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Ontario Launches $9.5 Million Grid Innovation Fund to Enhance Electricity System Efficiency

In a bid to propel Ontario’s electricity grid into the future, the provincial government has announced the launch of a new round of the Grid Innovation Fund. With a substantial investment of $9.5 million, the program aims to bolster projects aimed at making Ontario’s electricity system more efficient, particularly in the domains of transportation and heating/cooling.

The focus of this year’s funding is particularly noteworthy, as it zeroes in on sectors witnessing a surge in electricity demand, driven primarily by the increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and electric heating systems across the province.

Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, emphasized the significance of leveraging new technologies to enhance grid efficiency, stating, “As the electrification of transportation, industry, and heating changes the way Ontario’s electricity system operates, we’re leveraging new technologies to make our grid more efficient.”

Under the proposed initiatives, projects pertaining to electric vehicles aim to demonstrate the potential for EVs to not only consume electricity but also to contribute to grid flexibility by injecting power back during peak demand periods. Similarly, initiatives targeting heating and cooling systems seek to utilize thermal storage and innovative technologies to manage demand effectively while curbing emissions.

Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), highlighted the transformative potential of such initiatives, stating, “The number of electric vehicles and heat pumps are growing across the province, which presents an opportunity to tap into these technologies and allow Ontarians to help contribute to the reliability, affordability, and sustainability of our grid.”

The Grid Innovation Fund is a pivotal component of the government’s broader strategic plan, “Powering Ontario’s Growth,” which outlines actions aimed at meeting rising electricity demand while fostering economic growth and job creation. The plan includes advancing nuclear energy, competitive procurements for non-emitting resources, investments in new transmission infrastructure, and reducing demand through energy efficiency programs.

Administered by the IESO, the Grid Innovation Fund will begin accepting applications for funding in May 2024. The initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration, with the Ontario Energy Board’s Innovation Sandbox providing guidance to project proponents.


The launch of Ontario’s Grid Innovation Fund underscores the province’s commitment to embracing technological advancements to meet the evolving energy needs of its residents and industries. By targeting key sectors experiencing surges in electricity demand, such as transportation and heating/cooling, the initiative not only aims to enhance grid efficiency but also supports broader sustainability goals. The proactive approach taken by the government, coupled with strategic investments and partnerships, sets a promising trajectory for Ontario’s energy future.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at

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