Ontario Peak Electricity Demand Without Gas Plants

No Problem, Simply Plug in Your EV

Curiosity piqued today about Ontario’s “peak demand” yesterday due to the cold weather!  Reviewing IESO data at hour 18 (ending at 6 PM) indicates the January 24th peak was an average of about 21,260 MW.  While searching data on the IESO website it led to the discovery of a letter Jack Gibbons, CEO and Chairman of OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) had sent to IESO dated June 17, 2021 pushing their agenda to shut down those gas plants.

The letter was humourous as it displayed the way eco-warriors think.  Here is one message from the letter Gibbons believes will work in the event Quebec has no surplus hydro to sell us and/or the wind is not blowing or the sun isn’t shining during one of those “peak demand” hours or days!

One of Gibbons recommendations to eliminate gas fired generation during peak winter and summer hours was:

We can harness our electric vehicles’ (EVs) batteries to provide power to the grid during peak demand hours. According to Ford, its new F-150 Lightning pick-up truck can provide 9.6 kW of power to the electricity grid. Currently, Ontario has 9 million vehicles. If we have 1 million EVs by 2030, they could provide up to 9,600 MW to our grid during our peak demand hours.

Hmm, wonder how that would have worked at hour 18 yesterday?

At that hour our source of electricity came from: nuclear 10,721 MW, gas 5,866 MW, Hydro 5,143 MW, wind 847 MW solar 1 MW and biomass 62 MW.

At that hour wind and solar were operating at about 16.9% of their capacity which wasn’t enough to even supply Quebec’s needs.

At that hour we were exporting (not importing) 1,381 MW to Quebec because their demand was high.

At that hour OPG’s Pickering Nuclear Plant (scheduled to close in 2025) was generating 2,534 MW.

The OCAA under Gibbons is suggesting we would have no problems because all those “electric” F-150 trucks would be fully charged in -25 C weather.  One hopes when the team at IESO read Gibbon’s letter and the above paragraph they burst out in laughter. 

One should wonder if Gibbons bothered to actually do some research as he would have discovered; “As of October 2021, there are 66,757 EVs registered in Ontario” Gibbons should perhaps set up a Ford dealership and get busy selling 933,000 (at a minimum) of those trucks.  He should perhaps also consider the fact not everyone can afford the $58,000 cost and the 370 km limited range which will be considerably less on one of those -25 C days in our Canadian winters! Gibbons and the “charity” he runs apparently want to see Ontarians freeze in the dark as blackouts arrive when those damn batteries don’t deliver those “KW of power” he promised!

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

10 thoughts on “Ontario Peak Electricity Demand Without Gas Plants”

  1. afford the $58,000 cost and the 370 km limited range

    I think you meant $158,000…..the lightening is way over $100,000 Canadian

    Ian Harvey

    pitbullmedia.ca Bark with Byte 416-699-6921 416=930-2149 mobile



  2. Carrying the argument further, if we had 1,000,000 EV’s in 2030, and if the owners try to charge them by plugging in to their home Level 2 charger drawing between 2.5 to 19 kW each, when they return from work, the electrical peak load in the evening would increase from 21,260 MW yesterday by something between 2.5 to 19 MW, or say to between 23,700 MW and 40,000 MW. No, those EVs are not likely all to be fully charged to be able to supply the grid at peak hour around dinner time of 5 or 6 PM, or even to be mostly plugged in to supply the grid, because, someone might be driving them, unless the peak occurs between 4 and 5 in the morning. (usually NOT). Of course, if they supply the grid them, that would mean their battery would be depleted and the owners would not be able to drive to work, but that’s only a tiny detail. The increase in grid peak also assumes there is no further increase in load due to general rise in population, or other planned demands like electrification of rail and transit., or residents moving off natural gas heat to electrical heat pumps due to the rising carbon tax load.

    So if Ontario’s Nuclear commitments by 2030 are to lose 3000 MW from Pickering, to be replaced by 1 x 300 MW SMR (10% of what is lost) planned to be installed at Darlington by 2028 (assuming licensing of a new technology by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission proceeds expeditiously to be approved in a year or two to be able to start construction …. NOT very likely) and to install no new hydro, or gas, then the load will be short by maybe 25,000 MW.

    Ever heard the expression, “let the buggers freeze in the dark?” You might if someones dream comes true to become “the buggers” nightmare.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Andre, Hard to find anything about his income as I noted in an earlier post: “The OCAA and the registered charity OCAA Research Institute (OCAARI) report they generated gross revenue (combined) of only $92,133.89 for the year ended September 30, 2020. The OCAARI filing with the CRA indicates, for 2020, their gross revenue was $92,136.00. Not sure where the difference of $2.11 went but perhaps Gibbons purchased a coffee! Curiosity piqued, a look back at the oldest (posted) CRA results for the year ended September 30, 2016 indicates total revenue of $63,042.00. That year the OCAARI reported charitable expenditures of $107,245 whereas in the 2020 report to the CRA those charitable expenditures were shown as $79,690.” With three “staff” including himself either he is from a monied family or is receiving money from elsewhere. I honestly believe the OCAA should be investigated!


  3. Nighttime charging is cheaper with more room for electric vehicles. The EV owners are rewarded by paying less money and the utility is using their network at night that is nearly idle. This isn’t really that hard a thing to figure out.


    1. You do realize that once EVs proliferate, say 2035 or 2040, we will have smoothed out the peak demand curve or perhaps even established a new one in the middle of the night.

      Also bear in mind the wind generally calms in the night and of course the sun doesn’t shine at all, so a disproportionate amount of that generation will likely be fossils. Or we will require an enormous capacity of turbines and/or regularly-cycled storage, each with 20 – 25 year life-spans.

      Down the road I anticipate all this to be nothing short of a disaster, unless we pick nuclear back up.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Basically, we have voters who want a change but have no viable alternative past this change. If someone proposes a change they should have a solution after this change happens. To assume technology will advance once the change has been completed is irresponsible.

    Liked by 1 person

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