Wind power: not in evidence on Ontario’s hot summer days

Looking for wind power for fans and A/C? Don’t bother

While the wind power lobby claims it could supply as much as one-third of our power, the hot summer days tell a different story — wind is pretty much nowhere to be found

A post on the wind power lobbyist the Canadian Wind Energy Association/  CanWEA’s website about seven months ago (December 6, 2018) stated:  “The Pan Canadian Wind Integration Study* – the largest of its kind ever done in Canada – concluded that this country’s energy grid can be both highly reliable and one-third wind powered.”

Based on the hot days of July 2, 3, and 4 we have just experienced here in Ontario, the “one-third” of wind generation required would have been 482,430 MWh meaning wind capacity would have to be quite a bit larger than the 4,486 MW* currently grid-connected.

On top of that, the wind turbines would have to operate well in excess of the level they operated at during those three days.

Over the three days, total electricity demand was high-averaging just under 483,000 MWh per day. While nuclear, hydro and gas provided almost all of the power (1.448 TWh) needed the 4,486 MW of grid-connected wind generating capacity contributed 12,056 MWh in total over those three days.

That output represented a meagre 0.83% of total demand.

What that suggests is this: operating at that level would require in excess of 86,000 MW of wind capacity (2.3 times Ontario’s existing total grid connected capacity) to simply meet the “one-third” claim.

It would be a big stretch to ever see them contribute the self-proclaimed “one-third” of power the wind power lobby claims.

Hot muggy summer days and very cold winter days when electricity demand is at its highest is generally when industrial wind turbines take the day off!

One-third wind powered would be the antitheses of a “highly reliable” grid.


*Partially funded by taxpayer dollars

**4,486 MW of capacity operating at 100% would produce approximately 323,000 MWh over three days


Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

8 thoughts on “Wind power: not in evidence on Ontario’s hot summer days”

  1. People being harmed by audible noise, low frequency noise modulations and infrasound, who are aware of and reporting the harm, as well as people in denial of the harm, are free from the harm when turbines are not moving.


  2. Parker, that’s like saying Vladimir Guerrero is not a very good baseball player because he doesn’t have a 95 mile an hour fastball. He’s not a pitcher. Similarly, wind power is not peaking power. Some hydroelectric is. Gas turbines are. Storage is. Wind is not. Solar is not. Nuclear is not. Different technologies play different roles in the generation mix. If our system was 100% wind, we would be stupid. In the same way, if it were 100% gas turbines, we would be equally stupid, maybe even more. (Hydroelectric might be a better 100% choice, but we don’t have enough sites to produce that much hydroelectric. Sorry.)


    1. Your analogy is an interesting one but lacks common sense. Based on it most people would guess you are a firm believer that wind generation is a new and wonderful means of generating electricity. Are you aware that a Scottish engineer, Sir James Blyth was the first to create electricity from wind? He was knighted for his discovery which he made back in 1887 a year after Diesel invented his engine. It never really caught on until the recent panic ensured about AGW, aka, “climate change” and now “climate emergency|. Guess you probably will quickly figure out which one was an actual success!
      Did you catch my friend Scott Luft’s twitter post today which was:
      Cold Air‏ @ScottLuft 11h11 hours ago
      Fortunately, it’s a little cooler here today. Some wind arrived, leading to about 8 GWh of wind curtailment in the first 7 hours – which is 2/3rds of what it produced from July 2nd thru the 4th (as noted in the post by my friend Parker)

      So, today wind suddenly appeared as “base-load” generation as you suggest it is. As most of it was curtailed it displayed its penchant to produce power when not needed! Wind has a bad habit of that—meaning its unreliable and intermittent! Classifying it as base-load is an abysmal mistake.
      Have you considered lobbying the School Energy Coalition on behalf of Bullfrog Power to use only renewable energy? That would close the circle of your apparent beliefs however it would leave you without the benefit of fighting for them at the OEB for lower rates-caused by?
      I assume your aware that Ontario demand in 2018 was 137.4 TWh and nuclear and hydro provided over 127 TWh or 95% which was slightly less than 2017 when it provided 97%. Gas at rates much cheaper than wind or solar could have easily supplied the balance in both years. Industrial wind turbines as a benevolent energy source is a complete hype! Without them many rural residents would have been saved from the health effects of the wind turbine noise (including infrasound) and we would be blessed with many more birds and bats that have been killed by them.


  3. What matters to a lot of us is how much wind was paid to produce less than 1% of demand. If they’re only paid for what was sold to ratepayers, no issue.


    1. I think the point of Parker’s and Scott’s efforts is to bring focus on the fact we are not benefiting from the cheapest forms of generation. Ratepayers are not being billed for all the generation the province pays for, and wind and solar get paid huge multiples of fixed ToU prices. The deficit is building up somewhere for our children and grandchildren to pay. The 25% artificial reduction Wynne’s Fair Hydro Act enabled is time limited. Not only is Ford not reducing prices 12% there will be at least a 25% increase when FHA expires.


  4. A point that should also have been made about the unreliability of wind power as an energy source is the amount that wind should have produced over those three days. You state at the end of the article that wind power had the capacity to produce 323,000 MWh over three days (**4,486 MW of capacity operating at 100% would produce approximately 323,000 MWh over three days). So the 12,056 MWh it did produce is only 3.7% of what it should have produced if it were a reliable source. Good thing we had the nuclear and natural gas to keep us cool!


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