August 23, 2022 once more demonstrated IWT (industrial wind turbines) inability to produce power when it is actually needed. The day produced a peak demand hour close to being in the top 10 hours so far in the current year reaching 21,075 MW at Hour 17. We should surmise many of the Class A electricity customers fired up their gas generators to take advantage of their status and achieve the rate reductions that come with reducing their power draw as the Class A status allows.
At hour 17 the market price of power or HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) saw IESO buying and selling power at $159.41/MWh via the intertie markets. They were selling to Michigan and New York states while buying power from Quebec to ensure reliability over the grid. The exchanges at that hour resulted in a negative flow of 61 MW meaning we imported slightly more power than we exported.
The IWT at hour 17 generated 465 MWh which was just shy of their peak for the day of 519 MWh at hour 16 and represented 2.2% of demand but their capacity is over 15% of Ontario’s total grid connected capacity. At the hour when those IWT were demonstrating their unreliability our natural gas plants produced 4.926 MWh or 23.4% of demand with nuclear and hydro producing almost all of the balance.
The only positive thing about the failure of those IWT to produce power when it’s needed during peak periods is that we generally sell our surplus power for higher prices unlike the Spring and Fall when demand is low but generation from IWT is much higher than summer months. During those months IWT are frequently producing so much surplus power we curtail them and pay $120/MWh for those happenings. At the same time the HOEP is at low prices so what is actually accepted on the grid is sold to Michigan and NY for pennies of their actual cost. Both of the foregoing events simply drive-up costs to Ontario’s Class B ratepayers which are the small and medium sized businesses and residential ratepayers. In the meantime, large public entities such as universities and hospitals (many of whom are also Class A ratepayers) dependent on tax dollars are unaffected as they fire up their gas generators so it’s simply another cost to ratepayers and taxpayers.
The foregoing IWT failure is almost a daily event during summer days and highlights the fact once the Pickering nuclear plant is shut down (2025) our natural gas plants will be called on to continually generate power. Without any additional reliable power added to the grid in anticipation of that closure, Ontario’s energy security is at risk.
The question on our minds should be; when will the Ford led government do something that ensures Ontario’s businesses and households will have secure electricity sources that are capable of generating power 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and pass regulations to curtail our subsidies to IWT?
5 thoughts on “IWT with “First-To-The-Grid” Rights Demonstrate the Best They Can Do is Wimp Out”
Thanks for the useful post.BC is awash
According to the Canadian Press yesterday “Ontario’s energy minister says he doesn’t think the province needs any more natural gas generation and has asked the electricity system regulator to speed up a report exploring a moratorium.”
It doesn’t augur well for energy security after the Pickering shutdown. I hope the IESO doesn’t feel pressured to just tell him what he wants to hear.
I hope we can depend on Todd Smith not adding up a bunch of VRE nameplate MW to replace Pickering. That would make him a candidate for Prime Minister of Unicorn Canada!
While you’re on IWT, just read TransAlta got a 5 year, premature, contract renewal for:
What’s the deal? Doug Ford can be quoted as saying he’d tear them all down if he could. Now he’s renewing contracts for tired, irrelevant – 68MW – wind farms?
Whats the deal for rate/taxpayers on this?