The wind power developers’ lobbyist/trade association is proposing a tripling of Ontario’s wind turbine capacity. What would that look like?
A June 5, 2017 article by Brandy Giannetta, the Ontario Regional Director at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), states that “Ontario could reliably integrate 16,000 megawatts of wind energy” . Later in the article, she says wind power would be “low-cost, emission-free and increasingly reliable”.
The 16,000 MW of wind capacity suggested in the article would more than triple the current 4,000 MW of grid-connected industrial wind turbines (IWT) and the 600 MW of embedded (approximately) capacity. CanWEA just recently repeated this suggestion in a Tweet, so apparently the lobbyist/trade association thinks it’s a real idea.
Let’s see how “reliable” wind power is, right now.
It is important to look at the pattern of wind power generation. In the four hours from 10 AM to 2 PM on September 12th , the grid-connected industrial wind turbine (IWT) capacity of 4,000 MW generated almost 340 MWh, according to the IESO’s Generator Output and Capability report of September 12, 2017. During those four hours, Ontario demand totaled about 58,500 MW, so the 340 MWh delivered by wind turbines provided .58% of Ontario’s power demand — yet they represent 10.9% of Ontario’s grid-connected capacity of 36.563 MW!
It is hard to fathom how delivering just over ½ % of Ontario’s demand can be vaguely considered as reliable. The full CanWEA article suggests tripling the current contracted industrial wind so that .58% delivered during those four hours would have generated 1.7% of demand over the same four hours. Connecting the additional 10,400 MW to the grid would mean major expenditures (and by that I mean, billions of dollars) on the transmission system, while neglecting spending on truly reliable generation and the various parts of the transmission system that have been neglected.
It would also cost ratepayers for additional reliable back-up generation.
The CanWEA article also suggests wind at the 16,000 MW level would avoid “about $49 per megawatt-hour of production costs” if it supplied 35% of Ontario’s electricity demand. If the four-hour experience of power generation on September 12 shows wind turbines would supply only 1.7% of our demand, it also demonstrates one thing clearly: the last thing we need in Ontario is more wind turbines, generating intermittent unreliable power!
Ontario’s ratepayers can’t afford any more wind.
September 12, 2017