OFA provided comments to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) recommending fair and practical considerations aimed to support rural and farming communities impacted by utility-scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) installations. OFA hopes energy regulators will obligate project proponents to install and maintain appropriate safety systems, to conform with Fire, Building, Product and System Design Codes and Standards, and to provide supports for local fire services. In addition, regulators should design an approval mechanism for environmental containment and oversight, increase minimum setback distances from battery containers to people, animals and buildings, and ensure they prioritize the siting of all energy infrastructure on commercial and industrial land and not allow siting on Canada Land Class 1 through 4 or Specialty Crop Lands.
While it is critical that we begin the work now to prepare for higher electricity demand over the next twenty years, energy regulators must proceed carefully to ensure our critical food systems are not compromised to reach electrification goals. Considering the scale of Ontario’s clean electricity capacity buildout, in both the transmission and distribution systems, and with much of this infrastructure decentralized in rural areas, OFA hopes regulators adopt these recommendations and ensure the safe, fair and reasonable buildout of energy assets in Ontario.
Previous related OFA submissions: