CanWEA and their many tipping points

Just a few days ago Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, authored a post on the CanWEA website with the headline; “Ontario heading for a troubling investor-confidence tipping point.”  Hornung was alluding to the recent notice of cancellation of the Nation Rise industrial wind turbine project that had been under construction in North Stormont. The project had been ushered through the final approval process by the Wynne led government just days before the writ was dropped for the last provincial election. It was cancelled because it would cause serious and irreversible harm to the little brown bat (a species at risk).

What Mr. Hornung doesn’t seem to grasp was the “tipping point” for voters in the province was illustrated in the last provincial election when the ruling Ontario Liberal Party were tossed out, in large part, due to electricity costs more than doubling.  The rise in the cost of electricity, since the Green Energy Act was passed in 2009, was principally caused by above market wind and solar contracts handed out to mainly foreign companies.

An illustration of the above can be found by looking at just the December 2019 grid accepted and curtailed wind to see what it added to our electricity costs.  My friend Scott Luft uses IESO data to calculate grid accepted (TX) wind and estimates the distribution delivered (DX) as well as curtailed generation.  Along with that he records the market trading price or HOEP (Hourly Ontario Energy Price) when the wind is delivered.

For December 2019 TX and DX accepted wind was 1,504.3 GWh (gigawatt hours) and curtailed wind was 254.5 GWh.   At the price of accepted wind at $135/MWh and curtailed wind at $120/MWh, December’s wind contacts cost ratepayers about $233.5 million or 15.5 cents/kWh.

The likelihood of our exports for the month being higher than the accepted 1.5 TWh of wind is something, I would bet on, so we really didn’t need it.  What the market valued it at was (per Scott’s data) only 1.5 cents/kWh.  In other words, for every kilowatt hour of wind delivered it cost us 14 cents.  Now we should all see that as a “tipping point” and cancel even more contracts but that might prove upsetting to Mr. Hornung!

IESO just released their Annual Planning Outlook and it indicates: “There are enough existing and available resources to meet our needs for the next decade.”  The Outlook also links to a “Resource Adequacy” report that provides the seasonal effective capacity of all generation sources. Wind is rated at only 11% in the summer and 31% in the winter.  Typically, Ontario demand peaks in the summer so it is obvious IESO regard wind’s contribution during that high demand season as almost of no value. Even in winter peaks the 31% IESO suggests is their “effective capacity” is much less than wind generally provides during that season.  The reasoning behind the latter is its habit of generating power when it isn’t needed—in the middle of the night!  Mr. Hornung himself admitted the foregoing at their annual conference in Calgary when it was announced CanWEA will merge with CanSIA in an effort to somehow create synergy.

Hornung’s admission at their annual conference was no surprise to many but may have been one of the tipping points that may hopefully lead to more cancellations.  Those cancellations would save species at risk, reduce possible damage to aquifers, reduce health problems caused by the audible and inaudible noises emitted and save Ontario ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

As far as Ontario ratepayers are concerned that would be a great “tipping point’!

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

8 thoughts on “CanWEA and their many tipping points”

  1. Hydro was once promoted for heating at one time (during the oil crisis), hydro cost increased by multiples and those that had it for heating were soon bankrupted or switched to fossil fuels. Carbon tax is now targeting those fossil fuels and will eventually bankrupt or cause a switch to greener tech. Electricity is being promoted for transportation, heating, with a growing population generating it at least possibly $cost will become more important. New wind and solar capacity at enormous cost, this is what happens when government dabbles in the markets. Electricity provided at (cost) and then removal of all the taxes from energy use that is supposedly green and the markets will eventually get there. Dont see a future with the way they are going under the current direction, its like a bottomless money pit.


  2. I fear that CanWEA and the other industry associations that benefit from huge taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies to renewable energy in the name of climate alarmism only measure “tipping points” in political, not economic or financial terms. Their goal is to continue fooling the public that there is a “climate emergency”, so we should all not think, just jump on the subsidy and regulatory bandwagon. It is critically important to continue reporting the truth about the costs to ratepayers and the whole economy, and to do so not only with facts, as you do so well, Parker, but also with anecdotes about the harmful effects of the high electricity rates on those with lower incomes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CanWEA just loves rubbing salt in the wounds. A wind project near Jenner, AB just secured a 20 year contract for 750MW at 4c/kwh. Henvey Inlet in ON just joined the grid, 20 years, 300MW at 15c/kwh. Generation not needed which we will give away or maybe get 1.5c. All in, support for low income or end-of-line customers and the outrageous Liberal FIT contracts cost the tax base $4Billion/year. Big $$ not available for hospitals, transit, education etc. Doug is right to want to topple the towers and quit the punitive contracts. Tell him so!


    1. The other problem of course, the vast majority of ratepayers don’t understand our concern about electricity costs. Ford’s trying to educate them. The ‘new’ ToU hydro bills show the higher costs per kwh, and the Ontario Electricity Rebate – the amount all taxpayers paid of the bill. Most only consider the bottom line, what they owe and that didn’t change much. Although the Fair Hydro Act Plan was abolished and the debt payments are less, it was only to subsidize prices for 4 years starting July 2017. Times running out on that. What happens after July 2021?


  4. Perhaps CANWEA is aware of the serious failures in siting projects in rural Ontario?These failures have still not been resolved and innocent men, women and children, who did not consent to having their homes enveloped in a large scale wind facility, with all of the risks to health, are continuing to be harmed on a daily basis. This harm is cumulative and irreversible.
    Please, take a look at this information.

    Ontario simply was not prepared for this situation. Wind companies were allowed to site turbines in arrays surrounding peoples’ homes. This was wrong.

    Also, both governments and CANWEA have refused to address inaudible acoustic pulsations/LFN/infrasound.


    1. To interject some good news, there won’t be any more wind projects in Ontario. There’s no business, social, GHG or environment case to build one. Focus now on how quickly, economically and safely can we decommission them. The sooner the better. There may be new or gently used components above grade that are saleable. Probability we have to deal with 10,000 non recyclable blades in landfill. Not likely anywhere in USA will accept them. 900 tons of concrete and rebar under each of 3,000 turbines likely best left entombed if they are below frost line. Costs will fall on tax base. Builders/owners liability based on letter of credit at end of term. Question becomes is it cheaper for taxpayer to quit now or pay to term?
      The magnitude of the Liberal rush to ‘green’ still not understood. It’s crippling!

      Liked by 1 person

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