Summer High Demand and Wind Wimps Out

Summer weather in Ontario finally arrived and June 24th demonstrated how IWT (industrial wind turbines) frequently fall flat during those summer peak demand hours which reached 20,715 MW in hour 19.  During that hour wind produced a total of 291 MW which represented about 0.5% of their rated capacity and 0.01% of peak demand whereas Ontario’s natural gas generators produced 5,236 MW or over 25% of peak demand and just over 58 % of their rated capacity.

For the whole 24 hours IWT generation was a miserly 8,188 MW or 7.1% of total capacity reaching a high of 759 MW at hour 24 and a low of 48 MW at hour 9 demonstrating their intermittency and unreliable nature.

As a result of the IWT failures however the positive fact emerging was the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) averaged $71.90 for the full day meaning what we sold to Michigan and NY fetched a higher price than we normally receive.  During the peak hour we sold Michigan 1,116 MW and 485 MW to NY and the HOEP at that hour was $114.03/MWh so it came close to paying for that hour’s imported power of the 1,793 MW we purchased from Quebec.

The foregoing is just more proof that IWT should not benefit from their “first-to-the-grid” rights the McGuinty/Wynne Ontario Liberal Party bestowed on them via their lucrative contracts.

It is also further proof the “net-zero” acclimation signed on at COP -26 by the Federal Government under PM Justin Trudeau is a pipe dream as without the natural gas generation Ontario would have experienced blackouts yesterday.

The time has come for the recently re-elected Ford led provincial government to push back on the Federal commitments of “net-zero” and abandon any plans to add more unreliable IWT generation that will not only harm birds and bats and cause health problems in rural communities but also result in increased electricity prices as well as future blackouts.

While You Were Sleeping, Quebec, Michigan and New York Raided Your Piggy Bank

The IESO reports from Midnight to 7 AM on June 7th indicate over those seven hours they sold off Ontario’s surplus generation* to our neighbours in Quebec (7,178 MWh), Michigan (6,849 MWh) and New York (3,114 MWh) for an average price of $1.25/MWh generating a pitiful $21,426  for those 17,141 MWh.  Ontario’s electricity demand during the bulk of those hours was in the 12,000 MW range which it frequently experiences during nights in the Spring and Fall months.  

As the foregoing suggests we didn’t need any other power beyond what nuclear and hydro can easily provide yet those wind turbine contracts give them “first-to-the-grid” rights and even pay them for curtailed power!

As it turned out, a large part of the 17,141 MWh sold off during those seven hours to our three neighbours were related to how those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were operating! IESO had forecast IWT would generate 13,481 MWh during those hours but they only accepted 8,068 MWh and curtailed 5,413 MWh.

The above exercise meant just the IWT cost was $1,738,740 and coupled with the cost for the other exported generation (9,073 MWh) at an average cost of $116/MWh (the latter includes about $30/MWh paid by Ontario taxpayers) brings the total cost to $2,791,200 or about fifty-three cents for each of the 5.3 million Ontario households.

While 53 cents per household is only 7.6 cents per hour; if it happened for the 8760 annual hours per year it would amount to over $600.00 per Ontario household and be a major hit to the 50% of families who are only $200.00 away from being able to pay their bills!

The time has come for the re-elected Ford led Government to do something about this mess and stop the continued bleeding of our after-tax dollars for this fictional “non-emitting” generation harming those 5.3 million Ontario households.

*Low demand coupled with nightly IWT generation drives down the market price referenced as the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) forcing ratepayers to pay for the difference between the contracted price and the market price.

June 4th; Just Another day of Generosity by Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers

Well, once again, Ontario’s electricity generators were producing power we didn’t need. Nevertheless, the ratepayers and taxpayers of Ontario were obliged to give it away to our neighbours in Michigan, Quebec and New York.  This is a regular occurrence during the Spring and Fall seasons as demand is generally at the lowest levels for us but the GEA (Green Energy Act) imposed by the Liberal government during the McGuinty/Wynne years declared wind and solar generation were the future so they gave them contracts with very high rates and “first-to-the-grid” rights!

Ontarians have been paying the price for over a decade and despite the fact Liberals were found guilty of their stupidity on the electricity file and booted out of power, the current and recently reelected Ford led Conservative Party has done nothing to change things over their prior four years of power!

So, Saturday the fourth of June was simply another example of how the mess continues!

Peak demand in Ontario occurred during the 18th hour and peaked at 14,437 MW. Nuclear and hydro alone at that hour generated 14,631 MWh so wind and solar were not needed but those damn contracts stand in the way. At that hour wind was operating at 16.9% of their capacity and they could have peaked at 45% of their capacity at 1 AM but IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) had them curtail 1,200 MW. 

IESO were busy selling off our surplus power throughout the day to our neighbours and did so with slightly over 24,000 MWh to Michigan, 22,300 MWh to Quebec and about 12,000 MWh to NY!  That power was sold at the astronomical (sarcasm intended) average HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) of $6.34/MWh.

What the preceding tells us is we are giving Michigan and New York, clean green power to help then keep energy costs low and reduce their emissions. Quebec benefits by not using their hydro generation which they have presold to US States like NY under lucrative contracts.  No benefit for Ontario’s ratepayers or taxpayers as the following outlines!

If we simply assume the approximately 58,000 MWh, we exported earned us only $368,000 (58,000 MWh X $6.34/MWh), we should consider what it cost us!

The mix of electricity sold presumably included wind generation (26,000 MWh including curtailed), solar, hydro, nuclear and perhaps even a little natural gas. The minimum cost was approximately $116/MWh based on the GA (Global Adjustment) estimate by Scott Luft and the 2nd estimate by IESO for May and includes the $30/MWh taxpayer subsidy. Using the $116/MWh the cost of those exports becomes $6,728,000 and including the 4,900 MWh of curtailed wind total costs rise to over $7.3 million.  So, for what cost Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers $7.3 million we received less than $400K.

What the foregoing points out to the politicians in charge is that there is something inherently stupid with the way our electricity system is managed. We changed the political parties once because of the electricity file but the Ford government simply shifted a large part of the costs to the taxpayers so it was hidden from sight.

Perhaps the next election will be focused on the provincial debt and include the costs the Ford led government hid inside our Provincial debt.

If they actually do something to sort out the mess created by the Liberals it could reduce the provincial deficits by $6.9 billion as reported by the FAO of Ontario assuming they can keep electricity costs flat, perhaps by taxing the intermittent and unreliability of that expensive and harmful wind generation.

Only time will tell!

Bruce Power took their Four “A” Units offline and no one Noticed

The OCAA (Ontario Clear Air Alliance) has been pushing the closure of Ontario’s nuclear plants for years in addition to their more recent effort to gain municipal support for the closure of our gas plants.  They continually suggest the closure of both will not cause problems as we will get all the power those units now produce from Quebec’s excess hydro which is an outright lie. Quebec is a winter peaking province and pushes their residential and businesses to conserve power during that season.  No doubt the OCAA will renew the claim with Bruce taking all four of their “A Units (3,144 MW capacity) offline as part of the requirement to do its Vacuum Building Outage. That will allow OCAA to suggest they weren’t missed! 

The VBO is a regulation as noted in the Bruce press release: “All four operating units must be shut down once every 12 years to allow for inspections and maintenance to the vacuum building.”  The units will come back on line before “summer peaking season” to ensure Ontario has the electricity supply needed.

What is interesting about the units being taken offline is to look at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) on May 12th!  That time reflects the “peak demand” hour for the day with it reaching 17,179 MW for a five-minute segment.  At that hour nuclear generated 6,758 MW, hydro 6,176 MW and natural gas plants 3,666 MW.  From the three renewables IESO report; solar contributed 97 MW, biomass 50 MW and those IWT (industrial wind turbines) 866 MW so collectively they provided 5.9% of peak hour needs.

Now try to imagine the blackouts we would experience without nuclear and gas or what Quebec might have provided to replace the 57% of generation those two sources did!

As a matter of interest, the IESO “Intertie report” disclosed Ontario even exported 1,408 MW to Michigan and imported 500 MW from New York.  Quebec supplied 115 MW (less than solar and biomass combined at that hour)!  Those imports and exports traded at an average rate of $81.06/MWh which is much closer to their actual cost than when the wind is blowing hard during low demand hours and days driving down the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price)!

So, Mr. Gibbons, Chair of the OCAA, the “cheap and abundant” hydro you told us Quebec would supply if we shut down our nuclear and gas generation never appeared at Hour 18 so what makes you believe we would be able to do without Ontario’s nuclear and gas generation?  You seem intent at wanting to cause widespread blackouts throughout Ontario!

The time has arrived for the OCAA and its supporters to back off from their spurious claims!

The Marc Patrone Show on Sauga Radio 960 AM, May 11, 2022

I was on the Marc Patrone show which is on every weekday from 1 PM to 3 PM on May 11th and our discussion centered on how the Alberta Court of Appeal had just delivered a ruling on the Federal Impact Assessment Act (also known as Bill C-69). The Act has been called “The No More Pipelines” Bill by all who have opposed it. Alberta’s Appeal Court ruled it was in violation of the Constitution.

We also talked about an existing pipeline that keeps getting in the news and that is Line 5 bringing natural gas and light crude from Alberta to Michigan via the Mackinac Straits and then to Canada. Sarnia’s refineries and others are dependent on it but Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer is determined to shut it down.

Our chat is now up on the podcast for May 11th and you can listen to it starting at 1:08:36 and ending at 1:43:15 here:

Ontario’s Industrial Wind Turbines dig Deep into Ratepayer’s & Taxpayer’s Pockets

May 7th was a typical Spring Day in Ontario with a relatively mild but windy day and we should be pretty sure IWT (industrial wind turbines) owners loved it!

Ontario’s “peak demand” occurred at hour 20 (ending at 8 PM) reaching only 14,439 MW (megawatts) and that demand could have easily been supplied by nuclear and hydro which at hour 21 generated 14,353 MW.

Over the day the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) accepted 26,259 MW of wind generation and curtailed about 36,200 MW meaning the almost 4800 MW capacity of IWT could have delivered around 62,300 MW (54% of capacity).  Coincidentally the foregoing accepted and curtailed IWT generation was only slightly more than was sold off to export markets with about 34,500 MW to Michigan and the bulk of the remainder to NY and Quebec.

The buyers of that surplus generation got a great bargain as the average HOEP for the day was 0.50 cents/MWh meaning the total revenue generated from the sale of the 62,300 MW was a miserly $31K! The buyers know when the wind turbines are spinning and when to buy our very cheap surplus and unneeded power!

To put the foregoing in perspective let’s look at what it cost the Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers. What Michigan, NY and Quebec paid and what we received was rather shocking. Under the terms of those IWT contracts we pay IWT generators $135/MWh for accepted generation and $120/MWh for curtailed generation!  Effectively that means they received about $7,877,000 for the accepted and curtailed generation or $299.97/MWh yesterday for grid accepted generation which is 0.30 cents/KWh (kilowatt hour)!  So, we were billed the foregoing for unneeded IWT generation and the principal buyer of the surplus was Michigan who are dependent on fossil fuels for about 70% of their generation! So nice of us to help them out when their Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is actively trying to shut down Line 5 which provides us Ontarians and Quebecers with propane and other fossil fuels!

If IESO disclosed hydro spillage and the cost of idling gas generators (required to back up the unreliability of IWT and solar panel generation) rest assured the cost of the generation for May 7th would be even higher than the cost noted in the above paragraph!  

It sure would be nice if the buyers of our surplus generation at those bargain basement prices rewarded us with “Clean Energy Credits” (CEC) so we could recover a little bit of the costs. We should assume seeking CEC for subsidization of sales of Ontario’s clean surplus power to our neighbours would entail our politicians doing some serious negotiations to help stop the impact on our continually climbing energy costs.

We shouldn’t count on the foregoing to happen with the present government in Ontario or the other two main parties running in opposition to them!

Are Premier Ford and PM Trudeau Aware of the Big Stick they Hold to Stop Michigan Governor Whitmer Shutting down Line 5?

   

Lorrie Goldstein of the Toronto Sun wrote a great article about how Premier Doug Ford is sucking up to Trudeau’s “woke” followers in order to win their vote in the upcoming Ontario election. The article described ways Ford and Trudeau have agreed on several different issues. One of those was to fight the efforts of Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer and her push “to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline under Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, which carries light crude oil and natural gas liquids, the closure of which would damage both the Canadian and Ontario economies.”

The fight with Michigan has been going on since November 2020 when Governor Whitmer ordered it shut down.  Enbridge, supported by the Trudeau and Ford led governments successfully fought the order, pointing to a long-standing agreement between the US and Canada in respect to cross-border pipelines.  Despite the prior win by Enbridge, Governor Whitmer has recently decided to try again using a different tactic which on the surface looks wimpy.  We should all find it humorous that even our past and present “net-zero” advocates; Wilkinson and Guilbeault as Ministers of the Environment and Climate Change, support Enbridge, according to an interview reported by SARNIA News Today!

What is not understandable is why the Ontario Ford led government didn’t use the big stick at their disposal. If Doug Ford looked at IESO’s “Annual Imports and Exports by Destination” he would see that Ontario over the past ten (10) years has supplied Michigan with about 10% of their annual consumption according to the Michigan energy profile. That (approximately) 10% is supplied at prices that would make Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers jump for joy if they could keep it!  During those 10 years we have supplied Michigan with 87,174 GWh (gigawatt hours) at bargain basement prices. Over those 10 years in almost every hour we provide them with 1,000 MWh or more of our “non-emitting” electricity allowing them to both save money and reduce emissions while we Ontarians are forced to absorb the subsidy.

As an example the HOEP in 2021 reported in IESO’s Year in Review  was 2.85 cents/kWh and that year we exported 8,482 GWh to Michigan (49.3% of all exports). In 2020 we exported 9,835 GWh or 48.4% of all exports (about what 1.1 million average Ontario households annually consume) to Michigan when the HOEP was 1.39 cents/kWh. The cost to Michigan for 2019 was just under $137 million for our power resulting in Ontarians absorbing costs of approximately $1.026 billion.  

Another very recent example was April 30th and May 1st when Ontario demand was relatively low with demand on April 30th peaking at 14,446 MW and on May 1st peaking at 15,255 MW.  Nuclear and Hydro would have had no problem providing most of that power for either peak.  What happened on both those days was atypical of our Spring and Fall seasons when the wind blows. On the 30th IESO reported IWT (industrial wind turbines) grid connected generation of 40,185 MWh and on May 1st it was 31,115 MWh. Additionally, it appears IESO also curtailed about 8,300 MWh on April 30th and 28,700 MWh on May 1st!    

The combined cost of the two days for grid accepted IWT generation plus the cost of the curtailed IWT generation was approximately $14.065 million. Needless to say, with low demand we were busy exporting power and 68,890 MWh of it went to Michigan.  Michigan had to ante up $146,000 on April 30th paying 0.0425 cents/kwh and 0.0823 cents/kWh ($284,000) on May 1st resulting in us generous Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers picking up a subsidy of $13.9 million over the two days.

It is also worth noting that approximately 65% of Michigan’s electricity generation is produced with fossil fuels and coal generation represents almost half of that generating about 30% or 30,000 GWh annually!

So, the question is, do we blame it on the senseless IWT contracts the McGuinty/Wynne government signed with “first-to-the-grid” rights or the Ford government for doing absolutely nothing to amend those contracts since being elected? 

Without the latter Governor Whitmer’s Michigan ratepayers are simply enjoying the benefits so; why doesn’t the Ford Government instruct IESO to stop using the intertie lines with them until she agrees to stop pushing for closure of Line 5. Paying for all the unneeded wind and curtailing it might actually cost us Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers a little less! 

The time has come for Ford and Trudeau to use the Big Stick!

NB: It is worth pointing out that Michigan has 320,000 households who use propane for heating and other purposes and they laid out a plan that will ensure their supply is not impacted if and when the Line 5 pipeline is shut down.  The plan doesn’t mention how others like Ontario, Quebec and neighbouring states will handle the loss of propane however.  The plan is dated November 3, 2021 so it is obvious Whitmer is determined to shut Line 5 down.   Link to plan: https://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/-/media/Project/Websites/mpsc/consumer/propane/MI_Propane_Security_Plan_Overview.pdf?rev=90d4da17bbfb482a96fec64e2201b6c9

Earth Day and Industrial Wind Turbines Don’t Co-operate

The eco-warriors in Ontario and around the world just celebrated the fifty-second (52nd) “Earth Day” on April 22, 2022 and those IWT (industrial wind turbines) in Ontario failed to co-operate! It seemed as if they would, as at the 12 AM hour (ending at 1 AM) they generated 2,060 MWh or just over 43% of their capacity but that hour was their highlight of the day. For many of the following hours their generation fell and at hour 13 (hour ending at 2 PM) their generation was a miserly 197 MWh or about 4% of their capacity.  In total for the full day, IWT generated 21,647 MWh while our grid operator, IESO, was busy selling off our surplus 44,944 MWh to our neighbours, principally in Michigan with some to NY and Quebec.  What that suggests is all of the IWT generated power was surplus to our needs and served to ensure the price paid by our neighbours was miniscule averaging 1.57cents/kWh for the first six hours and 2.8cents/kWh for the full day. If the full 21,647 MWh of wind generation was all included in what IESO sold off the net cost to Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers for just the unneeded IWT generation would be about $2.5 million. Peak demand in Spring tends to be relatively low and it occurred in hour 20 reaching 15,672 MW in a 5-minute interval.  Unfortunately for ratepayers and taxpayers in Ontario, Spring is the season IWT generate the most energy.

As darkness descended those promoting “Earth Day” push the population to turn off their lights and anything else consuming power but it appears very few did so as consumption during darkness in hour 21 (hour ending at 10 PM) remained near its high dropping less than 4% which is normal and occurs most days.

The Day after Earth Day

We should be sure those eco-warriors would have loved what happened just one day later when the wind was blowing for the whole day as it frequently does in the Spring.  Peak demand for Ontario occurred at hour 20 once again but at only 14,622 MW which nuclear and hydro could have easily provided. Despite the foregoing wind took precedence due to its “first-to-the-grid” rights so one should suspect OPG spilled hydro and perhaps Bruce Power steamed-off nuclear and we will pay for both. 

The IWT were humming throughout the day and generated 60,235 MWh and appear to have curtailed about 3,800 MWh. During the day, IESO were busy selling off our surplus generation of 68,561 MWh to our neighbours in Michigan, Quebec and NY at the bargain basement price of the HOEP at $4.37/MWh meaning revenue from those exports was only $300K.  We ratepayers/taxpayers however were billed with $8.132 million for the IWT generation and another $456K for what was curtailed and picked up the balance of $8.288 million, allowing for the $300K recovery. 

One should note the coincidence between what was exported and collectively generated and curtailed by IWT on April 23rd as they are almost equal.

The total costs to Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers; in excess of what they paid for the electricity they utilized for “Earth Day” and the following day, comes to $10,788,000 or just over the cost of a large “Timmie’s” coffee per ratepayer; as a former Minister of Energy would suggest.

We ratepayers/taxpayers are paying for far too many “Timmie’s” coffees and not even getting a “thank you” from the politicians responsible for running the Energy Ministry!

Time for them to fix the mess!

Ontario’s IWT Companies Celebrate a Great Good Friday

Yesterday April 15th was Good Friday, an official holiday and most businesses were closed.  What that means is energy demand was low as is often the case during most Spring days. As it turned out peak demand occurred just before supper time during the 5 PM hour and was only 14,292 MW which Ontario’s nuclear and hydro facilities could have easily provided.

The day was also pretty windy with some sunny periods sprinkled in, meaning both of those energy sources were generating power.  The foregoing is particularly noticeable from the IESO’s (Independent Electricity System Operator) Data and Capability Report for the day as it clearly indicates the wind was blowing and those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were generating lots of unneeded electricity.  It is also obvious much IWT generation was also being curtailed. 

The amount of IWT generation accepted into the grid was just shy of 53,000 MWh and curtailed generation was about 32,500 MWh.  Collectively at a cost of $135/MWh for what was accepted plus the $120/MWh for curtailed wind; we ratepayers are obliged to accept (first to the grid rights embedded in the contracts), the costs came to approximately $11,060,000 for both.  If that happened every day in a year the cost would be in excess of $4 billion for unneeded power.

As noted above because peak demand was low and generation was much higher than needed, IESO were busy selling (actually giving it away) it to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec to avoid blackouts.  The exports for the full day amounted to just over 64,000 MWh and those were sold for the average HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price) of $1.11/MWh.  If one rightly assumes the exports were all either IWT generated electricity or occurred because of IWT generation (plus 1,900 MWh of solar); the cost of what was exported was about $217.00/MWh making the cost to us Ontarians over $13 million for just one day.

This continuing mess was created by the Ontario Liberal Party during the McGuinty/Wynne era, is being expanded on by the Federal Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau and the Ontario Conservative Party under Doug Ford has done nothing to stop it!

We need politicians to admit and recognize the push for “net-zero” and the “green economy” will destroy the Canadian economy and drive people into energy poverty as just one Spring day in the life of Ontarians demonstrates.

Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM Radio April 14, 2022

First my apology for forgetting to let you all know Marc invited me on his show today so you could tune in and listen live!  Nevertheless, that forgetfulness was of benefit to me and the following suggests why.

As a result of my forgetfulness, I decided to listen to the full podcast and discovered he had Dan McTeague, the Gas Price Wizard on, starting at 34:00 right through to 1:05:30. As Dan is a former Liberal Member of Parliament, he had much to say about the current party led by Trudeau as well as chatting about EV (electric vehicles) and the fact they are not environmentally friendly no matter what we are told.  They also got into discussions about the current leadership race in the Conservative Party.  So glad I tuned it!

Right after Marc said goodbye to Dan none other than Jocelyn Bamford, who founded the CCMBC (Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers & Businesses of Canada) was his guest and they covered issues such as the possible Liberal adjudication of a “truck tax” and its potential harm to the Canadian economy.  They also talked about the “censorship bill” currently under discussion and other issues. All good stuff!

The Jocelyn/Marc chat finished at 1:23.20 and mine followed right after.  Marc and I talked about the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s plan to instigate another time-of-use rate to help out all the EV owners in the province, the buildout of charging stations by us taxpayers as well as closing down Canada’s remaining coal generation electricity plants and the potential cost. We hit a few funny spots along the way.

Listen to the podcast here: