Those IWT (industrial wind turbines) along with solar panels once again demonstrated their inability to provide Ontarians with reliable power when it’s actually needed!
Peak hour on January 18th came at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) when Ontario’s peak demand reached 19,250 MW and those 4,900 MW of grid connected IWT managed to only generate 218 MWh or 1.1% of peak demand and 4.4% of their capacity. At that hour the sun wasn’t shining so no solar generation occurred. Our natural gas plants however, filled in the gap providing 4,038 MWh or 21% of peak demand while the balance came from our nuclear and hydro generation sources.
If one travels back in the day and notes what IWT were doing, they once again demonstrated their nasty trait of generating unneeded power. From Hour 1 to Hour 13, IESO forecast they would generate 29,859 MW (46.8% of their capacity) but accepted only 25,040 MW meaning just over 4,900 MW were presumably curtailed. Due to the “first-to-the-grid” rights and the generous contracts granted the owners of those IWT we taxpayers and ratepayers paid for both the accepted and curtailed power.
Over those same 13 hours our net exports (exports minus imports) were 19,827 MW (79.2% of accepted IWT generation) and the intertie price only averaged $17.47/MWh or 1.7 cents/kWh over those hours. As IESO were selling the surplus power off we were paying $135/MW for the IWT accepted power and $120/MW for what was curtailed. The foregoing suggests it cost us (ratepayers/taxpayers) about $3.5 million for that unneeded IWT generation over those 13 hours.
While natural gas stepped up when needed in Ontario, we should also understand it’s importance by simply seeing what most of Europe is experiencing without natural gas. Many households are suffering from the lack of reliable electricity generation due to their various government’s endorsement of wind and solar while exiting fossil fuel generation except for a little bit of natural gas. That push coupled with Russia’s curtailment of natural gas sales into Europe has driven up their costs of power and is even creating energy poverty for many “middle class” households! In some instances rationing of electricity is happening as charging EV and running your heat pumps could cause the electricity grid to collapse.
We Ontarians should take a moment to thank Alberta for providing us with natural gas which in addition to helping keep the lights on and power our businesses also provides heat for over 60% of all our households in the province.
One thought on “IWT Delivered a Meagre 1.1% of Peak Demand on January 18,2023”
MWh not MW. Alas, most Ontario natural gas now comes from USA.