The OCAA is Seeking Future Blackouts for Quebec in the Winter

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) under Jack Gibbons was busy throughout 2021 making the rounds of various cities and municipalities throughout Ontario convincing them they should tell the Ford government to close all the natural gas plants in the province.  A total of 32 cities and municipalities joined hands with Gibbons thanks to inept (the only descriptive that made sense) councils and told the government of Ontario to shut those gas plants.  Gibbons somehow convinced them Quebec has a huge surplus of hydro generation that will easily replace those gas plants when our power demand needs them.  Apparently, none of those councils bothered to investigate Gibbons claim.

Gibbons bio indicates he is an “economist” and reportedly “studied economics at the University of Toronto (B.A.), Queen’s University (M.A.) and the University of British Columbia“!  We should have serious doubts about his claim based on the rhetoric associated with his push to close the gas plants. Gibbons comes across like a pitchman selling snake oil in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

If any of the mayors or council members bothered to do even a little research they would have discovered Quebec’s peak demand occurs in the winter.  Hydro Quebec encourage their ratepayers to use less power during the December to March period as 61% of households use electricity to heat their homes versus only about 17% in Ontario.

If the Ford led government in Ontario responded to the OCAA desires the results would have a negative effect on households in both provinces but in particular Quebec due to their peak winter demand*. 

A recent four (4) days of cold winter weather in both Ontario and Quebec dispel the “Gibbons/OCAA” notion!  Ontario was called on to provide considerable power to Quebec over those four days and without the availability of our natural gas plants (most of which were built to back up intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation) our ability to provide that power would have been close to NIL as our Ontario demand was also relatively high.

Over the four days commencing January 13th through to January 16th we exported just over 106,000 MWh (megawatt hours) to Quebec for an average of 1,104 MW/hour and the peak day was the 16th with an average of 1,410 MW/hour.  Over those four days Ontario’s gas plants generated just over 395,000 MW so we were able to provide our neighbours with what they needed (27% of our gas plant generation) to keep those electric furnaces and baseboard heaters operating so they would avoid blackouts and freezing households.  We provided those 106,000 MW at an average cost of less than 5 cents/kWh based on the HOEP prices over those four days so their cost didn’t drive up Hydro Quebec’s energy prices whereas Ontario’s ratepayers lost money on every kWh exported.

Carbon Credits please

Perhaps Hydro Quebec should either provide Ontario with “carbon credits” or pay the Federal “carbon tax” for the power supplied, allowing us to recover some of the costs for that natural gas generated power to keep them warm. Unfortunately, Ontarians should doubt that will ever happen!

* In Québec, peak periods occur during winter because so many of us heat our homes with electricity.

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

4 thoughts on “The OCAA is Seeking Future Blackouts for Quebec in the Winter”

  1. From Klimatsans in Sweden:
    The angry Bernd Stymer has told off the Social Democratic Party and Government Officials
    To the Social Democratic Party in Sweden.
    Now I have received the electricity bill for December 2021, and for the first time in my entire adult life I can’t afford to pay my bills.
    For me, debt-free with my own house, it’s a pretty harrowing experience.
    I have never received any handouts. Child support, of course, was received by my wife. Of course, during my 82 years of life I have had to use the health care system, but I have paid for it since the early 1950s through taxes.
    Therefore, I am now angry at the politics that have caused me problems in that it has sabotaged my Sweden so thoroughly that, despite normal law-abiding and honest life, it puts me in “dire strait”.
    I curse responsible politicians in general, but especially the Social Democratic Party, which during its last term in government completely failed to govern Sweden by entrusting the issue of the country’s vital energy supply to a bunch of fools unleashed to also shut down nuclear power.
    I despise the Social Democratic Party for its inability to realize that the party cannot change the earth’s climate and, of course, certainly not with subsidies for wind turbines, electric bikes, solar panels, server halls, green steel and other crazy inventions.
    I despise the party’s cowardice not to allow a public and live debate on the climate catastrophe in the state media. For these reasons, I will oppose the Social Democratic Party by all means, as long as I can.
    B. Stymer
    Translated from Swedish using Word, and error corrections by myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And of course this is all in the context of Pickering still operating. Ontario hit over 20,000MW of demand during this period, ~10,000 of it coming from Nuclear. Without Pickering, that number would be ~7,500MW, the difference made up with even more gas.

    Gibbons screams about the upcoming increase in gas usage, but it’s the result he’s been calling for ever since he began advocating for Ontario to shutter their nuke plants, Pickering in particular. That increase is the direct result of the impending Pickering shutdown, which he wants. But of course being the snake that he is, he never points that out.

    Solar capacity factor in the winter approaches zero. Wind buggers off during these cold snaps, as you’ve written about. That leaves two sources: Gas or nuclear, since we know that Quebec doesn’t have the capacity, a topic on which several reports have been written but Gibbons fails to acknowledge. He’s backed himself into a corner with his advocacy but it’s surprising so few have failed to see it. He’s railing against the two sources keeping the lights on and if he were to get his way we’d all freeze to death in the dark.

    Liked by 1 person

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