… but New York and Michigan think they’re great.
The Victoria Day weekend often brings nice weather and the recent weekend was no exception in Ontario. Sunday was a beautiful day in most of the province, with temperatures in the high teens to low twenties.
Pleasant, but if you are an electricity customer? Horrible.
As a direct result of that really nice day on May 19, Ontario’s demand for electricity was low — according to IESO’s daily summary demand was just under 296,000 MWh. Ontario’s nuclear plants combined with a little bit of hydro could easily have supplied all our electricity needs that day.
But, the wind was blowing and according to IESO’s forecast was expected to generate over 59,200 MWh of power or about 20% of Ontario’s demand. Even though wind generation gets “first-to-the-grid” rights (because of the contracts the wind industry negotiated) the IESO only accepted 40% (23,700 MWh) of the forecast amount, presumably at standard contracted price of $135/MWh (plus cost of living increases since contract signing).
IESO curtailed the balance of 35,500 MWh and paid the CanWEA-negotiated price of $120/MWH.
So the total cost of power generation from wind was almost $7.5 million or about $315/MWH — about 31.5 cents/kWh.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, IESO were busy selling off surplus generation to our neighbours. Cheap.
Our net exports (exports minus imports) averaged 2,860/MWh for 24 hours, meaning net exports for the day were just over 68,600 MWh. As a reminder, exports are sold at the market price or what is referred to as HOEP (Hourly Ontario Energy Price) and that averaged -$2.16 (negative) for the day, meaning it cost us about $150,000 to just get rid of our surplus power on top of paying for the HOEP and the GA (Global Adjustment).
The IESO in their April 2019 monthly summary said the combined HOEP and GA cost averaged $116.77/MWh* up to that date. A quick calculation on this indicates Ontario’s ratepayers picked up costs of $8,150,000 for power shipped off (via transmission lines we pay for too) to New York (31,160 MWh), Michigan (19,180), Quebec, etc. That helps them to keep their costs down.
In summary, Ontario’s ratepayers picked up the costs for wind generation and curtailment of $7.5 million together with the cost of exports of $8.150 million without inclusion of solar, hydro spillage and nuclear steam-off costs. While we may have been outside enjoying a nice sunny spring day, Ontario’s ratepayers were being treated as scapegoats for the mess that permeates the electricity system.
The total damage was $15,650,000 for just one day.
This waste is offensive to both ratepayers and taxpayers — the time has come to stop.
*Scott Luft reported April set a new record for Class B ratepayers which IESO said was $138.90/MWH