Did Jack Gibbons of the OCAA and Bruce Lourie Hijack the IESO via the Rural Ontario Municipal Association?

The IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) on a weekly basis issue a Thursday afternoon bulletin and the latest came with a five (5) minute video executed by Carla Nell, VP of Corporate Relations.  It referenced the ROMA conference held on January 24th and 25th! Curious I wondered over to the ROMA site to view the agenda and postings related to the conference.  I found no postings and the agenda said nothing about what the video inferred.  I was able to find a January 17. 2022 post about plenary sessions and it specifically mentioned “timely issues such as climate change.“ as part of the upcoming conference. Reading further led to the discovery that: “Dr. Bruce Lourie, a best-selling author and environmental policy expert, will address delegates on Tuesday about mitigating climate risk and transitioning to a net-zero economy.”  Alarm bells rang!

Connecting the above mentioned video by Carla Nell of IESO with Bruce Lourie’s reputed “expert” policies immediately had me wondering; was Lourie’s address to the “delegates” related to the OCAA’s (Gibbons) success in getting approval from those 32 municipalities (including most of the largest ones) that Ontario should shut down all of the gas plants?  Those plants have been invaluable in keeping our lights on during the recent cold spells and 60% of Ontario households with natural gas furnaces warm?                      

Lourie and Gibbons go back a long, long way in their actions related to the energy sector. A hearing at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in respect to the Power Corporation Amendment Act in 1992, has Gibbons delivering a preamble to his remarks saying: “I am Jack Gibbons, an economist with the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, before I joined the Canadian institute, I was a staff member of the Ontario Energy Board. I have with me Mr Bruce Lourie

Back in 1992 Gibbons was in favor of natural gas stating to a question asked of him; Natural gas is so much cheaper than electricity. Look at space heating. If we just look at the financial costs — forget the environmental costs — the incremental cost of electricity for space heating is about six times that of natural gas.“ 

At some point Gibbons reversed his beliefs even though both he and Lourie were at that hearing!

So, was Lourie a substitute for Gibbons at the ROMA conference?  Unfortunately, ROMA’s website doesn’t seem to have posted what Lourie’s address was so we can’t really know what he said but with the “net-zero” mention we should be rightly concerned. The video, mentions several scary aspects including eliminating gas fired power plants mere months after IESO’s study clearly reported: 

Completely phasing out natural gas generation by 2030 would lead to blackouts and the system changes that would be required would increase residential electricity bills by 60 per cent.

Has IESO and the Provincial Government under Ford suddenly conceded control of the electricity sector to the 32 municipalities who bought into Gibbons sales pitch?

We voters need immediate clarification from all parties running in the Provincial election in June as to exactly what their position is in respect to what the video suggests!

We should not let the eco-warriors hijack the energy sector once again!

Ontarians Paid Up Big for Wind Generation while Swedes Paid Up Big for Less Wind Generation

Transmission connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) were busy throughout the province on Sunday, January 9, 2022 and generated 83,086 MWh (megawatt hours) and also had another 9,000 MWh curtailed as there wasn’t enough demand.  What the foregoing means is IWT could have operated at a level of 80.2% of their capacity versus their average generation over a full year of about 30%.

Before completing the foregoing calculation, I had read a short article from December 20, 2021 about Sweden’s recent experience which claimed their electricity prices had soared to an all time high.  The article started with what was obviously the cause stating: “Less wind power than normal, as well as the cost of gas and electricity being on an upward curve in Europe this winter, has had a knock-on effect”.  The article went on; “On Tuesday, the average daily spot price of electricity south of Mälardalen (the region around Stockholm) is set to hit 4.25 kronor ($0.46) per kilowatt hour.” Doing the calculation in Canadian dollars brings the cost to almost $0.59 cents/kWh! That suggests without natural gas plants and the fuel itself available to back up IWT the price of electricity will soar above almost everyone’s ability to pay for it. This results in “energy poverty” increasing in most European countries.

We have seen the same outcome in Ontario although not to the same extent and we should be thankful for our relatively cheap electricity generated by our natural gas plants for the many times our IWT fail!

January 9, 2022 wasn’t one of the times IWT were absent in Ontario as noted in the opening paragraph.  The wind was blowing briskly throughout the province meaning we wound up having to export 61,089 MW to our Michigan, New York and Quebec neighbours.  Presumably they were happy to take it as the average sale price over those 24 hours was $8.82/MWh or less than one cent a kWh (kilowatt hour) meaning we were paid a grand total of $538,800 for those MWh.

To put the foregoing into context the 83,086 MWh were more than sufficient to have supplied the exported MWs and we Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers were forced to pay the contracted price of $135/MWh meaning the cost was $11,216,600.  Adding the approximate 9,000 MWh curtailed at a cost of $120/MWh ($1,080,000) brings the full cost of wind generation to about $12,296,600.  If we rightly assume all of the surplus generation exported at those cheap prices was IWT generation it means the net cost of wind generation was $11,757,800 ($12,296,600 minus $538,800 = $11,757,800).  If we logically deduct the MWh exported (61,089 MWh) from IWT full generation of 83,086 MWh the IWT generation utilized by Ontarians was only 21,997 MWh. 

At a total cost to Ontarians of $11,757,800 those 21,997 MWh providing power to Ontario’s businesses and households cost $534.51/MWh ($11.757,800/21,997MW = $534.51/MWh) or 53.4 cents/kWh. The 53.4 cents/kWh it cost Ontarians is very close to what many Swedish businesses and households are now paying for “Less wind power”. 

Conclusion                        

Industrial Wind Turbines cost the Swedes and many other Europeans a lot of money when they don’t produce power and cost Ontarians a lot of money when they produce too much power. In other words, IWT are detrimental to our economic well-being due to their intermittent and unreliable behaviour!  

Scrap them all!

Multi-billionaires and their Mind-blowing Hypocrisy

It is somewhat amusing and disheartening to realize the super-rich such as; Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Fink frequently preach to us earthlings about “climate change” and the path to net-zero.  They do this as they fly off in private jets to Davros to attend the WEF (World Economic Forum) annual event or to Glasgow for COP26 thereby creating tons of emissions.

Both Gates and Bezos however, tell those who ask, that they buy “carbon offsets” to eliminate their carbon footprint.  Gates reported he spends US$5 million annually on those offsets.  To put that in perspective Gates is reputedly worth $137 billion so $5 million represents 0.000036% of his net worth or to us in the real world, the purchasing of a “timmies” coffee for a friend!

Bezos (until very recently the richest man in the world) reputedly also buys those carbon offsets but hasn’t disclosed how much he spends annually.  Bezos did announce in February 2020 he would launch a US $10 billion fund (slightly less than 5% of his reported net worth) titled the “Bezos Earth Fund“ to fight “climate change”.  Pretty sure Bezos is totally delighted with the lock-downs imposed on much of the developed world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon; which he founded, has benefited tremendously as they import goods from developing countries like China, India, etc. and deliver them to your front door by truck.  Now try, as hard as you possibly can to determine how Amazon can become “carbon neutral” by 2040.  Oh, yes, Bezos has pledgedto get the company carbon-neutral by 2040, 100% renewable energy by 2030, and 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030.“ 

Now if you want to watch how Larry Fink and Bill Gates speak with each other on the “Path to Net Zero” they jointly participated in a short YouTube video posted April 23, 2021.  Fink opens by saying “this will not be an easy task” and goes on to state “every hydro-carbon company in the United States is now focused on this” and suggests “it’s because of Bill and other people”!  Fink’s reputed net worth is somewhere around US$1 billion so it pales when compared to Gates or Bezos. As the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company with almost US $9.5 trillion (approximately 11% of Global GDP) of assets, however, Fink is a huge influence on that “Path”!  Fink annually sends a letter to the world’s 200 largest company’s CEOs and his last one (issued in early 2021) had much to say about “climate change” including this unambiguous sentence: “No issue ranks higher than climate change on our clients’ lists of priorities.“  His letter goes on saying;  “From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $288 billion globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019.“  This years letter will be interesting to see how those assets performed in light of the energy crisis in European and Asian countries which affected share prices of renewable energy companies in a negative fashion as the wind stopped blowing and Russia was unable to deliver fossil fuels during their absence. 

Based on more recent news it appears Fink may have had an awakening as an article from just over a month ago quoted him saying: it’s a “bad answerfor investors to abandon oil and gas, and it won’t help solve climate change.“ As if to support the latter view from Fink and to contradict his above noted chat with Gates and the “path to net-zero” it’s interesting to discover a BlackRock-led group recently won a $15.5 billion bid for a Saudi gas pipeline.  One should assume a gas pipeline will indeed by used to transport “fossil fuels” which intimates BlackRock and Fink understand the importance of fossil fuels to many of the companies they have investments in!

Could Fink’s somewhat mild “about-face” trigger politicians to also understand the importance of fossil fuels in a world dependent on them for 80% of our energy needs.  Let’s all hope so in an effort to end the hypocrisy that seems intent on driving people around the world into energy poverty except for those who can afford to purchase those “carbon offsets”.

Wind Hammers Ontario Ratepayers and Taxpayers

Yesterday (January 5, 2022) Ontarians were once again battered by gusting winds approaching 90 km at times and those with ownership of industrial wind turbines (IWT) in the province were loving it!  Our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec, etc. also were pleased as they collectively took 59,242 MWh (megawatt hours)) of the 90,146 MWh generated by those IWT and only had to pay an average of $17.33/MWh (1.7 cents/kWh).

The 90,146 MWh ($135/MWh) added to the 7,800 MWh ($120/MWh) of curtailed wind generation drove the total cost of wind generation for the day to $13,106,000 or $145.39/MWh (14.5 cents/kWh).

Those IWT generated an average of just over 85% of their rated capacity throughout the day (including the curtailed MW) and 58% of their generation was exported for those very cheap prices.  I’m confident the trading companies buying and selling our surplus generation for our neighbours also enjoy the benefits we bestow on them too by creating the trading revenue.  

So, we generated approximately $1,027,000 from the sale of those 59,242 MWh but they cost us Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers about $8,613,000. That means we subsidized the sale with $7,586,000 or $128.00/MWh of our after-tax dollars!  We hope our neighbouring states and provinces are very appreciative of our continuing generosity!

We Ontario taxpayers and ratepayers should appreciate the very recent “mea culpa” expressed by our former Premier, Kathleen Wynne, in her interview with MacLean’s magazine when asked about issues she didn’t feel good about stated: “Well, I score myself very low on the electricity price,” Wynne said.“

Hey, Kathleen, we ratepayers and taxpayers score you and your predecessor, Dalton McGuinty and those minions like Gerald Butts, Katie Telford and Ben Chin who pulled your strings very low too. Perhaps your handling of the electricity file is why the Ontario Liberal Party became the EV (electric vehicle) minivan party. 

The unfortunate part of your party’s demise is Butts, Telford and Chin now pull the strings of the Liberal Party of Canada and seem intent on perpetuating your low scores on all of Canada’s energy security!

Industrial Wind Turbines Once Again Demonstrate their Unreliability

The unreliability of those industrial wind turbines (IWT), touted as a key ingredient to save the world from “global warming” by eco-warriors and obtuse politicians, once again demonstrated their uselessness!

Here in Ontario on December 28, 2021 at 4 AM (the middle of the night) they were cranking out power (when demand was low) generating 69.4% (3,072 MWh) of their rated capacity but by 4 PM in the afternoon when demand was much higher their output was a miserly 1.5% (65 MWh) of their rated capacity.  To add further context to the foregoing at 4 AM IWT were generating about 22% of total Ontario demand but by 4 PM when demand was much higher those IWT were generating 0.004% of Ontario’s demand.

IWTs bad reliability habit means our grid operator, IESO, has a much more complex system to operate with a transmission grid connecting all of those IWT and requiring gas plants to remain “at the ready” when the wind dies down or picks up.  Those manipulations add costs to our electricity system thereby helping to create energy poverty by driving up the per kWh (kilowatt hour) costs for households.  It also serves to drive our manufacturing companies to other provinces and U.S.A. states with lower electricity prices meaning job losses are one of the outcomes.

As if the foregoing isn’t bad enough if one looks at just 9 hours starting at 10 PM (when Ontario demand falls) December 27th through to 7 AM (when electricity demand starts its daily increase) on December 28th we learn we exported 23,514 MWh to our neighbours in Michigan, NY, Quebec, etc. as that IWT generation was surplus to our needs.  We sold those 23,514 MWh for the average price of $17/MWh (1.7cents/kWh) during those 9 hours.  Co-incidently those IWT generated 22,617 MWh during the same timeframe and it also appears we curtailed another 1,100 MWh meaning Ontario’s ratepayers picked up the costs for 23,717 MWh of wind which highlights them as the cause of the exported power at the miserly price of 1.7cents/kWh.

The all-in costs (including curtailed) for the IWT generation over the 9 hours was approximately $3.2 million but we received only $400K in payment for selling a like amount of their generation to our neighbours so; Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers picked up the loss of $2.8 million ($311K per hour).  Please note the foregoing loss is from only 9 hours out of 8,760 hours in a full year.

Perhaps as a UK website “Net-Zero Watch” recently suggested to the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Todd Smith should take heed and do as they recommend and; “compel wind and solar generators to pay for their own balancing costs, thus incentivising them to self-dispatch only when economic.”

Ontario’s electricity sector needs to rid itself of the costs of IWT’s unreliable and intermittent supply so now is the time to bring in some new regulations to stop the bleeding!

More Carbon Taxes in the New Year Brought to us by the Justinflation Government

The monthly natural gas bill arrived and intrigued by the upcoming (April 1, 2022) increase in the carbon tax jumping to $50/tonne I thought it would be interesting to compare the taxes levied to the cost of the gas supply.  A quick evaluation indicated that the “Federal Carbon Charge” coupled with the “HST” was 80.3% of the “Gas Supply Charge”. The increase arriving April 1, 2022 will increase that tax from 7.83 cents per cubic meter (m3) to 9.79 cents/m3 (+1.96 cents or 25%).  Assuming the price of natural gas is the same; as of that date it would mean taxes (note that the HST is charged on it also) will then represent 93.2% of fuel costs.

As if to keep that “Justinflation” target moving the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) just announced natural gas rates would increase effective January 1, 2022.  The OEB doesn’t bother to tell us the percentage increase and instead only tell us the price will increase by 1.2333 cents/m3.  A “penny and a bit” doesn’t sound like much but it amounts to a 9.3% increase in the fuel price meaning your monthly gas bill will be about $5.00 higher. If one couples that $5.00 with the upcoming increase in the “Federal Carbon Charge” ($6/7.00 per month) the combined monthly additional cost will be $11/12.00. That increased cost will suck another $130/$140,00 annually from your after-tax income should you wish to stay warm, cook your meals and have a shower. The percentage of households using natural gas for heating purposes is just over 67% in Ontario so those increased taxes and gas costs will affect most families.

If you are a household dependent on natural gas and one of the 53% of Canadian households just $200 away from being able to pay your bills and debt payments the monthly increase could be the breaking point!  It may come down to the decision to; “heat or eat” for many.

It doesn’t seem right, during this period of high inflation, our Federal Government should be imposing tax increases having already impacted the price of natural gas by both blocking pipelines and scaring away capital that would have invested in finding and delivering increased supplies!

If this is the concept described by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Finance Freeland in their “Building Back Better Plan” as “inclusive, sustainable and creates good jobs”, I and most of my fellow Canadians don’t believe it will produce those results!  

We are quickly seeing the foregoing plan, preceded by The Great Reset, coming out of the WEF (World Economic Forum) where Canada’s Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland sits as a trustee can be seen as nothing more than a socialist agenda.  The resulting activities displayed by her as Finance Minister with PM Justin Trudeau’s support have gone a long way in creating “Justinflation” as Pierre Poilievre was able to get him to admit in parliament!

At a time when Canadian households are suffering from increased prices on everything is not the time to increase taxes to bring us even more of that “Justinflation”!

Industrial Wind Turbines Once Again are Up to Their Old Tricks

Those IWT brought to Ontario by the McGuinty/Wynne led Ontario Liberals, during the time they governed the province, once again showed their ability to suck money from ratepayers and taxpayers pockets on December 12, 2021. 

The heavy winds arrived on December 11th and caused power outages to 280,000 customers due to broken poles, fallen trees and hazardous road conditions as reported by Hydro One.  While the winds decreased somewhat, IESO data indicates they were more than sufficient to allow them to generate 73,849 MWh the following day (December 12th) as well as what looks to be another 2,800 MWh of curtailed generation. The combined cost was approximately $10,306,000 and for 17 of the 24 hours they beat hydro generation.

Naturally, and as often occurs, we didn’t need the generation from those IWT so IESO were busy exporting surplus power for the full day and almost 52,000 MWh were sold to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec for the average price of $20.03/MWh (2 cents/kWh). What that tells us is we generated about $1,042,000 from the sale of those exports.

If one assumes (with a fair degree of confidence) those 52,000 MWh sold to our neighbours all came from the unneeded IWT generation for the day we basically gave away over $7 million of our ratepayer/taxpayer dollars and paid $388/MWh (38.8 cents/kWh) for the 23,849 MWh of IWT generation actually utilized in Ontario.  

I’m sure the owners of those IWT were delighted we Ontarians were so generous with the handouts we gave them instead of us giving gifts to those many families suffering from “energy poverty” throughout the province.

Perhaps the Ford led provincial government should have a serious look at how some of these wasted dollars could be recovered from the IWT owners to help those Ontario families and small businesses suffering from energy poverty caused by the intermittent and unreliable wind turbines.  

The Ministry of Silly Wokeism should be the Mandated Name for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Anyone who was a fan of British comedy in the last century will no doubt recall “Monty Python and the Flying Circus” which aired from 1969 to 1974 and they may even recall one of the funny sketches, called; “Ministry of Silly Walks”.

The memory associated with the foregoing sketch came roaring back after reading the Toronto Sun’s editorial titled: “Electric car sales quotas are a bad idea”. “The federal government wants half of all new passenger cars sold in Canada to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and reach 100% by 2035“. The article also claimed: “Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault is now saying the country needs a national mandate to force auto dealers to sell a certain number of electric vehicles.“

A visit to the Natural Resources Canada website reveals; “The transportation sector is responsible for 27 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada. Light-duty vehicles – the cars, vans and light-duty trucks we drive – are responsible for almost half of that total.”  If Minister Guilbeault had math skills and bothered to work out Canada’s emissions from ICE vehicles he would discover they represent 0.056% of global emissions which is less then China emits in one day! 

It is also humourous to find out Guilbeault doesn’t ride his bicycle back and forth from his Montreal riding to Ottawa and instead is apparently chauffeured in an EV.  This was disclosed when he was granting $9.5 million to Quebec to add fast-charging stations on a summer day when he was Heritage Minister. The short video in which he appears has him saying: “My ministerial vehicle is 100% electrical and I can tell you we need to charge when were between Montreal and Ottawa.“ The distance between Montreal and Ottawa is only 198.2 km.  The foregoing is an indication of what is worrying about replacing ICE vehicles with EVs particularly with Canada’s cold winters when EVs loose much of their range.  The winter’s effect on EVs was highlighted in a consumer report recommending, when purchasing an EV you should “Double Down on Range”! The article went on to say; “EV buyers who drive in colder climates should strongly consider getting a car with a range about double what their daily driving needs are, so they’re not left stranded in a cold snap.”

Guilbeault should note: “The record for coldest day in Ottawa history is minus 33.1C, set back in 1996“ so, perhaps he should consider dumping the EV and get chauffeured in a reliable ICE for those trips back and forth between Montreal and Ottawa or at some point he may find himself stranded.

Minister Guilbeault should also realize the costs associated with how much more will need to be spent on the charging infrastructure for EVs. A U.S. based study indicated what Canada’s expected costs would be noting: “this country’s equivalent required total investment in charging infrastructure works out to about $10.5 billion.“  The present budget for Canada’s “Zero Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program” is a miserly $280 million spread over 5 years so represents only 2.7% of the requirement. 

The facts noted above will hopefully spur Minister Guilbeault to drop his concept to mandate the push for EV sales!

Should he refuse to drop the proposed mandate we should all sincerely hope the Ministry be retitled as The Ministry of Silly Wokeism!

Energy Poverty the One Economic Activity Growing in Developed Countries

Four years ago, I penned an article about how the GEA (Green Energy Act) had driven up “energy poverty” in Ontario.  The article was supported by data from various sources with the principal one being an OEB (Ontario Energy Board) report from late 2014. The OEB report determined Ontario households experiencing energy poverty numbered either 606,000 or 713.000 based on the two data sets used and represented either 13.5% or 15.8% of all households! The report was initiated by the then Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli, who was looking to launch a new support program as electricity prices had jumped and many households were seeing their electric power cut-off by their local distribution companies.

Now, fast forward to a report by CUSP (Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners) in October 2019 titled “Energy Poverty in Canada” who used 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada and noted households experiencing energy poverty in Ontario had increased to 1,138.065 or just over 22%.  The chart from CUSP’s report below highlights PEI as the province with the highest percentage of households experiencing energy poverty at over 41%.  PEI gets “roughly 98% of power generation from wind farms” with the balance from New Brunswick.  

It is worth noting Canada is not the only country experiencing an increase in energy poverty as reports out of the UK and the EU also highlight how the push to de-fossilize the electricity sector is doing the same thing to households in many other “developed” countries. 

One article dated November 29, 2021 was about Scotland, where the recent UNCOP26 “climate change conference” was held. The article noted there was “a 139 per cent increase in people seeking debt relief support,“ but only a “41 per cent increase in debt relief given out by energy firms, which has resulted in more people disconnecting from the grid year-round.“ The article went on to quote the chief executive of the Wise Group who prepared the report and quoted him stating: “Almost a quarter of Scots live in fuel poverty.”                                     

An article appearing in the magazine “Energy Industry Review” and their website from August 10, 2021 was headlined: “Energy Poverty: A Time Bomb Waiting to Be Defused“ suggests the UK and many EU members are already in dire straits in respect to energy poverty but it varies widely from country to country. The below chart notes some countries have less than 10% of their population experiencing “energy poverty” whereas other countries like Greece and Bulgaria experience over 40%.  The article stresses the geographical differences in EU member countries and how both heat and cold play a hand in causing energy poverty.  The article appears intent on ensuring the EU stick to its goals of reducing fossil fuel consumption and emphasizes money allocated (EUR 312.5 billion of the Next Generation EU [NGEU]) by the EU for improving buildings and homes to make them more fuel efficient is needed.

Yet another article, mere days before COP26 kicked off reported “4.5 million Britons are desperate, facing cuts to welfare, rising energy prices and a long, cold winter.“  It provided a few specific examples noting how energy costs had doubled.  The article also said; while the UK Energy Regulator, Ofgem, caps energy price increases the caps “only apply to households on a standard variable tariff. The rest have little protection. And those reliant on prepayment meters are particularly vulnerable“.  It appears the UK’s PM Boris Johnson’s push for net-zero emissions and renewable generation as the means to achieve his goal is failing miserably. The foregoing was clearly demonstrated by those off-shore industrial wind turbines failing to deliver power requiring coal plants to come back on line to avoid blackouts. It appears those coal plants will be needed for the future too!  The shortage of natural gas, evident in the fall, is not expected to improve until the new Nord Stream 2 Gazprom pipeline receives the blessing of Germany’s regulator followed by approval of the European Commission. Both approvals will take time.

It now appears obvious the push by most developed countries to achieve the “net-zero” emission target by 2050 is futile unless the reputed WEF (World Economic Forum) forecast “by 2030 you’ll own nothing and be happy ” has changed to “by 2030 you’ll own nothing and live-in energy poverty”!

Winds Whips Hydro in Ontario or So It Appears

As December 1, 2021 drew to a close at Hour 22 on the IESO “Generators Output and Capability Report” wind generation suddenly passed hydro generation and stayed ahead of it for the following 20 hours, pausing at Hour 19 on December 2nd but passing hydro again for hours 20 and 21.  Over those 23 hours wind (as reported by IESO) reputedly out-produced Ontario’s hydro generation by almost 21,000 MWh.  Based on IESO data it appears about 2,700 MWh of wind generation was also curtailed. What IESO data doesn’t disclose is how much hydro was spilled over those 23 hours.

For wind and solar data IESO report it on three lines by hour; “Available Capacity, Forecast and Output”.  When hydro is “spilled” or nuclear is “steamed off” we won’t see that reported by IESO and are uninformed until financial reports from OPG or Bruce Power are released.  OPG’s 9-month financial report for September 30, 2021 indicates they spilled 1.7 TWh (terawatt hours) due to SBG (surplus baseload generation) to that point in the year.  Hydro spillage is paid for by ratepayers and so far, has added over $100 million to this year’s electricity bill. The 1.7 TWh is equivalent to (approximately) what 250,000 average households would have consumed over those 9 months.

The reasoning by IESO as to whether they will spill hydro or curtail wind (which we also pay for) is reputedly determined by the HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price). Most contracted IWT (industrial wind turbines) are paid $135/MWh and $120/MWh if curtailed.  IESO in situations that create SBG will sell off the surplus (if the HOEP is high enough) before they spill hydro or steam off nuclear.  It has never been clear to many why the contracts awarded for either IWT or solar panels were granted “first to the grid” rights but both of those intermittent and unreliable generation sources were, so we must pay them even if the generation is unneeded!

A quick look at the costs for those 23 hours  

The 2,700 MWh (approximately) of curtailed wind meant generators were paid $120/MWh costing $324,000. Those same IWT generators were paid $135/MWh for the 98,800 MWh of accepted wind amounting to $13,338,000.  To top off the costs for the 23 hours favouring wind generation, OPG was paid $60/MWh for spilling hydro (minimally estimated at 21,000 MWh) adding $1,260.000 and bringing total costs to $14,922,000 for the 23 hours!                                        

The $14,922,000 represents a cost of $151/MWh for the 98,800 MWh of accepted wind generation but doesn’t include costs associated with the gas plant backups for wind and solar which would add another $3 million or so for the 23 hours nor does it include losses from selling power to our neighbours.

On the latter, IESO were selling off approximately 2,500 MW hourly to our neighbours in Michigan, NY etc. for the HOEP average price of about $30/MWh. Those 60,000 MWh therefore generated about $1.8 million reducing the total cost above to $13,122,000.  If we accept the fact those exports were IWT generated the remaining 38,800 MWh supplying local ratepayers cost $340/MWh.

Had OPG provided those 38,800 MWh the cost would have been $60/MWh ($2.3 million) saving Ontario ratepayers over $12 Million!

One should wonder why the McGuinty/Wynne government blessed those contracts and why the Ford led government has done nothing to fix it?

Events like those 23 hours clearly show wind whips Ontario’s ratepayers not it’s hydro generation!

NB: Over the days of December 1st and 2nd during one of the hours wind was generating almost 93% of its capacity and on another hour was generating only 15% demonstrating its intermittent and unreliable habit!