April winds blow in high wind power costs

How badly were ratepayers hit? Millions upon millions for power produced out of phase with demand…

The Independent Electricity System Operator or IESO’s 18 month outlook report uses theirMethodology to Perform Long Term Assessments” to forecast what industrial wind turbines (IWT) are likely to generate as a percentage of their rated capacity.

The Methodology description follows.

“Monthly Wind Capacity Contribution (WCC) values are used to forecast the contribution from wind generators. WCC values in percentage of installed capacity are determined from actual historic median wind generator contribution over the last 10 years at the top 5 contiguous demand hours of the day for each winter and summer season, or shoulder period month. The top 5 contiguous demand hours are determined by the frequency of demand peak occurrences over the last 12 months.”

 The most recent 18-month outlook forecast wind production at an average (capacity 4,000 MW growing to 4,500 MW) over 12 months at 22.2%, which is well under the assumed 29-30 % capacity claimed by wind developers. For the month of April, IESO forecast wind generation at 33.2% of capacity.

April 2017 has now passed; my friend Scott Luft has posted the actual generation and estimated the curtailed generation produced by Ontario’s contracted IWT.   For April, IESO reported grid- and distribution-connected IWT generated almost 703,000 megawatt hours (MWh), or approximately 24% of their generation capacity. Scott also estimated they curtailed 521,000 MWh or 18 % of generation capacity.

So, actual generation could have been 42% of rated capacity as a result of Ontario’s very windy month of April 2017, but Ontario’s demand for power wasn’t sufficient to absorb it! April is typically a “shoulder” month with low demand, but at the same time it is a high generation month for wind turbines.

How badly did Ontario’s ratepayers get hit? In April, they paid the costs to pay wind developers – that doesn’t include the cost of back-up from gas plants or spilled or steamed off emissions-free hydro and nuclear or losses on exported surpluses.

Wind cost=22.9 cents per kWh

For the 703,000 MWh, the cost* of grid accepted generation at $140/MWh was $98.4 million and the cost of the “curtailed” generation at $120/MWh was $62.5 million making the total cost of wind for the month of April $160.9 million.   That translates to a cost per MWh of grid accepted wind of $229.50 or 22.9 cents per kWh.

Despite clear evidence that wind turbines fail to provide competitively priced electricity when it is actually needed, the Premier Wynne-led government continues to allow more capacity to be added instead of killing the Green Energy Act and cancelling contracts that have not commenced installation.

* Most wind contracts are priced at 13.5 cents/kilowatt (kWh) and the contracts include a cost of living (COL) annual increase to a maximum of 20% so the current cost is expected to be in the range of $140/MWh or 14cents/kWh.

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

9 thoughts on “April winds blow in high wind power costs”

  1. A record amount of wind power was curtailed in April for both transmission and distribution connected power, coming in at a whopping 37.9%. I noticed in one hour that it got as high as 93% of it being cutailed.


  2. “Nominally, every hour it generates 1000 kWh. Remember that a kWh is a unit of energy, while W (whether kW or MW) is a unit of power (or energy / time). So 1MW * 1hour = 1MWh, or 1000 kWh. ONE THOUSAND Kilowatts is equal to ONE megawatt.”

    1000 KWh = 1 MW
    Average monthly home uses 750 kwh….
    We are currently exporting 2104 MW per hour….

    2104 MW x 1000 = 2 104,000 kwh….
    2 104,000Kwh ÷ 750kwh /month = 2804

    2804 homes that could have had…. free HYDRO … for the month……
    In one hour we exported enough power to give 2804 ontario homes free hydro for ONE month… Not an hour …. Not a day… but ONE MONTH!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So in 24 hrs I’ve watched the gridwatch.ca app and we have exported between 1500 and 2200 MW per hour.. for argument sale let’s call it 1750 MW as an averageish…..
    1750 MW x 1000 x 24 hrs = 42 000 000 kWh
    42 000 000 kWh ÷ 750 kWh/ mo. = 56000…
    56000 ….. 🤔…..
    Fifty six thousand homes could have had FREE HYDRO for a month…. 56000… that’s only today folks….
    So in one month we could give FREE HYDRO to….
    1 736 000 homes in Ontario…
    One million seven hundred and thirty six thousand homes….
    I keep saying it because I’m literally not believing the numbers ….. but it works out…..
    1 736 000 homes in Ontario could receive FREE HYDRO for an entire month ….
    and we pay someone already to get rid of that extra hydro… and they get a massive discount too….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So, recently at a presentation at the University of Waterloo, Carmen Krogh spoke about the harm to health caused by industrial wind turbines having been sited too close to peoples’ homes in rural Ontario. She ended her presentation saying that after 10 years of research she would say that the key to making the necessary changes is ‘political will’.
    In your statement: “Despite clear evidence that wind turbines fail to provide competitively priced electricity when it is actually needed, the Premier Wynne-led government continues to allow more capacity to be added instead of killing the Green Energy Act and cancelling contracts that have not commenced installation.”
    I’m left thinking that if there was ‘political will’ to fix this situation, not only would contracts that have not commenced need to be cancelled but serious curtailment in order to reduce noise, low frequency noise modulations and infrasound radiation would have to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In every hour yesterday (Sunday) wind output was below forecast. Constrained all day long even with five nuclear units off line. Now as I write, a sixth nuclear unit has gone off line and we continue to contrain wind all day long. Gas-fired units are virtually all off and we’re spilling water massively. What wind power is running could easily made up by increasing hydrelectric production. All this proves how utterly useless wind power is.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. http://globalnews.ca/news/3438179/ontario-pcs-promise-new-ethics-law-if-elected/

    “This government has two court trials beginning in four months,” he said. “The Liberals continue to prioritize Liberal friends over hardworking Ontario families.”

    This fall, two of former premier Dalton McGuinty’s top staffers are set to go on trial for breach of trust and mischief in relation to deleted emails concerning the relocation of two gas plants.

    Additionally, two Ontario Liberals are facing Election Act bribery charges in relation to the 2015 byelection in Sudbury, and are set to face trial this fall.

    © 2017 The Canadian Press

    Honest… trustworthy…. transparent….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The COLA clauses in those contracts is rubbing salt in the wounds. The Liberals now say they are limiting the increase in the price of power to the inflation rate. So they’re covering themselves.


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