IWT Just Removed over $10 million from Ontario Ratepayer and Taxpayer’s Pockets

Suspicious about how those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were generating unneeded power for the past couple of days, a review of IESO data for May 19th and May 20th disclosed the awful truth!

Ontario households and businesses took a nasty hit as those IWT were producing nothing but unneeded power for the last couple of days as is their habit in the Spring and Fall.  On May 19th IESO accepted 31,052 MWh and curtailed 1,200 MW from the IWT generators and then on May 20th IESO accepted 42,542 MWh and curtailed 6,681 MW.

As is quite frequent during this time of the year the demand for power in Ontario wasn’t needed so IESO were busy getting rid of it selling it off for pennies of its cost to Michigan, New York and Quebec with net exports (exports minus imports) on May 19th of 55,382 MWh and 56,382 MWh on May 20th.  As one can easily understand those net-exports on both days were well in excess of what those IWT delivered meaning they were not needed as peak demand on the 19th reached only 14,413 MW at hour 18 and 15,561 MW on May 20th at hour 20. 

The parties buying and selling the excess energy surely had a field day as the average HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) or market price averaged only $10.96 (about one cent per kWh) on May 19th and  even less on May 20th as the HOEP averaged $5.92/MWh (less than one cent per kWh).

The net result was IWT generation (accepted and curtailed) on May 19th cost $4,336,020 and May 20th IWT generation (accepted and curtailed) cost $6,544,820. Collectively the two days brought those IWT owners’ gross revenue of $10,880,540 due to their “first-to-the-grid” rights under their contracts with IESO.

Over the two days the HOEP sale price of that unneeded IWT generation earned a miniscule $591,515 (5.4% of their cost) putting the net cost of that power (our neighbours happily snapped up) to $10,289,315.

The weight of the McGuinty/Wynne GEA (Green Energy Act) pushed by Gerald Butts continues to hammer Ontarians with costs providing no value except to the owners of those IWT and our neighbours!

Those who voted for the Ford led government surely hoped their gaining a majority in the Provincial Parliament would somehow result in a different outcome. Electricity costs of energy are essential to the daily needs of households and businesses but for some reason their rising costs are not dealt with.

Just another problem brought to us by the “climate change” fanatics our politicians seem unwilling to challenge as we watch our costs rise and energy poverty increase!  

Mother’s Day gone with the Wind

Mother’s Day which was March 14th this year, has come and gone, much like we grandfathers, grandmothers, sons and daughters here in Ontario have just had over $4 million taken from our pockets to pay for the intermittent supply of IWT (industrial wind turbines).  The money is gone because we didn’t need any IWT generation but because of their “first-to-the-grid” rights embedded in their contracts we were obliged to pay the IWT owners.

The day was atypical for the spring with demand reaching a lowly 5-minute peak of 14,627 MW during Hour 21 (hour ending at 9 PM) versus those much higher demand hours in the summer and winter months.

Needless to say IESO were busy trying to get rid of our surplus power by selling it off to Michigan, New York and Quebec as nuclear plus our baseload hydro were more than enough to supply us for the full 24 hours.  As it turned out net-exports (exports minus imports) were 65,498 MWh (about what 2.2 million households consume daily) and the market price, ie: HOEP (hourly Ontario Energy Price) averaged only $3.88/MWH or 0.04 cents/kWh!  What that means is we earned a grand total of only $$254K from their sale but our costs for their generation was up around the $7 million mark.

Naturally a big part of the above costs were the IWT generated power as IESO forecast they would generate 33,627 MWh but they only accepted 23,822 into the grid so the other 9,805 MWh were curtailed. As most Ontarians know we pay $135/MWh for grid accepted IWT generation and another $120/MWh for what is curtailed so the total amount we taxpayers/ratepayers paid to the IWT owners was approximately $4.4 million or about 63% of the $7 million cost of all the exported surplus power.

It is worth noting grid accepted IWT generation only represented around 36% of the total net-exported MWh we sold but their generation and curtailed power surely played a significant role in driving down the market price as  the buyers would recognize we had to sell it off or give it away for nothing.

As if to reinforce the latter the HOEP for 12 of the 24 hours yesterday reported by IESO was 0.00/MWh!

Once again, the events surrounding the intermittent and unreliable nature of those IWT clearly demonstrated their uselessness unless it is to reduce emissions from coal plants* located elsewhere!

*A recent Scott Luft post demonstrates how we Ontarians are helping Michigan reduce their emissions from those nasty coal plants but they are not giving us any carbon credits we could sell off to recoup some of the IWT costs!

Industrial Wind Turbines Demonstrate their Volatility on May 10, 2023

Well May 10th clearly demonstrated the volatile nature of IWT yesterday bouncing from producing a low 24 MWh at Hour 9 when they were forecast to produce 25 MWh to a forecast generation of 1,316 MWh at Hour 24 but at that hour IESO only accepted 881 MWh meaning they curtailed about 435 MWh. Those IWT presented themselves in a backward motion as at Hour 9 Ontario’s demand is usually on the rise and at Hour 24 demand is heading down. At Hour 9 it reached 14,077 MW and at Hour 12 it fell to only 12,507 MW which nuclear and hydro easily provided and perhaps why IESO curtailed some of that wind generation we ratepayers are obligated to pay for.

As is frequent during our Spring and Fall seasons demand is almost always low whereas peaks during our summers are often in the 22,000 MW range and in the winter in the 20,000 MW area. Those latter seasonal peaks are generally when the wind isn’t around!

So yesterday, wind was very wimpy and those IWT could have delivered only 12,100 MWh (IESO curtailed about 890 MWh) so would have operated at 10.3% of their capacity which is well below their yearly average of 29/30%. Due to their “first-to-the-grid rights they will be fully paid for what IESO accepted and curtailed even though it wasn’t needed.

Because it was a well below average day for IWT output, it won’t cost Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers too much (about $1.6/1.8 million), even though it was probably all exported or caused our cheaper power supply to be sold to our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec.

What the foregoing demonstrates is we ratepayers/taxpayers should be thankful for those too infrequent Spring and Fall days when the wind isn’t blowing.

Wind Disengages but Natural Gas and Hydro to the Rescue

As many know should you fly a propellor driven aircraft you need a fossil fuel engine to make that propellor spin and keep you flying! That analogy also applies to using wind to create electricity utilizing those IWT (industrial wind turbines).  If the wind isn’t blowing, we need either fossil fuel generation, hydroelectricity (water flowing through turbines) or nuclear generation to keep the lights on! Nuclear and most of hydroelectric generation are considered baseload power as is evident on an hourly, daily and annual basis whereas some hydro and natural gas generators stand at the ready to ramp UP or ramp DOWN.  In years past that ability allowed it to respond to the hourly electricity demand throughout the day but since the addition of wind and solar generation it is also required to be at the ready for times when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

Evidence of the foregoing is obvious from the following screenshot from IESO late on May 6th, 2023, for the six days starting April 30, 2023, up to hour 20 on the 6th!  The green (sprinkled with a little yellow) depicts the generation from wind with the occasional spot of yellow being solar generation.   

As the expression goes; “a picture is worth a thousand words” and the foregoing does that as wind generation was quite in evidence during the first three May days but suddenly almost disappeared as we traversed into the 4th and 5th of May.  Thankfully our natural gas plants were available to fill in for the missing wind and solar generation and the Spring Freshet supplied water for our rammable hydroelectric generation sources.

What wind and solar generation do is basically layer additional costs on to what we pay for electricity in the province with their first to the grid rights.  Ontario’s ratepayers/taxpayers are therefore forced to pickup approximately $6.5 billion of annual costs associated with their; “on again, off again” generation to pretend we are actually having a positive effect on reducing emissions.

Highly unlikely emissions have been reduced considering the emissions generated by the mining and manufacturing processes required for those IWT and solar panels! Ah, but our politicians here in Canada know those emissions were created in another country so will blatantly ignore that latter fact!

As Walter Scott is credited with saying hundreds of years ago; “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!

Another April day on the 20th and Wind Generation Adds More Millions to OUR Costs

Well, once again a review of IESO data for April 20th indicates we taxpayers/ratepayers were negatively impacted!

The wind was blowing pretty good on this Spring Day so IESO forecast those IWT (industrial wind turbines) would generate 63,303 MW (54% of their capacity). Ultimately IESO only accepted 56,339 MW meaning they curtailed about 7,000 MW of the anticipated output.  This happened as we were obliged to pay $135/MWh for the grid accepted generation and $120/MWh for what was curtailed.  The cost to us ratepayers for the IWT generation and curtailed output came to over $8.4 million.

While IESO were obliged to either accept or curtail the IWT generation they were busy exporting our unneeded and surplus power once again to our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec. In total the “net exports” (exports minus imports) reported by IESO were 62,116 MW which easily exceeded the 56,339 MW the IWT provided to the grid.

Based on the foregoing we can, rightly assume, the IWT generation IESO accepted; was not needed so we Ontario ratepayers received absolutely no benefit and instead were obliged to pay the costs of that intermittent and unreliably generation. 

We can therefore conclude no IWT generation was needed at any hour of the day particularly even, when noting the “peak Hour” which only reached 15,821 MW at Hour 20 (hour ending at 8 PM).  If we then look at the average hourly rate, we note it was a very low $6.36/MWh. At peak hour it was even less reaching only $4.50/MWh or 0.045 cents/kWh meaning what we paid $135/MWh got us only $4.50/MWh for a loss per MWh of $130.50. Sure doesn’t make one believe we have a handle on the contracts delivered to those IWT owners!

We should be pretty sure our neighbours appreciated the gift we once again handed them which, if one does the math, it came to a net cost of approximately $8,076,000 after we were paid that miserly $6.36/MWh for the 56,339 MW of the IWT generation.

As a matter of interest just the grid accepted IWT generation we gave away is about what 1.8 million households consume daily!

When, if ever, will our Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, fix this rip-off of us taxpayers/ratepayers should be the question on our minds?

April 17, 2023, was Full Giveaway Day with Wind Generation’s Cost of Millions Handed to our Neighbours

As incredible as it sounds; all of the wind generation from those IWT (industrial wind turbines) spread throughout Ontario on April 17, 2023, were either exported or caused almost all (98.9%) of the IESO reported: net-exports of 60,288 MW!

IWT generation accepted into the grid by IESO was 59,606 MWh whereas the forecast by them was possible generation of 75,047 MW.  Obviously about 14,441 MW were curtailed!  What that tells us is, we didn’t need any IWT generation as our exported electricity generation actually exceeded the IWT accepted generation.

The foregoing means the cost of accepted IWT generation at the contracted price of $135/MWh plus the cost of the curtailed generation at $120/MWh brought the total cost of what was delivered and curtailed to $$9,899,730. 

The average market price or HOEP (hourly Ontario export price) for the full 24 hours was only $8.68/MWh which basically means for all of the IWT accepted generation the 59,606 MWh generated and then exported earned only $517,380.

The foregoing piddly money earned from the sale of our unneeded IWT generation reduced the total cost of what we Ontarians paid for the accepted and curtailed generation to around $9.382 million.


Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers paid $9.382 million for NOTHING which (to paraphrase a former Ontario Liberal Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli) amounts to the cost of a large timmies coffee per household!

Wind Generation Cost to us Ontarians on April 13th Hit a Record of $2,054.81 per Megawatt Hour

Well, the wind wasn’t blowing quite as much as April 11th but what was actually consumed by Ontario’s ratepayers April 14th set a new record cost; to the best of my knowledge, per MWh!

On April 13th the 4,900 MW of grid connected capacity in Ontario of those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were forecast by IESO to generate 62,063 MW (52.8% of capacity) but only 53,317 MWh or 45.3% of its capacity was accepted meaning about 8,746 MW were curtailed. 

The math on the above meant total costs to Ontarians (ratepayers and taxpayers) for IWT generation was $6,722,325 for grid accepted generation at $135/MWh plus $1,049,520 at $120/MWh for curtailed generation so it totaled $7,771,845.

Just like two days earlier we didn’t need what those IWT generated as demand, while somewhat higher, throughout the day, peaked at 16,488 MW at Hour 19 (hour ending at 7 PM) and was only slightly over 16,000 MW for three hours (hour 18 to hour 20) of the whole day.

As it was on April 11th, IESO were busy selling the surplus power off with most of it going to Michigan, New York, and Quebec.  The average market price or HOEP (hourly Ontario export price) over the 24 hours was only $10.74/MWh and net exports (exports minus imports) were 93.4% (49,795 MW) of the grid accepted IWT generation.  Total net exports (exports minus imports) were 53,317 MW resulting in us ratepayers only receiving $534,798 (49,795 MW X $10.74 = $534,798) for the exported IWT generation.

As previously noted, we should assume most of the surplus we sold to our neighbours was either all IWT generated power or caused by it meaning Ontarians consumption of IWT generation was only 3,522 MW of the IESO accepted 53,317 MW generated by them.

Taking the foregoing logic to the next step we can easily calculate the cost of the 3,522 MW of IWT generation we consumed!  The math is simple; The total cost of IWT generation (grid accepted and curtailed) of $7,771,845 minus the $534,798 generated from their sale to our neighbours divided by the 3,522 MW we consumed in Ontario i.e., $7,237,047/3,522 MW = $2,054.81/MWh.*

Wow, the $2,054.81/MWh it cost us on April 13, 2023, for IWT generation is rather mind-boggling and who knows, it may well have happened in the past but unless you examine IESO data on a daily basis one would never know, although the $6.5 billion taxpayers absorb annually to keep rates at current levels may be why we don’t notice.

In the process of putting together this information a quick glance at generation today on April 14th disclosed IWT generation had dropped to the point where they generated 84 MW for Hour 17 and Hour 18 clearly disclosing why IWT are labelled intermittent and unreliable. The 84 MW could well be less than they are actually consuming to keep that light blinking on and off at the top of their towers!

We clearly don’t need them for grid connected generation and it is so disappointing our politicians won’t accept that obvious fact and rescind their “first-to-the-grid” rights!

*Equal to $2.05/kWh

Wind Generation Cost Ontarians $610.67 per Megawatt Hour on April 11th

The above headline sounds “kind of” over the top but as it turns out its factual!

The wind was blowing strong throughout the day on April 11th and the 4,900 MW of grid connected capacity of those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were generating lots!  IESO forecast they would generate 82,184 MWh (69.9% of capacity) but they only accepted 77,315 MWh (65.7% of capacity) suggesting 4,869 MW were curtailed. 

The quick math on the above means the total costs to Ontarians (ratepayers and taxpayers) was $10,437,525 for accepted generation ($135/MWh) plus $584,280 for curtailed generation ($120/MWh) so totaled $11,021,805.

The big problem with the accepted IWT generation yesterday was we didn’t need most of it as demand was low throughout the day and only reached 15,624 at its peak at Hour 20 (hour ending at 8 PM). As it turned out IESO were busy selling the surplus power off with most of it going to Michigan, New York, and Quebec.  If one, then examines the average market price or HOEP (hourly Ontario export price) over the 24 hours we discover it averaged a lowly $4.70/MWh.  Over the day net exports (exports minus imports) were 59,726 MWh or 77.3% of the grid accepted IWT generation meaning we received only $280,712 (59,726 MW X $4.70 = $280,712) for that surplus generation.

Should we, logically, assume the surplus we sold to our neighbours was either all IWT generation or caused by it; we Ontarians only consumed or needed 17,589 MW of the 77,315 MW IESO accepted of IWT generated power over the day.

Taking the foregoing logic to the next step we can easily calculate the cost of those 17,589 MW of IWT generation we consumed!  The math is simple: the total cost of IWT generation (grid accepted and curtailed) of $11,021,805 minus the $280,712 generated from their sale to our neighbours divided by the 17,589 MW we consumed in Ontario: i.e. $10,741,093/17,589 MW = $610.67/MWh.

Wow, the $610.67/MWh it cost us on April 11, 2023, for IWT generation, is not uncommon and what we frequently experience during the Spring and Fall seasons when our electricity demand is low.

Peak levels often are well over 20,000 MW per hour during hot summer days or cold winter ones when IWT generation is frequently absent!

The time has come for the Provincial government under Doug Ford to recognize the mess the McGuinty/Wynne government created and finally do something about it.  We ratepayers and taxpayers should not be shouldering the burden of this intermittent and unreliable power!

Fix the mess and get rid of electricity costing us $610.67/MWh and recognize Ontario’s electricity sector is over 90% emissions free!

Industrial Wind Turbines are the Proverbial Yo-Yo

Over the past few days those of us living in southeastern Ontario couldn’t help but notice the ups and downs of the wind with both windy ones followed by almost a mid-summer doldrum!  As a result of that experience it was worth a look at some IESO data and that is displayed below in a screenshot of April 4th to 9th  taken on April 9th.

The green on the chart shows the IWT (industrial wind turbines) grid connected generation over that timeframe and if you spot red and yellow, they respectively represent biomass and solar generation.  The dark blue is natural gas generation responding to either IWT absence or its high output during demand for each of the many hours in the screenshot. The light blue is hydro output, and the orange is nuclear with a large portion of hydro and all of nuclear considered “baseload” power!  

Should one examine the IESO data for April 5, 2023, they forecast grid connected IWT would generate 79,740 MW (67.8% of capacity) and reported 76,932 MW (65.4% of capacity) were accepted suggesting just under 3,000 MW were curtailed. Peak demand on that day occurred at Hour 20 (hour ending at 8 PM) and reached 16,573 MW and those IWT were humming delivering 3,626 MW or 21.9% of peak demand. 

In contrast to IWT generation on April 5th on April 8th those IWT were almost absent generating only 7,685 MW over the full 24 hours. That represented only 6.5% of their capacity and only 10% of what they delivered three days before!  At the peak hour which again was Hour 20, IESO reported they delivered 96 MW or 0.62% of that hour’s peak demand which was only 15,513 MW. Peak hour generation on April 8th came from nuclear, hydro and natural gas (1,366 MW) so, without the latter Ontario may well have experienced a blackout.  Alternatively, IESO may have shouted out: “don’t charge your EV” (electric vehicles) as the grid operator in California (CISO) does when their IWT are not spinning or the sky is cloud covered!

Now try to imagine one of Ontario’s hot summer days when the wind isn’t blowing, and peak demand is over 21,000 MW as it was on nine of the ten highest peak hours last summer! Don’t charge your EV or turn on your air conditioner will be the message should the Minister of Energy order the closure of Ontario’s natural gas plants!

The recent two days clearly demonstrate the Yo-Yo characteristics of IWT as an unreliable supply of electricity due to their intermittent nature.

Time to flush them out with the bath water!

Does Ontario Auditor General’s Report Demonstrate “Water Under the Bridge” Benefits Wind and Solar Generation?

The expression “water under the bridge” is an idiom implying “something that happened in the past and cannot now be changed”!  The  November 2022 report by Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, titled “Ontario Power Generation: Management and Maintenance of Hydroelectric Generating Stations“ clearly shows that expression to be true.

The following chart from the report outlines how OPG’s baseload hydro reputedly generated SBG (surplus baseload generation) for seven years starting in 2015 up to and including 2021:

From 2015 to 2021, OPG could have generated approximately 269 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity but only generated 226 million MWh, meaning about 43 million MWh of generating capacity went unused. In 2021 alone, OPG could have generated an additional 4.6 million MWh of electricity, or enough to power over 540,000 Ontario households for a year.“

The chart from the OAG’s report depicts annual OPG water spills that could have generated the 43 million MWh (43 TWh [terawatt hours]) and also highlights the annual cost which, for the seven (7) years, was collectively $730 million.  Needless to say Ontario’s ratepayers were obligated to pick up those costs which also included about $43 million for wasted water fuel costs that went into the province’s revenue base.

The AG’s report also noted how SBG in 2013 was only 1.7 million MWh.  In 2013 the grid connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) generated 5.2 TWh whereas by 2021 they generated 11.8 TWh.  Higher IWT generation (13.8 TWh in 2022) will increase SBG particularly when some of our nuclear plants (currently under refurbishment) are back in service meaning costs to ratepayers/taxpayers will increase further. 

It is worth recounting the GEA (Green Energy Act) was passed in 2009 and as contracts were let to those IWT companies they were granted “first-to-the-grid” rights meaning they got preference over all other grid connected generation capacity with the exception of nuclear. What that meant is during lower demand hours of the day other capacity such as hydro became surplus capacity relegated to having to dispatch. The result is ratepayers pay for not only the cost of what OPG was paid for the power but also for the water NOT running through the turbines as well as the annualized capital costs for other peak power supplies such as natural gas and biomass plants!  The foregoing layering effect has driven up prices wherever IWT and solar panels have been installed not only increasing energy costs but also the energy poverty they create!

Additionally it is worth pointing out the cost of hydro generated power is less than $50/MWh whereas IWT generation is priced at $135/MWh due to their “first-to-the-grid” rights and even if curtailed cost $120/MWh. So when those IWT or solar panels are responsible for producing surplus power we ratepayers and taxpayers are burdened with not only the costs for the surplus baseload power but also for grid accepted power at the much higher costs of wind and solar generation. 

When demand is very low and baseload nuclear and hydro can fully satisfy demand, we frequently sell off surplus power (often generated by wind and solar) to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec for pennies of what we ratepayers and taxpayers paid for it! Just another added burden to our daily living costs!

The Ford led government promised to fix the electricity system when in opposition but all they seem to have done is transfer more costs to both ratepayers and taxpayers.


We now are left to wonder why the Ford led government haven’t passed legislation to amend those FIT (feed in tariff) contracts removing the “first-to-the-grid” rights granted to them by their predecessors?

Perhaps they simply consider their original aspirations as simply “water under the bridge”!