Another costly weekend for Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers came and went as we exported 163,566 MWh to our neighbours in NY, Michigan, Quebec, etc. Those MWh were sold at a probable cost to Ontarians of $137/MWh (minimum)* and we received an average of $0/MWh for the sale price meaning the cost to Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers was north of $22 million for nothing on June 13th and June 14th!
The above $22 million doesn’t include costs associated with spilled hydro, steamed off nuclear or idling gas plants which also occurred and paid for by us benevolent ratepayers/taxpayers.
Interestingly enough the almost 164 thousand MWh exported was equal to 28.9% of the 566 thousand MWh Ontario ratepayers actually consumed over those two days and equates to what 3.2 million average households in Ontario would consume over two days. This smacks of bad planning by IESO or perhaps it’s the combined effects of the pandemic and the GEA instituted by the McGuinty/Wynne led governments. The bad planning was influenced by eco-warriors such as Bruce Lourie and Gerald Butts who pushed for intermittent and unreliable renewable energy in the form of wind and solar generation!
So, a high percentage of generation was exported over the two June days and much of the blame can be laid at the feet of wind and solar which often presents itself at times of the year when consumption falls. Over the two days, wind was generating at around 27% of its capacity and solar at about 31%. Solar somehow even generated a few MWh in the middle of the night during those two days? In total wind generated around 38,500 MWh and additionally just under 20,000 MWh was curtailed, collectively costing $8.1 million. Solar’s (grid connected only) generation of almost 6,700 MWh cost another $3 million. Together wind (including curtailed) and solar generation represented just over 39% of our net exports and close to 50% of their costs.
Without wind and solar generation, we would have saved just over $11 million and due to a smaller surplus may have actually generated some revenue based on the market driven HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price) helping reduce costs for Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers.
Since implementation of the Green Energy Act and it’s poor planning (no cost benefit study) it has cost billions of dollars to supply our neighbours with cheap electricity. Those billions of dollars paid by ratepayers and taxpayers over the past ten years have been paid with after-tax dollars by residential and sole ownership businesses so perhaps the Ford government should consider implementation of a charitable receipt for each of us to acknowledge our generosity over the years!
An alternative would be; amend the contracts, via legislation/regulations to eliminate wind and solar’s “first to the grid” rights! We should pay for power, as and when needed, not be forced to accept it when unneeded!
*The $137/MWh GA is an estimate as IESO now only uses the rate for the GA imposed by the Ford government set at $115/MWh or 11.5 cents/kWh with the difference accumulating in the Ontario Electricity Rebate program (previously called the Fair Hydro Plan) appearing on electricity bills.