One (megawatt) is the loneliest number

On one day recently, for one hour, Ontario’s thousands of towering wind turbines delivered just one megawatt of power. And still, Ontario  had a surplus that was sold off cheap.

May 27 was a Saturday which is usually a “low demand” day for electricity in Ontario, compared to weekday power demand and assuming weather patterns are close to average. The temperature on the recent May 27 was slightly below historic averages in Toronto; as people woke up and set about their activities that day, the demand for electricity built slowly.

According to the IESO’s (Independent Electricity System Operator) Daily Market Summary, Ontario demand peaked at 14,069 MW and averaged 12,751 MW (total Ontario demand was 306,024 MWh for the whole day).  If anyone checked IESO’s “Power Data” page at, say, just after 11 AM, they would have noted demand was 13,208 MW at 10 AM and the HOEP (Hourly Ontario Energy Price) was indicating a negative price of -$4.00 /MWh.   If one had also looked at the “Generator Output and Capability” and scrolled down to “Wind Total” they would have seen that under the heading “Output” the number appearing on the screen was “1”!

As in, one single megawatt of power.

About half the capacity of one ordinary wind turbine.

So, at 10 AM on May 27, 2017 the approximately 4,500 MW capacity of the more than 2,000 wind turbines installed throughout the province by the McGuinty/Wynne governments with lucrative, 20-year contracts, were delivering one megawatt of power.

And yet, to the best of my knowledge, Ontario didn’t experience a blackout or brownout because intermittent wind power generation was almost completely absent, nor did our emissions increase, as we got all the power needed from nuclear and hydro resources.   In addition, the almost 9,000 MW of gas generation was idling, operating at an average of about 2% of capacity almost all day.

Despite wind only producing an average hourly output of 75 MW for the day and just the “1” for hour 10, Ontario still exported 43,584 MW of power at a cost to ratepayers of $5.6 million*.

Despite the lackluster performance of industrial wind turbines May 27 and on many other occasions, a visit to the home page of CanWEA still claims:  “Wind is delivering clean, reliable and low-cost electricity”!


Perhaps with another 4,500 MW of capacity in Ontario, the industrial wind turbines may have delivered TWO MW of power at 10 AM on May 27?


*Cost estimate assumes the second IESO estimate of May’s Global Adjustment of $127.76 holds up.

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

18 thoughts on “One (megawatt) is the loneliest number”

  1. As people woke up and set about their activities that day in rural Ontario, where turbines normally impact their physical and psychological energy levels because of noise, low frequency noise modulation and infrasound radiation, there was a feeling of euphoria. Our nervous systems were given a break. We had the safety, security and pleasure of our homes back because the turbines were not running.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Again…. if the lieberal government thinks that the residents of Dutton Dunwich will sit by and allow Invenergy to rape and pillage our peaceful community with useless ittermintent… unreliable…. unhealthy……IWTS is sorely mistaken….
    despite the 84% opposition…. despite the premier saying we will have a choice…
    despite native approval 1200 KM away….
    despite MOECC ignoring legitimate complaints….
    Please dont think people are just gonna sit by and watch you destroy our peaceful community and force us from our homes…. it’s just not gonna happen out here!!!
    No Means No!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to say this but, your excellent analysis of hour 10 of May 27 made me even more depressed than the effects of the Erie Shores and Clear Creek/Cultus/Frogmore IWTs have succeeded in doing to date.

    How can we make Ontarians unders tand the way *their *hard earned tax monies are being wasted when we beg and *pay* New Yorkers, Pennsylvanians, Ohioans, Michiganders and anyone else who will take our surplus IWT generated electricity out of our grid?

    Thanks again for sharing your research with us victims of IWTs.

    On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:07 AM, Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives wrote:

    > parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog posted: “On one day recently, for one > hour, Ontario’s thousands of towering wind turbines delivered just one > megawatt of power. And still, Ontario had a surplus that was sold off > cheap. May 27 was a Saturday which is usually a “low demand” day for > electricity ” >

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I heard from a retired Hydro employee that if the silent turbines at Sir Adam Beck generating station in Niagara Falls were activated, they could meet the demands of all of Ontario.
    Could this be true ??


  5. Jim McColl…..
    That would be so funny if it was true….
    maybe the lieberals are saving it for a rainy day….
    you would think there is enough water down that river…. but all of Ontario??!!
    If they took all the lieberal Bull Shat they could start a biomass plant right there on parliment hill…. lol…..



    Boom import over 1000 MW
    Export over 2000 MW

    This hour ….
    ALL biomass
    ALL solar
    ALL wind
    ALL gas
    1/4 hydro ……..
    This does not include imports…

    ALL being exported for minimal cost….
    5 out of 6 sources of energy are being siphoned off by our government for their clients…..


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