Independent Electricity System Operator - Grid Innovation Fund - Indoor Agriculture Call


Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)


Grid Innovation Fund - Indoor Agriculture Call

For More Information

Full program details and guidelines are available at: 2020 Call for Proposals


The indoor agriculture sector is one of the fasted growing sources of load in the Province of Ontario. IESO is aware of over 1300 MW of greenhouse load seeking to connect in Ontario by 2025. The IESO, through its Grid Innovation Fund, a vehicle to provide financial support to innovative projects with significant potential to enable ratepayer cost savings, is issuing a call for novel projects focused on reducing electricity demand from indoor agriculture during local and bulk system peak periods.

Special consideration will be provided for projects located in areas with identified or anticipated electricity infrastructure challenges related to indoor agriculture expansion.

High-level objectives of this targeted call are:

  • Accelerate the adoption of cost-effective demand-side solutions by greenhouse growers
  • Demonstrate the efficacy of energy management solutions to address local
  • Transmission & Distribution infrastructure capacity needs
  • Explore unknowns in operationalization of demand side options and impact to greenhouse productivity


Applicant Eligibility

Proposals are welcomed from non-profit and for- profit incorporated entities, including but not limited to local distribution companies (LDCs), technology companies, consulting firms, industry associations, educational institutions, and public sector organizations. 

Project Type Eligibility

Projects must fall into an approved Project Type. The seven approved Project Types and associated outcomes are included below:

  • Program - Testing of a new program or specific program element, resulting in the creation of a new program, a new program element or the revision of an existing program. The project must test the concept in a real-world environment and involve suitable partners. To determine cost-effectiveness, projects must have an evaluation, measurement and verification component. 
  • Tool​ - Development and assessment of a new energy management tool or approach (e.g., policy, benchmarking solution, mapping technology) to establish feasibility and broader potential​
  • Training Program - Pilot of a targeted training program designed to close a skills gap.​
  • Community of Practice - Formation of a self-sustaining network designed to facilitate sharing of information and best practices to target groups. ​
  • Strategic Research -  Research study investigating a project or program concept, or adoption barriers and mitigation strategies for innovative energy solutions. 
  • Emerging Technology Demonstration - Demonstration, measurement and verification of emerging technologies. The project must test a near-commercial technology in a real-world environment. Projects must have a measurement and verification component to determine cost effectiveness, electricity savings potential. Projects must have a minimum technology readiness level of 7 – prototype ready for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment​
  • Strategic Opportunity - Large-scale piloting of strategically important technologies, services, practices, or program approaches that cannot be effectively piloted at a smaller scale.​

Category Eligibility

In addition to delivering a specific outcome, projects must also directly address at least one of six categories of action, specifically with regards to the indoor agriculture sector. Categories include:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Demand Response
  • Conservation Behavior
  • Load Reduction
  • Load Displacement
  • System Integration

Full details of all project types and categories can be found at 2020 Call for Proposals, in the Application Guideline document

Funding Availability

IESO will award up to $2.5M for approved projects as part of this targeted call.

Maximum Project Value

IESO will provide up to 75% of total project costs. Support for individual projects will range between $100,000 and $1M depending on project type. 

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

The maximum Grid Innovation Fund project length is 36 months


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Please submit a signed OR-5 form and Full Application to at least two weeks prior to the external deadline to IESO

External Deadline

Applicants should submit their completed proposal template and supporting documents to with the words “Indoor Agriculture Targeted Call” in the subject line. 

How to Apply

After reviewing the Application Guideline, submit a completed proposal template, Appendix A template (Budget and Work Plan), and requested supporting documents (e.g. Letters of Support, project team CVs, etc.) to with the words “Indoor Agriculture Targeted Call” in the subject line.


For Questions, please contact

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Grid Innovation Fund team via email ( to discuss their project prior to completing a submission to the fund. 

Office of Research

Gregor Lawson, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Office of Research Services
519-824-4120 x54807

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