$14.6 million investment to study how TTC subways, electric buses and batteries can meet growing electricity needs

IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund supports new solutions that strengthen the reliability, sustainability and affordability of power systems

TORONTO, April 22, 2022 /CNW/ – Subways and electric buses are no longer just a means of getting from A to B, but can also actively contribute to the reliability of the power grid with battery storage. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) invests $4.3 millionand the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), City of Toronto and invest in PowerON $10.3 million in two projects investigating innovative ways in which large batteries can help subways and electric buses reduce peak loads and stress on the electricity system.

The IESO predicts this electrification of Ontario’s The transport sector is expected to grow by an average of 20 percent per year for the foreseeable future. For local utilities and IESO, this presents a challenge to meet the increasing demand for electricity – as well as the opportunity to leverage new technologies to create dynamic solutions to meet long-term energy needs.

Batteries can store energy during periods of low demand and then deliver it during peak periods, reducing electricity costs and potentially delaying grid infrastructure upgrades. IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund invests in pilot projects like this so that local forms of supply can contribute to the resilience, sustainability and affordability of the electricity grid.

Findings from the projects announced today have the potential to advance electrification of transport, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support local community sustainability goals. TTC already has the largest fleet of battery electric buses North Americaand will convict its fleet in accordance with that City of Toronto TransformTO goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

The two projects in today’s announcement are:

  • Supplementing electric buses with battery storage – PowerON will use an intelligent charge management system and batteries to minimize how much the battery electric buses charge from the grid at peak times at TTC’s Birchmount and Malvern garages. The batteries will also demonstrate how they can provide grid services such as energy, operational reserve and capacity for the provincial electricity market. Partners: PowerON Energy Solutions LP, Toronto Transit Commission, City of Toronto Environment and Energy Department.

  • Maximizing regenerative braking in TTC subways – The pilot project will store excess energy from the metro system’s existing regenerative braking system for later use. Currently, TTC trains use the regenerative braking system to capture some of the kinetic energy generated during braking and transfer that energy to other trains that use it to accelerate. The energy storage system will allow the TTC to harness energy that would otherwise be burned as heat. Partners: Toronto Transit Commission, City of Toronto Environment and Energy Department, PowerON.

Since its inception in 2005, IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund has supported more than 260 projects, adopting innovative ideas from the sector that can improve the reliability, sustainability and resilience of the province’s power system. An independent analysis of 27 previous innovation projects showed that more widespread adoption of these technologies across the province could reduce system and customer costs by half a billion dollars.


“There is so much potential for public transport systems to not only use electricity to reduce emissions, but also to contribute to the electricity grid Ontario’s With electricity demand forecast to increase year on year, IESO is looking at ways to tap into these local resources to help keep the local and provincial grid reliable and sustainable.”

Lesley GallingerPresident and CEO of the independent power grid operator

“Meeting the energy challenges of tomorrow requires innovative, solution-oriented thinking today. As our government digs shovels into the ground to build new subways and other forms of public transportation, these projects will utilize the existing infrastructure at the TTC, which will increase efficiency and deliver power to the broader ontario power grid and create savings for tariff payers.”

Death Smith, ontario Minister of Energy

“By leveraging our city’s existing transit infrastructure to transform how electricity is stored, managed and distributed, we are creating a power system in ontario that is clean, affordable, reliable and sustainable. We’ll build them together ontario of tomorrow right here, right now.”

Stan ChoOntario Deputy Secretary of Transportation

“As we aim to drive electrification of all vehicles to meet our climate goals, these projects will help us make the TTC transportation system more sustainable and efficient, and most importantly, they will contribute to a cleaner, greener city. The only way forward to prioritizing climate action and reducing our carbon footprint is to work with all levels of government on projects like these two new ones. Many thanks to IESO for contributing to this important work and for ensuring this Toronto remains a resilient city.”

– Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto

“By partnering with IESO, TTC is pursuing new and innovative approaches to build resilience and sustainability across our transit network. These projects use TTC plants and new technologies to reduce peak energy demand and capture excess energy, allowing the TTC to operate efficiently while also giving back to the grid.”

– Councilor Jaye Robinson, Chairman of the Toronto Transit Commission

Ontario’s The clean power system is perfectly positioned to decarbonize transportation and other higher-emitting sectors to help meet climate change goals. This project is a great example of how PowerON’s innovative systems can not only contribute to green transit, but also provide added value and savings ontario interest payer.”

Keegan TullyManaging Director of PowerON

About the independent power grid operator

The IESO works Ontario’s Power grid 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure Ontario residents have a reliable and affordable power source whenever and wherever they need it. It works with industry partners and engages with communities everywhere ontario to plan and prepare for the province’s power needs now and in the future.

About PowerON energy solutions

PowerON minimizes the risk of electrifying fleets like TTC’s buses by taking over the construction and operation of the charging infrastructure, greatly simplifying the process and allowing organizations like TTC to focus on their core business. PowerON’s solution reduces electrification costs and time while increasing charging reliability for fleets.

above City of Toronto

Toronto is canada largest city, fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global center for business, finance, arts and culture and is regularly ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world.

SOURCE Independent power grid operator



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