Well, August 17th has come and gone and to the best of my knowledge Ontarians didn’t experience any blackouts in our electricity grid.
The day itself was a nice warm (not hot) summer day and while Ontario’s electricity demand wasn’t amongst the top 10 for the year it did peak at Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM) reaching 19,856 MW. Those IWT (industrial wind turbines) at that hour managed to only generate 350 MWh (1.8% of demand) just short of their peak generation for the day.
For the full 24 hours IESO data disclosed the existing IWT generated 4,673 MWh which was about 3.98% of their capacity and at their lowest point (Hour 11) they managed to generate only 42 MWh or 0.86% of their capacity. Their average generation per hour was 194 MWh so would not have been missed during any of the 24 hours.
While those IWT were pretty well useless at providing sufficient reliable generation over the day, we should be thankful we had natural gas plants available. Ontario’s natural gas plants were there for us at the peak hour providing 4,164 MWh (21 % of demand) and over the full day generated 65,820 MWh for an average of 2,743 MWh per hour. At hour 3 they generated 658 MWh and at hour 18 they produced 4,331 MWh demonstrating their flexibility to respond to actual demand. Without the gas plants being at the ready Ontario would have been blanketed with “blackouts” so one wonders why the push by the eco-warriors to shut them down?
In the event those eco-warriors are convinced IWT could supply what those gas plants did yesterday one should doubt they have bothered to calculate how many more of those IWT we would require when they generate electricity at only 3.98% of their capacity.
Presently we have close to 2,300 wind turbines connected to Ontario’s grid so in order to simply replace our natural gas plants we would require approximately fourteen (14) times the number to meet yesterday’s electricity generation needs. The result would mean the need would be for almost 32,000 more turbines rated at 2 MW each. Those turbines would be spread throughout the province eating up rural farmland, killing birds and bats, affecting aquifers and creating health problems for people and animals. Their approximate 64,000 MW capacity would be almost double what our current grid connected generation of nuclear, hydro, gas, wind, solar and biomass is! That strongly suggests electricity costs would skyrocket harming businesses both big and small and drive many Ontario ratepayers into energy poverty.
It seems apparent eco-warriors like the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) and others have absolutely no concept of the harm existing IWT cause and how much more they would cause should they convince politicians to replace our reliable and dependable natural gas plants with them!