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Dispatchable Loads

Dispatchable loads are active participants in the Ontario electricity market. They are able to adjust the amount of energy they consume in response to ‘dispatch instructions’ from the IESO. Through a market bid, dispatchable loads select a price at which they no longer wish to consume a certain quantity of electricity.

If the Ontario energy price reaches a level that is greater than the price it is willing to pay, the dispatchable load must reduce consumption by the specified quantity. It should be noted, that when a dispatchable load is instructed by the control room to lower its consumption, it must comply with the request just like a dispatchable generator is required to do.

A significant benefit of becoming a dispatchable load is the ability to participate in the operating reserve (OR) market. Operating reserve is stand-by capacity that is kept online in case the power system suffers a severe strain and reserve power is required to be used as energy. By participating in the ten minute non-synchronized and thirty minute OR markets, dispatchable loads will receive stand-by payments for all megawatts they bid into the OR market. Even if the OR they offer is not activated, dispatchable loads continue to earn financial rewards from the OR market without making changes to their production schedule.

The IESO has compiled historical daily operating reserve prices since May 1, 2002.
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