggregator, including commercial, institutional or residential resources.

If you meet these requirements and are an Alectra customer or Aggregator within the Southern York Region demonstration area you are likely to qualify for the upcoming capacity auction of Fall 2021.  To join the list interested parties contact us at NWADemo@AlectraUtilities.com or 1-844-210-2131 today.  

Eligible Resources and Capacity Limit

NWA Icons

Capacity of  100 - 3,000 kW, available for 4 consecutive hours.

Energy assets must be fully constructed and operational by March 31, 2022 to participate in the 2021 Capacity Auction.  Facilities with an existing electricity contract or electricity retailer, or permitted resources as a fuel source such as Coal/Diesel, do not qualify for this demonstration.

Why York Region? Based on the IESO Integrated Resource Plan electricity demand in York Region is forecast to outpace system capability within the next 10 years, making this an ideal spot for the first local market demonstration.

Meet the 2020 Winning Auction Participants

Successful participants and commitment of energy capacity is as follows: 

York Region Participant

 Local Capacity Obligation (kW)

 Edgecom Energy Inc.

Markham District Energy Inc.

EnergyHub Canada ULC

 Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc.

GC Project LP

Tyco Poly Inc.

NRG Curtailment Solutions Canada, Inc.

“This new program has made our participation as an aggregator much easier and will allow for more participants to supply electricity resources into the grid in the future,” said Behdad Bahrami, Founder/CEO, Edgecom Energy. “The NWA pilot is an all-around win for competitiveness in Ontario and we are excited to help our clients provide their DERs into the Alectra grid.”

“We are thrilled to be part of this new local market,” said Atal Walia, Director of Operations at Tyco Poly Inc. “It gives us the opportunity to bring forward a new revenue stream and help manage growing local energy needs.”

Local Market Milestones & Requirements

The below outlines the main milestones and requirements of the 2020 Auction and 2021 commitment Period.  (Details of the 2021 Auction and 2022 Commitment period coming summer of 2021.)  

Initial Registration Period


Sept. 23 – Oct. 28, 2020

Registration Requirements

Register the organization and DERs available for participation.

Local Capacity Auction

Auction Deposit

Nov. 10, 2020
Equal to $2/kW multiplied by the eligible DER capacity.

Offer Window

Nov. 18-19, 2020
Submit your capacity offer for each eligible DER.  (Quantity offered cannot exceed eligible capacity.  Price must stay within maximum capacity price).

Forward Period

Contract Execution

Dec. 2, 2020 – Jan. 6, 2021
Return your signed contract by Jan. 6th. 

Supplemental Registration

Finalize registration of DER(s) by March 31, 2021.  Full details required at this stage.

Bid/Offer Settings

You can start setting up your daily/hourly energy bid/offer as of April 14, 2021, in preparation for the energy auction starting May 1.

Commitment Period, Local Energy Auction

Commitment Period

May 1 – Oct. 31, 2021

 Commitment Hours

07:00 – 21:00 EST, Mon-Fri.

Activation Notification

"Standby Notice" warning provided prior to 07:00 EST, dispatch activation notice provided no later than 2 hours in advance of activation. Test activations will receive a 1-day notice. 

Number of Activations

Up to 10 activations and 2 test activations.

Activation Length

Up to 4 hours

How Much can Participants Earn?

Participants earn revenue by committing to be available to provide energy when it’s needed and then reducing peaks when demand is high.

Revenue is earned from both a monthly availability payment in return for agreeing to commit their energy capacity and a Distribution Locational Marginal Price payment for delivering energy or reducing consumption over the course of the commitment period. A test activation payment will also be paid to contracted DERs that successfully complete their test activation.

2021 Energy Market Potential

The 2020 capacity auction was highly competitive with 34 megawatts (MW) of capacity registered to meet a target of 10 MW.  This produced a competitive clearing price of $0.64/kilowatt-day.  At this clearing price, a 1MW participant could earn up to $160,000. (Calculated using the clearing price of $0.64/kW-day and Energy Price of $2/kW, for 10 activation events, four hours each, and one test activation.)

Resources & Platform Tutorials for Participants

Visit YRDemo.com to update your profile and energy bids/offers.   

To learn more contact us at 1-844-210-2131 or email NWADemo@AlectraUtilities.com

NWA Banner

Is your location?