Wind power myths busted on one fall weekend

Beautiful … but costly. All that “free” wind power. [Photo: The Weather Network}
October 21 and 22 was a beautiful fall weekend in Southern Ontario with lots of sunshine, beautiful colours, mild temperatures and gentle breezes. That combination meant low electricity demand: power demand for the two days was slightly less than 603,000 MWh (megawatt hours) for all types and classes of Ontario ratepayers according to IESO’s (Independent Electricity System Operator) “Daily Summary Reports”.  As a result we exported surplus generation to New York, Michigan, etc. at an average two-day price of $2.65 per MWh, but at the same time, that cost Ontario’s ratepayers about $120/MWh*.

So, the “Net Exports” (exports less imports) of just under 98,000 MWh sold to our neighbours recovered about $260,000, but cost Ontario’s ratepayers almost $11.8 million … even more if we attribute it all to wind generation.

It turns out, the blame can easily be allocated to industrial wind turbines as they could have generated about 107,000 MWh, but were partially curtailed by IESO. As the weekend unfolded, 38,000 MWh were curtailed and 69,000 MWh were delivered to the grid.   Ontario’s ratepayers picked up the tab for the curtailed wind at $120/MWh and $135/MWh for the grid-delivered generation, bringing the weekend wind costs to almost $14 million ($13.875 million).  You should note curtailed and grid-accepted wind generation exceeded our net exports by 9,000 MWh — that’s enough to power 10,000 average households for a full year!

As it turned out, we didn’t need wind generation at all and we normally don’t. A look at our generation capabilities on the weekend via the IESO’s “Generators Output and Capability Reports” also shows IESO were busy controlling the grid to prevent blackouts or brownouts, and frequently did so by getting Bruce Nuclear to “steam off.” It must be assumed that OPG were also required to “spill hydro,” our cheapest form of generation!  Needless to say, we ratepayers were also paying for that!

Once again, the past weekend demonstrates power generation from industrial wind turbines wasn’t needed.

But the way the Ontario Liberal government has negotiated the contracts with wind power developers means Ontario’s ratepayers are required to pick up the bill for the unreliable and intermittent nature of power that often winds up creating a surplus of unneeded power that is exported at a substantial cost.

It is clearly time to end the charade — kill the GEA and cancel any outstanding unbuilt wind contracts.


* Due to the nature of grids, it is impossible to determine what source of generation was actually exported so the suggested cost reflects (approximately) the GA (Global Adjustment) plus the HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price) of all types of generation either contracted or regulated.

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

8 thoughts on “Wind power myths busted on one fall weekend”

  1. Thanks Parker… when Ontarions finally step up to the plate and make this kerfuffel an election issue it may ease the cost of our bills….. thanks again…



    Also crap like this makes my blood boil!!! These people have had fresh potable well water for generations and all of a sudden the wells go bad and it has nothing to do with the piledriving into KPBS.. its so blatently obvious what the source of the wells going bad is and the MOECC turns a blind eye!!! Even better yet… as soon as these folks complain and try to protect their water source they have million dollar lawsuits brought against them!!! Such a pile of crap ….. im so surprised there isnt any violence yet!! Im sure it will come soon enough…. dont blame them at all for civil disobedience….


  3. If the Green Energy Act is cancelled, will that bring relief to the residents who are experiencing harm? Will the turbines that are sited in clusters surrounding people’s homes and bombarding them with noise, low frequency noise modulations and infrasound radiation, which no one in this government is effectively protecting them from, be turned off?
    Will people forced to leave their homes in order to seek protection from turbines, that were sited too close to their homes and have been and still are harming their psychological and physical health be compensated without having to pay lawyers to defend them in court against the wind companies and this government?
    Will all agents of this government who were made aware of harm and who turned a blind eye, be held financially liable for the damage they have caused to residents who were forced against their will to watch this happen to their neighbourhoods and who tried in every way they could think of to get the turbines turned off in order to regain the safety security and pleasure of their homes?


  4. Special thanks to D.D.O.W.T for their remarkable resilience last night…. great crowd out for our final REA “community engagement” meeting…. or whatever you wanna call that crap…. thanks to all who came out to show your support opposing the industrailized turbine power plant illegally being forced on DD… it aint over till its over kids!!! Keep fighting… thank you again..


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