Ontarians should be thankful Sunday March 12, 2023, was both a weekend day and also kind of an early spring day which contributed to a relatively low electricity demand day. Ontario’s peak demand came at Hour 19 (hour ending at 7 PM) and was only 17,614 MW. While the below screenshot of IESO data shows (at the top) the output of all electricity sources at 8 PM the coloured graph ends at Hour 20 and it shows the peak hour occurred at Hour 19 and at that hour all those IWT (industrial wind turbines) generated was a miserly 244MW or 5% of their capacity and 1.4% of peak demand.
Now squint at the coloured graph above and focus on the green, yellow and red lines at the top which are respectively IWT, solar and biomass generation to recognize why they can’t ever hope to replace flexible natural gas (dark blue), hydro (light blue) or nuclear generation (orange).
Over the full 24 hours of the day total wind generated was 7,215 MW which represented 6.13% of their capacity and at their low point at Hour 15 they only managed to generate 163 MW (3.3% of their capacity). At Hour 1 (ending at 1 AM) they hit their high for the day generating 484 MW (9.9% of their capacity).
Ontario’s natural gas plants stepped up to meet our needs yesterday generating 43,653 MW or six (6) times what those IWT generated. What the foregoing makes obvious is that Ontario would need another 29,400 MW of IWT capacity to replace what our gas plants generated in addition to the 4,900 MW of existing grid connected capacity. Adding that capacity to the grid would also increase the need to upgrade the transmission system and both of those additions would drive up the cost of energy further.
As yet another addition to the foregoing Ontario would need a minimum of approximately 7,500 MW of BESS (battery energy storage systems) with the capabilities to deliver stored power to replace what those gas plants generated. That 7,500 MW of battery storage would need to store their power in the days before the wind disappeared and it wouldn’t happen if the wind wasn’t blowing.
Blackouts would be the alternative to the above.
Now try to imagine how much more IWT generation coupled with BESS units we would need on a hot summer day when demand peaks at over 22,000 MW!
4 thoughts on “Wimpy Wind Once Again Demonstrates its Unreliable Nature”
At hour 13 on March 7 wind power surged to 3,503, 4 MW over Hydro. As the wind surged, it forced the price to zero and we dumped 1,718 MW in neighbouring jurisdictions, losing $231,930. This happened on a Tuesday afternoon. It proves the fatal flaw of wind power. It is largely ouy-of-sync with demand and intermittent.
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A graph showing the total cost contribution in $/kw, of each of the sources, at any point in time, to the total cost to the consumer would be interesting.