Free power for a month for 4,000 Ontario families? Here’s how we missed that

How many homes could have benefitted from the excess power Ontario wastes, or sells off cheap?

Recently reading comments on an article related to the cost of wind power generation in Ontario, I was struck by a simple message.

The commenter had obviously visited the IESO “Data Directory”  and reviewed one item labeled Intertie Flows; he observed that IESO had exported 3,000 MWh (megawatt hours) in an hour.   He then observed that the exported power could have supplied 4,000 homes with free power for a month.  (Here’s the math: 3,000 MWh equals 3 million kWh; the “average” Ontario household consumes 750 kWh per month, so divide the 3 million by 750 and the answer is 4,000.)

This simple fact has not been picked up on by the media and yet, it is an easy way to shed more light on Premier Wynne’s “mistake” and our rising electricity rates.   The commenter also suggests going further and examining a full quarter to determine how many Ontario households would benefit from no exported power.

Excess wind and solar costs us

To be fair, while Ontario has frequently exported 3,000 MWh, we also import electricity generated elsewhere presumably at similar market prices. Those net exports or net imports (very infrequent for Ontario) are contained in the Intertie* hourly reports posted by IESO. Let’s look at the first three months of the current year.

To begin, IESO’s Monthly Market Reports for January, February and March of 2017 indicate Ontario’s “average net intertie schedule” for the first quarter of the current year totaled 2,909,000 MWh. While that was happening, industrial-scale wind turbines were generating over 3.9 million MWh in the same three months, and were also required (by IESO) to curtail (and be paid for) another 536,000 MWh.  So, the wind power developers picked up about $620 million for those three months.

To make matters worse, the average of the Hourly Ontario Electricity Price (HOEP) received (via the traded market) over those three months was only $22.72 per MWh or 2.27 cents per kWh.   That means Ontario received $66.1 million for the sale of the 2.9 million “intertie” MWh, while the average cost paid by ratepayers at 11.1 cents/kWh means the cost of those exports was almost $324 million.

Reducing power bills by 25% is peanuts—kill the contracts

Let’s go farther: if 1.3 million (28% of all residential households) of Ontario’s average ratepayers could have purchased those net exported kWh over the three months at the same price they were sold for, the 2250 kWh they consumed would have cost them $51 instead of the $250 they were billed. That would have reduced their cost of electricity by 390%. That makes Premier Wynne’s supposed 25% electricity bill reduction pale in comparison.

If the Premier really wants to lessen the burden on future ratepayer bills she should immediately cancel any wind and solar contracts that have not broken ground, and suspend any all future procurement of these unreliable and intermittent generation sources.

 

*Intertie is defined as an interconnection permitting passage of current between two or more utility systems.

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11 thoughts on “Free power for a month for 4,000 Ontario families? Here’s how we missed that”

  1. Is this merely poor management on the part of this government or do we have some sort of financial obligation to the U.S. that makes the cheap energy we supply to them a form of repayment?

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  2. Yes yes and yes … thank you Parker!!! I predict rolling blackouts due to guaranteed minimum export quota contracts…. states like MICHIGAN and NY Include the importing of Ontario hydro as part of their mix… if it’s part of their mix then there is a good chance it has “strings attached” like… guarantees….

    this government has no problem what so ever throwing it’s hard working tax paying citizens health and financial future under the bus… time after time!!!

    1979 MW export last hour…
    2638 homes FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH!!!!!
    IN 1 hour!!
    ONE MONTH FREE HYDRO!!!!
    But instead our government forces those people to choose between heat or eat!!!
    Please someone start a page that shows how many homes could have free power hourly…. daily… weekly… monthly…. yearly….. stop this madness!!!

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  3. 2015 MW export this hour…
    2686 homes…..
    FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH……
    Does not include 2638 homes that could have received FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH!!!! LAST HOUR!!

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  4. 2501 homes could have had FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH…. does not include previous hours….
    2686 homes…..
    2638 homes….

    2686 homes…..
    +2638 homes……
    +2501 homes…….
    Equals… =====
    7825 homes FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH… in 3 hours..

    I gotta go to bed…. I work extra hard now to put away extra cash for my future hydro bills instead of retirement….

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  5. On average per hour the lieberals give enough power away to give 2000 ontario homes FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH…..
    In ONE DAY THE LIEBERAL GOVERMENT GIVES ENOUGH HYDRO AWAY TO SUPPLY THE 64000 ONTARIO RESIDENTS IN HYDRO POVERTY …. WITH FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH!!!!!
    FOR ONE MONTH….
    FREE HYDRO…..
    IN JUST 24 HOURS!!!!
    64000 HOMES COULD HAVE FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH!!!!!

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  6. Must be a holiday weekend and everyone is gone camping…. Friday afternoon evening ontario spilled over 2000MW per hour consistently to NY AND MICHIGAN ..
    We are currently spilling over 2000MW per hour still Saturday morning 700am……
    🤔

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  7. Friday Saturday Sunday Monday the total cost of exports of 2000 MW per hour are……
    256000 Ontario homes!!!!!
    Two hundred and fifty six THOUSAND Ontario homes could have been given FREE POWER for ONE month!!!!!!!

    Happy May 2 -4 Kids

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  8. I’m gonna have to increase my average from 2000 MW per hour to 3000MW exports….

    2971 …… MW per hour last hour….. alotta FREE HYDRO for a month for alotta Ontario residents that could use FREE HYDRO FOR ONE MONTH!!!

    Like

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