Think Energy

Summer Rewind: Decarbonizing Ontario’s electricity grid with the IESO

Jul 8, 2024

Summer rewind: As demand for electricity increases, the need to
diversify supply also rises. In Episode 120 of thinkenergy, Lesley
Gallinger, CEO of Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator
(IESO), unpacks what’s driving the transformation of the province’s
power system, the potential opportunities, and the obstacles standing in
the way. From hydrogen innovation to resource procurement, listen in to
learn how the IESO is helping Ontario navigate to a cleaner, reliable,
and affordable energy future.


Related links:
● Lesley Gallinger on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/lesley-gallinger-784a194/
● Lesley Gallinger on Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/lmgallinger
● IESO website: https://www.ieso.ca/
● Hydrogen Innovation Fund:
https://www.ieso.ca/en/Get-Involved/Innovation/Hydrogen-Innov
ation-Fund/Overview

● Powering Ontario’s Growth report:
https://www.ontario.ca/page/powering-ontarios-growth
● Trevor Freeman on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevor-freeman-8b612114/


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Transcript:

Trevor Freeman: Everyone, well, it's officially summer. And it's been about four months since I took over the mic as the host of the think energy podcast, which is kind of hard to believe. It's been really fun having great conversations with great people in the energy sector. I now mostly know my way around the recording equipments and the software, and really feel like we're kind of just getting started and looking forward to where we go from here. That said, the think energy team is taking a break to recharge over the next few months, but also to plan our content for the fall. So, stay tuned for some great episodes in the fall. Not to worry though, we still have our summer rewind to keep you engaged. This is where we pick out some of the great past episodes that we've done and repost them. So, whether you're lucky enough to be sitting on a dock or going on a road trip, or if you're just keeping up with your commute through the summer, it's a great time to revisit our past content. You will hear past episodes from my predecessor and the host chair Dan second, as well as a couple of mine from the past few months. And you're welcome to check out your own favorite past episodes as well wherever you get your podcasts. We hope you have an amazing summer and we'll be back with new content in September. And until then, happy listening.

This is Think Energy, the podcast that helps you better understand the fast changing world of energy through conversations with game changers, industry leaders and influencers. So join me, Dan Seguin, as I explore both traditional and unconventional facets of the energy industry. Hey everyone, welcome back. In 1902 electrical pioneers met for the first time in Berlin now Kitchener, Ontario to discuss wiring Ontario's customers together to form a provincial electricity grid. Ontario's electricity grid, like all grids around the world was designed as a one way street, to generate, transmit, and deliver electricity to customers. It's no secret that nowadays new technologies are shaking up the way we produce and use electricity. Back then, these pioneers likely couldn't have imagined that the electricity grid would become a two way interactive system capable of supporting variable supply from renewable energy or accommodating electric vehicles, energy storage, home generation, and a host of other innovations. As the demand for electricity grows, Ontario's supply is diversifying, evolving and transforming at a speed we haven't seen in this industry. One thing is for certain, it's going to be one electrifying ride. On today's show, we're diving into the heart of Ontario's power system and shining a light on the organization that manages the province electricity sector. As we mentioned before, we are at the forefront of a power revolution. Of course, we need someone driving the ship to provide guidance on how Ontario's power system adopts a cleaner and more interactive machine. So here's today's big question. What is driving the transformation of Ontario's power system? And what are the potential opportunities and challenges? Joining us today is Lesley Gallinger, president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator. Under her leadership, the IESO oversees the safe and reliable operation of Ontario's bulk electricity system, ensuring affordable electricity is available when and where people need it. Lesley, so great to have you join us today. Now, your knowledge and experience of the electricity industry is extensive. Can you talk to us a bit about what drew you to a career in energy sector? And what led you to your current role?

_____________________________________________

Lesley Gallinger:

Well, thank you for that, Dan. It's great to be here, and I have spent the majority of my career in the electricity sector after spending the first third in a different sector. I certainly benefited from working all across North America and in Europe, for some very sophisticated multinational organizations with very talented team members. However, I always had this interest in electricity. And just for a funny story, my first grade school in Ontario was Sir Adam Beck, so I wonder if that was a bit of foreshadowing. But in reality, I had friends and colleagues in the sector who spoke quite passionately about the impact they were making with the work they were doing. And I was attracted to that. And sure I had some skills that I thought would be transferable. And the role that I have now embodies all of that, as we at the IESO are helping inform and execute on energy policy on electricity policy, specifically that will support Ontarians as we transition to an electrified and decarbonized future. I honestly couldn't imagine a better role to be in at this moment.

Daniel Seguin:

At a high level Lesley, what is the Independent Electricity System Operator and what is it responsible for with respect to Ontario's power system?

Lesley Gallinger:

The IESO works at the heart of Ontario's electricity system, ensuring that electricity is available where and when it is needed. We monitor Ontario's demand in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, balancing supply and demand and directing the flow of electricity across the provinces transmission lines. We also oversee the electricity market, which includes putting mechanisms in place to increase competition and ensure cost effective supply. And finally, we also plan the electricity system by working with indigenous communities, with municipalities and stakeholders to forecast demand and secure enough supply to meet Ontario's needs as far as 20 years out.

Daniel Seguin:

Okay, very interesting. Finally, looking forward to your answer on this one here. Can you walk us through how you oversee and manage the electricity systems such as determining the type of supply required to meet demand for electricity in the province? In the short, medium, and long term?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, thanks that that is a good and big meaty question. So we've spoken a lot about where we are now. So after having years of surplus electricity, Ontario is entering a period of growing electricity needs and demand is expected to increase by an average of 2% annually over the next two decades due to electrification and economic growth in various sectors, including residential, agricultural, and mining. One way that the IESO helps meet these growing needs is by securing new supply. In the short term, we have the annual capacity auction that we conduct that allows existing resources to compete. This is cost effective and allows the IESO to adapt to changing supply and demand conditions on a year by year basis. We also look at three to five year commitments for other resources, this timeframe provides more certainty while ensuring it doesn't get locked into commitments that no longer reflect those changing needs of electrification. And finally, in the long term, we look 20 years out to secure resources that require significant upfront investments in order to give suppliers the confidence they need to make those investments. So it's a bit of a layer cake with those three timeframes.

Daniel Seguin:

Great segway here. Okay. What do you see as the IESOs role in the future planning of the evolving electricity grid and your role in supporting the changing energy needs of the decarbonized economy?

Lesley Gallinger:

As Ontario's electricity system planner, we certainly have the long view. Our role is to ensure that Ontario's current and future energy needs are met both reliably and affordably. Our corporate strategy calls out three main ways in which we do this we ensure system reliability while supporting cost effectiveness, we're driving business transformation within the IESO and also driving and guiding the sector's future by working closely with indigenous communities, municipalities and stakeholders. On the decarbonisation front, our main role is to enable technologies that will help us decarbonize. There's lots of emerging energy resources that can help us build a zero emissions electricity grid and the IESO ensures that these resources can all participate in Ontario's electricity system and markets. We're procuring new resources under our flexible resource adequacy framework. We recently announced the procurement of over 800 megawatts of energy storage, which is the largest energy procurement energy storage procurement in Canada to date, that combined with 250 megawatts of the Oneida battery storage project, the IESO, with these projects, is taking steps to integrate this valuable and flexible resource. And in last December's publication of pathways to decarbonisation, we explored ways in which Ontario can move forward to an emissions-free electricity system. The Ministry of Energy consulted on our pathways report, and recently on July 10, very recently, announced a series of actions in its report powering Ontario's growth. And those actions include collaborating with Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation on pre development work to to consider potential new nuclear generation reporting back on the design of our second long term procurement, which will acquire new non-emitting resources supporting a Ministry of Energy consultation on a post 2024 Conservation Demand Management Framework and assessing additional transmission needs to support new and growing generation and demand in the province. So quite a list of workforce ahead that we're very excited to undertake. And as our system operator for the province, we're certainly at the center of all of this. There'll be a continuing need for coordination with the broader electricity sector in order to plan an orderly transition to a decarbonize grid, there will also be an increased need to revisit how we plan the electricity system. The IESO is looking forward to working with the electrification and energy transition panel to identify ways to adapt and evolve existing frameworks in order to increase transparency and ensure communities and stakeholders are more aware of what we're doing and why. This work, the work of the EETP also takes a broader economy wide view, which reflects how the electricity sector is becoming increasingly dependent on other sectors like industry and transportation. So you know, in short, a lot of work and some very exciting work ahead.

Daniel Seguin:

Follow up question here for you. Now, some Ontarians are concerned about moving to variable renewable energy sources like wind and solar, while others are concerned about continuing use of natural gas. What have you uncovered in your work about these issues? And what would you like residents of Ontario to know?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah great question Dan, every type of generation has its own strengths and drawbacks based on its unique attributes, which is why Ontario maintains a diverse supply mix that can adapt to changing system conditions quickly. Renewables such as wind and solar are not emitting when they generate electricity, but they're also intermittent, meaning how much electricity they produce can change rapidly in response to weather conditions. And to help with this, the IESO is looking into hybrid facilities that combine renewables with energy storage. By 2026 we'll also have about 1300 megawatts of energy storage on the grid, which will help more efficiently integrate renewables. We're also going to start designing our second long term procurement which will focus on acquiring non-emitting resources and we'll be engaging on this with stakeholders and communities as we go. Natural gas, for example, has the main advantage that it can respond quickly to change in demand and system conditions, making it an important resource for us as we seek to maintain reliability. Ontario's demand fluctuates constantly throughout the day, and having access to natural gas can help us respond to sudden changes and maintain a balance across the system. It's also very important to recognize and something I'd like to emphasize for your listeners that overall emissions from Ontario's electricity sector are extremely low, the sector accounts for about 3% of the provinces total emissions. While this may increase slightly in the future, the continued existence of natural gas on the grid is an important resource to help us transition and it'll enable the near term electrification of other sectors which in total will drive down Ontario's emissions.

Daniel Seguin:

Okay Lesley, how will the efficiency upgrades at existing natural gas facilities contribute to meeting the growing demand? And what is the plan for these facilities as emerging technologies mature and the reliance on natural gas decreases?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yes, and as I mentioned in my earlier remarks, Ontario's definitely entering a period of increased demand and so with many existing contracts expiring, and nuclear plants undergoing refurbishment or scheduled to be decommissioned, coupled with increasing electrification of other sectors, the province is going to need more power in the immediate future and the natural gas expansions can help with this. In our pathways to decarbonisation report, we looked at the questions the minister posed to us, we looked at a moratorium scenario that would phase out natural gas over time as newer non-emitting resources come online, and in the report we concluded that we could be less reliant on natural gas in Ontario by the year 2035 and completely phased out by 2050. Efforts were made to align this report with clean electricity regulations, and that recognizes that the contribution of natural gas may be restricted over time, but for the meantime, we have you know, the important transitional resource needs, the natural gas fulfills.


Daniel Seguin:

Okay. In May of 2023, the IESO announced that it was moving forward with the largest procurement of energy storage in Canada. What can you tell us about these storage projects and their benefits?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, this was a very exciting announcement for us the energy storage projects we announced in May were for grid connected battery storage systems, which will be an important step towards the transition to a non-emitting supply mix, and will support grid reliability. The procurement was the culmination of the work we've done over the last several years to understand the potential of battery storage to provide supply and reliability services to the grid. The biggest advantage of energy storage is that it can charge during off peak hours when the provincial electricity demand is low and then inject energy back into the grid during peaks when demand is high, which makes it very flexible and a resource that can help us optimize the efficiency of other resource types. And we also see battery storage as a key enabler of decarbonisation. It will help us to integrate more renewables such as wind and solar onto the system, but also get more out of our current nuclear and hydro fleet. By charging during these off peak hours energy storage can use up any surplus green power from Ontario's existing nuclear and hydro facilities.

Daniel Seguin:

Now, how does this procurement help ensure system reliability during nuclear refurbishment and support the overall energy transformation in Ontario,

Lesley Gallinger:

The procurement will help with the transition away from natural gas and it's certainly about maintaining reliability at a time when multiple refurbishments are underway. In particular, the Pickering generating station is scheduled to go out of service mid decade and so right around that time, those energy storage projects are expected to be online. Certainly the timelines of the procurements were aligned understanding what the system conditions would be at that time,
Lesley, I'd like to dig into your fascinating pathway to decarbonisation report just a bit. Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity system in North America, contributing only 3% to the provinces greenhouse gas emissions, that doesn't sound like a lot. So why is it important to eliminate the remaining 3% of emissions from the grid?
Yeah, another another really interesting question and the subject of a lot of conversations we've been having we know that electricity use is going to increase in the coming years driven by an economic growth and electrification across other sectors. Transportation is becoming increasingly electrified as our industrial processes such as steel smelting, and as the pace of electrification speeds up the efforts and investments being made by businesses and households to electrify will increase society's reliance on electricity as a fuel and electricity is only as clean as the resources we use to make it. So that 3%, if we don't tackle that remaining 3%, we will see an increased reliance on less clean generating sources. I mean tackling climate change is certainly an economy wide effort and clean electricity is a fundamental enabler of those climate change solutions.

Daniel Seguin:

Thanks for that, Lesley. Now, I have a follow up question for you. The IESO presents two scenarios to address decarbonisation, what are they and what key assumptions and drivers were discovered with your analysis?

Lesley Gallinger:

So our first scenario was the moratorium scenario where the IESO so looked at restricting the procurement of additional natural gas. And this assessment showed that a moratorium would be feasible beginning in 2027, and that Ontario could be less reliant on natural gas by 2035. At that point, the system would not require additional emitting generation to ensure reliability provided that other forms of non-emitting supply could be added to the system in time to keep pace with demand growth. The second scenario is our pathways to decarbonisation scenario, this scenario assumed aggressive electrification of the transportation and industrial sectors, and that attaining a completely decarbonized grid would be possible by 2050, while balancing reliability and costs, so you can see a lot of variables came to play in that second scenario.

Daniel Seguin:

Perfect. Thanks, Lesley. Now, what are your thoughts on where Canada stands on its road to meet the 2035 and 2050 targets? 

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, I think that's, you know, that's what we're all looking towards and bridging the work of today with the needs of a futurized decarbonized world will be challenging and complex, a collaborative approach across all sectors of the economy will certainly be necessary to achieve this. From Ontario's perspective, we're in a strong starting position, our electricity system is already close to 90% emissions free, most of the generation coming from Hydro and Nuclear resources. And in our pathways report, we identify that for Ontario, at least, a moratorium on natural gas could be possible by 2035, and a fully decarbonized electricity system by 2050 provided that new non-emitting supplies and surfaces online. So we certainly had those goals in mind for Ontario as we created that pathway so decarbonisation work.

Daniel Seguin:

Now Lesley, in your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing the electricity industry in Canada today? And what are the biggest opportunities?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, I anchor on the word orderly because I've used it a lot. The biggest challenge I see is managing the significant transformation that's underway. And doing it in an orderly fashion, electrification is requiring the electricity system to expand and produce more power, while decarbonisation puts pressure on the grid to rely more heavily on low carbon resources, many of which are still in their early days of development. Across the country. Every province is faced with similar challenges. The recently formed Canadian Electricity Advisory Council will provide advice to the Minister of natural resources on ways to accelerate investment and promote sustainable, affordable, reliable electricity systems. And I have the privilege of being on this panel. It's exciting work with colleagues from across the country, many of whom come from provinces in very different stages of decarbonisation. We're sharing best practices and all working towards similar goals. For Ontario, we're entering a period of emerging electricity system needs starting in the 2020s. These electricity and energy capacity needs will continue through to 2040. So demand is expected to increase at nearly 2% per year as I mentioned earlier. All of this presents incredible opportunities for Ontario's communities, new technologies are creating economic growth opportunities and setting the stage for Ontario to build a highly skilled workforce to push to decarbonize will have significant impacts on economy wide emissions reductions, and building the electricity grid of the future also presents opportunities to collaborate and strengthen relationships with indigenous communities and municipalities. Back to my first comment, the pace of this change is a vital consideration. We need to strike the right balance between decarbonizing the grid, while it's still ensuring electricity and energy remain reliable and affordable. If we go too fast, the cost may impede electrification, if we go too slow, we're not going to have the supply available as demand increases. So it really is about thinking this through orderly and it's an all hands on deck challenge.

Daniel Seguin:

Okay, moving along here, maybe you could walk us through some of the scope for what's required to decarbonize Ontario's electricity system. What does an achievable pathway to net zero look like?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, that's the work of the IESO on a regular basis. I mean, I can't underscore my last point enough, which is that it's vital that the transition occurs in an orderly manner, we absolutely need to act but we need to act in a carefully managed way that balances decarbonisation with reliability and affordability. Large infrastructure such as hydroelectric plants and nuclear facilities and transmission lines can take 15-10 years, sometimes more to build, significant investments in capital and materials and labor will be required to build out a fully decarbonized system. And one study I read estimated that 14,000 strong labor force participants, that are that are currently working on our electricity infrastructure would need to increase by a factor of six. So you know, that's a huge investment in training and getting people ready to build all the things we need to build. Indigenous communities and municipalities also have a voice in how and where new infrastructure is located. So meaningful and transparent discussions about siting and land use will be needed. And while many technologies will be needed to decarbonize the grid already known, some are not known and not commercialized yet. And so those are low carbon fuels small modular reactors still in development. At this point, it'll be important for Ontario and for Canada to continue to invest in these and other other innovations as well in supporting the pathway. We need energy plans to be approved and new infrastructure needs to be planned, permitted and cited. Regulatory and approval processes such as the environmental impact assessments need to be resourced, appropriately and streamlined to enable all of these builds to happen. We also need the supporting transmission infrastructure to be planned and built on on similar timelines as demand growth and as new supply comes online and underlying all of that we need to carefully manage the costs to ensure the actual impact on total energy costs is affordable, and that they do not diverge significantly, Ontario from those of our neighbors in Manitoba and Quebec and in the US. So lots of again, lots of facets, but work that can be itemized now and definitely plan forward.

Daniel Seguin:

Cool. What are some of IESO's, no regret actions that can be taken to help meet those growing demands?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, I think the minister anchored on some of those in his Powering Ontario's Growth report, Ontario can certainly continue to acquire new non-emitting resources and incentivize energy efficiency through our Save on Energy programs. sector partners can also begin planning and citing for new potential projects, partnerships between municipal, provincial and federal governments will also be key and we need to continue to develop those relationships now, while we're also revisiting the regulatory frameworks that may hinder and prevent progress. Last but certainly not least, we must track our progress in an open and transparent way. There's no one way we can say decarbonisation happens. It's a gradual change that will take place over many years, and will require lots of little steps to make progress. And certainly the government's recent response to our reports puts in motion some of those actions including asking us at the IESO to explore opportunities to enable future generation in northern Ontario and reducing the reliance on natural gas generation in the GTA. The ministry has also asked the IESO to begin consultations on a competitive transmitter selection framework for future lines with electricity supply expected to continue to grow over the next 20 to 30 years, you know, that's what we're doing now, you know, in terms of planning, but we're also we're also working to secure new capacity and leveraging our existing assets. So that is through our very thorough resource adequacy framework, which was put in place that outlines our strategy to get that new supply in the short, medium and long term. A key piece of this is competitive procurements and the processes that have been used to date including the annual capacity auction, and but you know, there's also work being done that we're leveraging by our energy efficiency and demand response programs that that get back to what individuals and what individual businesses can do to support decarbonisation. We've got market renewal going on. We've got medium and long term procurements. So lots of action underway. All of them no regret that can that can be continued to to meet this demand. 

Daniel Seguin:

Now Lesley, with electricity supply expected to grow the next 20 to 30 years, what is the IESO doing to secure new capacity? And how is it leveraging existing assets?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, great question. So in terms of generating new supply or acquiring new supply, that's really our resource adequacy framework. It outlines, you know, the work we're doing both in the short, medium and long term to competitively procure new resources. We've recently done the procurements for batteries and for natural gas, upgrades and expansions. We'll be launching our next procurement very shortly and designing the one after that. So it's that layer cake approach that I mentioned. We've also, you know, can can anchor back in the strides we've taken in the current procurements to secure we've had great resources come to bear and participate in those procurements, so we're very hopeful that future procurements will also be very successful

Daniel Seguin:

Now hoping you can help demystify this next one for our listeners. What is the Hydrogen Energy fund? What is special about hydrogen, and how do you think it will support Ontario's reliability needs and decarbonisation?

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, it is, it is a new word and a new way of thinking for for a lot of folks. So let me dig into that. But the goal of our hydrogen Innovation Fund is to investigate, evaluate and demonstrate how low carbon hydrogen technologies could be integrated into the grid. The new program will enable the IESO to test the ability of hydrogen to support grid reliability and affordability, but also the role it can play in broader decarbonisation. Hydrogen has the potential to reduce electricity sector emissions, but it could also be used as a replacement fuel in other more fossil fuel intensive industries such as transportation.  From the electricity sector's perspective, hydrogen has the potential to provide several essential services, it can smooth the output from renewable resources such as wind and solar, it can be blended into natural gas to reduce total emissions and could be used to offer several services such as peaking generation, grid efficiency and storage. But all that being said, it's not an ultimate solution. While hydrogen can be used to generate electricity producing it also requires electricity. So the integration of hydrogen like all new resources will require a balanced approach, one that can make more efficient use of our existing electricity system assets which the Hydrogen Innovation Fund will help with the interest in the fund has been very high. The IESO has received more than 25 applications. The projects are in flight now are undergoing review right now. And we should be in a position to announce the successful projects in September.

Daniel Seguin:

Lesley. Let's now look globally, what are other countries doing right, that Canada should consider emulating or even adopting? 

Lesley Gallinger:

Yeah, I think I think this is, you know, very important. We very much focused on on Canada or in you know, in our case, Ontario for answers. And the IESO is just one of many electricity system operators worldwide. And I certainly am always keeping an eye on what other countries are doing. However, every jurisdiction has unique circumstances, which include laws, regulations, geography and politics that can sometimes make comparisons difficult. In North America, specifically, Ontario is a leader in many ways and the pathways report is a very well thought out approach. And so I think that's an area of interests that others have looked to us, that, coupled with our experience of phasing out coal fired generation, we're in a good position really to set examples for other jurisdictions looking to do similar work, and certainly in conversations with my IESO counterparts around North America, we're having robust discussions and learning from each other. 

Daniel Seguin:

Well, looking to the future of this industry and Canada's approach, what is giving you hope?

Lesley Gallinger:

Well, electricity is being looked at to support decarbonisation of other sectors and to support economic growth. That's hugely exciting to see the broad impact our industry is having on society. And as we engage with broader audience, the collaborative spirit across the sector, across the province and across the country, we're seeing... certainly gives me hope that Ontario can achieve decarbonisation through an orderly transition that balances that decarbonisation desire with reliability and affordability that are at the heart of our mandate. 

Daniel Seguin:

Lastly, Lesley, we always end our interviews with some rapid fire questions. Are you ready? 

Lesley Gallinger:

I'm ready. These were some of the more difficult questions, Dan. So I'm certainly ready for these. 

Daniel Seguin:

Okay. What are you reading right now? 

Lesley Gallinger:

So I just finished reading a really great book, how big things get done by bent flyvbjerg. And I think it's making the rounds really good book on large projects, and what we can learn from past failures in large projects, which will be important information for Ontario. 

Daniel Seguin:

Cool. Thanks for sharing. Now, what would you name your boat if you had one? Or do you have one? 

Lesley Gallinger:

Well, I have a very, very small boat, and I have yet to name it. But now now that you've got me thinking about that the wheels are turning. At the moment, it's new, so I'm just learning to park it. And when I say park, my my partner rolls his eyes and says "you mean dock" and I say no, Park. So next time we speak Dan, I'll have a name for the boat. 

Daniel Seguin:

Very good. Who is someone that you truly admire? 

Lesley Gallinger:

I think this was the most difficult question. There are people I admire in many aspects of my life. And I certainly wouldn't want to single out anyone or miss out on another person. But if I can be a bit general, given the role I'm in, I'd have to say it's the people who have the vision and foresight to see what's coming in the future and to plan and build those large projects and large infrastructure investments needed to get there. 

Daniel Seguin:

What is the closest thing to real magic that you've witnessed?

Lesley Gallinger:

Well, I am a lover of being outdoors, so perhaps for me it would be on the morning after a deep snowfall on the trails around my friend's property being the first snow shoes out on the trails on a Sunday morning. It's so quiet and so beautiful and it just feels magical. 

Daniel Seguin:

Now what has been the biggest challenge to you personally, since the pandemic began?

Lesley Gallinger:

I think for me, it would be helping my mom stay connected to to our community as as an elderly widow in her own home. It was a lot of one on one contact for me with her and making sure that I could connect her to a broader social network. So she didn't feel so isolated. And I think that was, you know, well worth the challenge. But it was a it was a challenge. 

Daniel Seguin:

Okay. We've all been watching just a little bit more TV or even Netflix lately. What is your favorite show? 

Lesley Gallinger:

So I spend very little time watching TV and when I do or, or Netflix, and when I do, it's mostly documentaries. I want to give a call out for a course I'm taking right now online, which is the closest thing to TV, I'm taking the University of Alberta's indigenous Canada course, which has been for me tremendous value in helping me understand indigenous worldviews and perspectives. But I did just watch a Netflix series on the Tour de France, which was a fascinating look at the teams and tactics as well as the effort that the athletes endure over that 21 days. 

Daniel Seguin:

Okay, cool. Now, lastly, what is exciting you about your industry right now? 

Lesley Gallinger:

Oh, my goodness. My teams have heard me use this before everything everywhere all at once. We have an opportunity as an industry right now to guide generational change and to have an impact on the environment and the economy far past our working lives. And that is incredibly exciting. 

Daniel Seguin:

Well, Lesley, this is it. We've reached the end of another episode of the Think Energy podcast. Thank you so much for joining us today. If our listeners wanted to learn more about you, or your organization, how can they connect? 

Lesley Gallinger:

Thank you. Yes. www.ieso.ca. Our website has a wealth of resources to help listeners become more energy literate. And to understand the work we do. And you can find me on LinkedIn at Lesley Gallinger. 

Daniel Seguin:

Again, thank you so much for joining us today. I hope you had a lot of fun. Cheers. 

Lesley Gallinger:

I did! The questions were tough, but very interesting and they certainly got to the heart of the work that we do at the IESO. Thank you, Dan, for for your interest in our work and for asking those questions that allow me to speak and highlight the work of the incredible professionals that work at the IESO.

Daniel Seguin: Thanks for tuning in for another episode of the Think Energy podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review wherever you're listening. And to find out more about today's guest or previous episodes, visit think energy podcast.com. I hope you will join us again next time as we spark even more conversations about the energy of tomorrow.