Brookfield Renewable Wants to Double Down on Ontario Ratepayers and Taxpayers

Evolugen is a subsidiary of Brookfield Renewable, a part of the Brookfield empire with over $750 billion in assets who happen to own, amongst other assets, the Prince Wind Farm, a 189 MW industrial wind farm located in Sault St. Marie (Soo), Ontario.  The 126 turbines spread over 20,000 acres were commissioned in 2006 in two phases so the contracts will presumably end in 2026.

Prince Wind Farm

A recent announcement out of the Soo suggests Evolugen has intentions to either “repower” those turbines and/or perhaps be granted an extension of the contracts. The article carried in the SOOTODAY stated Evolugen have proposed a $300 million massive battery storage project on a 10 acre site alongside their existing Prince Wind Farm about 15 km outside the Soo. Principals of Evolugen had a video conference call with the Soo city council seeking their endorsement of their plan and it was granted.  The mayor and council were told the “Timberwolf Battery Energy Storage System” would have a capacity of 161 MW of installed capacity and would contain four hours (644 MWh) of energy.

It seems clear the intent of Evolugen via the Timberwolf project is to purchase cheap surplus power during low demand hours (throughout the night) and sell it back during high demand while those Prince wind turbines are paid $135/MWh and frequently generating power when unneeded.  That would allow Evolugen to double down by purchasing the storage power at the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) rate which is always low during the night while still reaping the “first-to-the-grid” rights of the wind turbines!  One should rightly assume those actions will further drive up the cost of electricity for Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers but it will be great for Brookfield!

One of the major issues one would hope is that Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, IESO and the OEB will consider is; how those IWT (industrial wind turbines) performed over the past several days. They failed miserably to deliver any reliable power that could be stored! As earlier articles about their performance on August 12th and August 13th noted they were not generating power when needed.

They did the same on August 14th making it three days in a row where they were almost absent when needed.  Thankfully, we had natural gas plants that ramped up or down when needed. On the 14th the IWT delivered a total of 3,950 MWh over the full day averaging only 164.5 MWh each hour which was 3.3% of their capacity. They peaked at Hour 24 (hour ending at midnight) generating 399 MWh but at the peak hour of the day (Hour 18) they produced a meager 114 MWh or 2.3% of capacity and 0.64% of demand. 

Ontario’s natural gas plants were there when needed producing 2,334 MWh at Hour 18 representing 13.1% of demand and at Hour 14 when those IWT managed to generate only 74 MWh (0.4% of demand), they produced 1,787 MWh (10.8% of demand).

If we look at the past three days it becomes obvious, we need responsive generation instead of unreliable and intermittent power delivered by those IWT!  Over the three days grid connected IWT delivered 17,279 MWh which was 4.9% of their capacity despite their “first-to-the-grid” contracted rights. 

If one looks at the foregoing and examines the HOEP on an hourly basis it is obvious why Evolugen are seeking that battery storage contract! They are aware the Prince Wind Farm gets paid $135/MWh no matter what time of the day they generate that MW so if they are able to load up with cheap power via the market price and resell it during peak hours they will double down on the money they extract from us lowly Ontario ratepayers that will benefit the Laurentian Elites.

Surely, Energy Minister Smith, IESO and the OEB will recognize they are trying to “take us to the cleaners” and not allow this to happen!

NB:  The State of New York has recently found out battery storage companies who recently won contract awards have a cost of US $567/kWh making the Canadian equivalent cost $730/kWh or $730,000/MWh a surefire sign we should reject battery storage and retain our natural gas plants.

IWT:  Well, they “Did it again” and again

Those IWT (industrial wind turbines) once again, on August 13, 2022, repeated their shortcomings of generating reliable electricity which they previously demonstrated by their failed performance on August 12, 2022 and a few other occasions so far this month.   

The approximately 4,900 MW of IWT grid-connected capacity once again fell flat in doing what reliable generation is supposed to do. Those IWT ignored Ontario demand which for the day (24 hours) totaled just over 311,000 MWh. The IWT delivered 2,361 MWh over the 24 hours representing 0.64% of total demand at an hourly average of 98 MWh or about 2% of their capacity.

Those IWT peaked at Hour 1 (hour ending at 1 AM) when they produced 289 MWh and their low point was hour 9, when daily demand was climbing.  At hour 9 they managed to generate 8 MWh (0.16% of their capacity) or about 3 kWh per IWT. One should surmise at that hour and at Hour 10 when they cranked out a miserly 11 MWh they were consuming much more power than they were generating!

The daily Ontario peak demand on August 13th occurred at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) at 17,352 MW and those IWT contributed 89 MWh or 0.51% of peak demand and 1.8% of their capacity. Thankfully at the same hour Ontario’s natural gas plants ramped up to cover the shortfall generating 2,311 MWh or 13.3% of that hour’s demand.

One should wonder why in the world did our politicians (the McGuinty/Wynne days with Gerald Butts directing traffic) commit us Ontarians to provide IWT companies with first-to-grid rights? 

When anyone buys an expensive appliance or piece of equipment, they would never be impressed with a warranty suggesting; “may frequently perform at levels of less than 2%” but for some reason our elected politicians did and so far, the current Ford led government seems content to allow the charade to continue.

Time to let the politicians know IWT don’t deserve their contracts and they should pass a law demoting their stature by revoking their “first-to-the-grid-rights”. It is obvious to anyone examining the electricity sector in Ontario, IWT frequently generate unneeded power during the Spring and Fall seasons for which they are paid to often curtail generation (an expense for ratepayers) whereas, as pointed out above and in other recent posts, they often fail to generate power during our high demand periods occurring in the Summer and Winter seasons!

NB: Peaking at August 14, 2022 IWT generation suggests it looks to be more of the same!

IWT: Opps!…They Did It Again

The foregoing paraphrases the Britney Spears song, but those IWT (industrial wind turbines) factually; “did it again”, on August 12, 2022, as we Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers experienced!

Now if CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) would simply put out a press release and use the line from the Britney Spears song that said; “Oops, you think that I’m sent from above, I’m not that innocent” and admit they are both unreliable and intermittent some of us might be inclined to appreciate their candour!  We would still be upset their “first-to-the-grid” rights and their solar friends, caused energy prices to more than double in less than 10 years and now hit taxpayers for an additional annual cost of around $6 billion just to keep electricity prices at somewhat affordable levels.

IWT at Ontario’s peak hour on August 12, 2022; occurring at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM), generated 211 MWh which was 1.1% of the hourly demand of 18,581 MW!  Thank goodness our natural gas plants were available as they generated 2,800 MWh which was 15.1% of demand. 

Looking back on the day at Hour 1, demand was low at 13,784 MW and naturally that was when those IWT were humming and generated an unneeded 1,365 MWh or 9.9% of that hours demand! At that hour nuclear generated 10,403 MWh and hydro 3,260 MWh demonstrating wind’s uselessness, forcing IESO to sell it off our surplus generation to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec for $13.96/MWh after paying the owners of the IWT $135/MWh.  

If we then look at Hour 10 those IWT were probably consuming more then their output at that hour as IESO reported they generated 75 MWh while demand was climbing and peaked at 16,284 MW meaning those IWT produced 0.46% of that hour’s demand.

As is obvious, they “did it again”!  

NB: Today (August 13, 2022) at Hour 9 those IWT generated 8 MWh with demand at 14.236 MW so their contribution at that hour was 0.056% clearly demonstrating they are totally unreliable!

Industrial Wind Turbines Once Again Display Their Unreliable Nature

Yesterday, August 10, 2022 was a nice summer day in Southern Ontario and hopefully elsewhere with temperatures in the “comfortable” range so while peak demand for electricity was fairly high reaching 20,568 MW for a 5 minute interval at hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) it didn’t crack the top 10 peaks in the current year.

At that particular hour the 4,900 MW capacity of those grid connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) with their “first to the grid” rights generated 642 MWh or 3.1% of demand while representing 13% of grid connected Ontario capacity.  They operated at only 13.1% of their capacity meaning other generating capacity like those natural gas plants were needed to keep air conditioners, etc. operating and they did the job generating 4,862 MWh supplying 23.6% of demand at that hour.

At hour 9 when demand is climbing on a work day those IWT managed to generate only 120 MWh which was 2.4% of their rated capacity and 0.7% of the hours 5 minute peak demand of 16,677 MW.  Natural gas plants at hour 9 generated 2,100 MWh thankfully covering the shortfall of those IWT generators.

At hour 24, ending at midnight IWT were operating at 28.1% of their capacity generating 1,375 MWh however providing 9.3% of the peak demand of only 14,759 MW which nuclear and hydro could have easily provided.  

It’s good to have dependable power when needed and those IWT continue to demonstrate their intermittent and unreliable ability to do so!

Wind Once Again Absent When Needed

IWT (industrial wind turbines) once again on August 5th, 2022 acted like the petulant child who will not obey their parents. They did this as Ontario’s demand climbed during the day while they ignored the need to produce additional power. 

Peak Demand for Ontario reached 21,312 MW at hour 16 (hour ending at 4 PM) which made it one of the TOP 10 demand hours so far in 2022. No doubt most Class “A” customers (including public institutions such as universities and hospitals) had fired up their gas generators in anticipation of the peak; both to reduce the strain on the grid but, in particular, to benefit from lower rates in the future.

Those IWT at hour 16 were throwing a temper tantrum and even though they represent about 13% of Ontario’s generating capacity they produced a miserly 180 MWh or 0.8% of Ontario’s demand while operating at only 3.6% of their grid capacity. At that level the approximately 2,700 IWT present in the province may have been consuming more power than they were generating!

The Class A customers using their gas generators at that hour, to go off-grid, will reap the benefits of those IWT fails however as the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) peaked at $147.31/MWh.  The substantial cost transfer* to Class B ratepayers will be passed on to small and medium sized companies, residential ratepayers and to all taxpayers in the province.

It is also interesting to note that as demand was climbing in the morning for hours 9 and 10 those IWT generated only 179 MWh while Ontario’s gas plants delivered 8,008 MWh during those two hours. Without the gas generators Ontarians would have experienced blackouts so we should all try to imagine the costs to the economy without those natural gas generators!

Perhaps it’s time to tell the petulant child (IWT generators) their allowance is suspended if they don’t do what they are told to do!

*Class A ratepayers need to only pick 5 peak hours out of the 8,760 hours in a year to receive the cost reduction

Wind Missing When Needed

Following is a screen shot taken on the IESO website and the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) shown on it is a reflection of what Ontarians would experience on a regular basis should our natural gas plants shut down as pushed by the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance).  The combination of the HOEP and the GA (Global Adjustment) comes to $293.49/MWh or 29.3/cents per kWh and getting close to what many European countries pay due to their move to renewable energy.  It should be recognized the 29.3 cents doesn’t include distribution or other costs so my guess is the all-in cost would be up around what residential ratepayers in Germany are currently paying. Germany is now firing up their coal plants in order to survive the upcoming winter as their gas supplies have been severely impacted by the Russia/Ukraine war and Russia has reduced the transmission of natural gas via their pipelines.

Most European counties anticipate electricity shortages over the next two years so we should expect the same here in Ontario should we shut down our gas plants as desired by the OCAA and the 33 municipalities who have endorsed their closure.

Industrial wind generation’s peak on August 2, 2022 came at the hour ending at 1 AM when they produced 1,927 MWh (39.3% of their capacity) but at the hour ending at 6 PM when peak demand hit 20,561 MW they managed to only generate 258 MWh or 5.2% of their capacity. Hour 4 when peak demand was lowest for the day at 13,796 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro but, wind turbines ran at 26.2% of their capacity generating 1,283 MWh when it wasn’t needed.

The ups and downs of wind generation were particularly visible this day demonstrating their inability to deliver power when it was actually needed. 

The time has come for the politicians and the eco-warriors citing the purported benefits of those industrial wind turbines to acknowledge their uselessness and how they do nothing more than add costs to our electricity and tax bills and must be backed up with natural gas plants!

The EV transition in the eyes of the Beholden Part 3

Part 1 of the EV transition highlighted some of the costs associated with it and Part 2 of this series outlined some of the negative issues of EV and their batteries. In an effort to keep it readable at less than 1,500 words it was stated a Part 3 would be a requirement so here it is!

EV Fires

Should one do a simple Google search using the words “tesla car fire” and then hit the video button you will get dozens of videos of intense fires (presumably caused by the batteries) including some simply parked in a garage or stopped at an intersection. Some news story with videos where deaths have occurred note Tesla is being sued.  It surely makes one hesitant to consider their next vehicle should be an EV as it’s not just Tesla EV catching fire as another Google search discloses. As these happenings gain more publicity the push-back on the government decrees in the developed world, including here in Canada where the decree is; “all vehicle sales (cars and trucks) by 2035 will be electric” will surely grow!

Battery Storage Fires

An article by S&P Global on May 31, 2022 titled; “Battery blazes, breakdowns underscore ‘growing pains’ for energy storage” highlights the problems associated with battery storage and the fire occurrence in Southern Australia back in 2021 when it was claimed to be the largest battery storage unit in the world.  The article also outlines the latest problem with the 400 MW unit in California (Moss Landing Energy Storage) and now the largest unit in the world which recently experienced their second incident.  The article notes: “The breakdowns are among more than 50 known failures at medium- to large-scale battery storage projects in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. Daily outage reports from the California ISO, which has more battery storage on its network than any other grid operator, point to additional frequent “plant troubles” curtailing capacity that the state is counting on to keep the lights on during critical periods of peak demand.” The article goes on to state: “Ranging from limited operational hiccups to catastrophic explosions, such incidents are likely to continue to accompany the proliferation of battery peakers, technology and safety experts said.” This certainly suggests the continued use of natural gas plants to back up the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar generation will be with us for a few decades unless our politicians and the bureaucrats advising them are OK with frequent blackouts.

Transit EV Bus Fires

As the push to eliminate fossil fuel use for all the developed world continues the concept of electrifying all transit and transport vehicles gathers steam so, with lots of government support many transit authorities are working to convert their bus fleets.  As just one example the City of Ottawa under its $57.4 billion “Energy Evolution” transition plan, have a target aiming to have a zero-emission transit sector by 2030. One should presume the 944 transit buses currently in Ottawa will be converted to battery operated ones by that date. Ottawa isn’t the only city in Canada or around the world with these plans and many European cities are much farther ahead.  One example is Stuttgart (check out video) with two of EV transit buses and in the fall of 2021 one of them “is believed to have been the source of a massive fire that destroyed 25 buses in the city and also heavily damaged part of the depot they were parked in.” Once again there are dozens of videos and stories of EV bus fires from various locations around the world including one a few days ago in Connecticut which would make one somewhat reluctant to step on board for a trip or be content to allow your child to take an EV school bus.  Needless to say, investigations into these fires are going on wherever they occurred and many of the fleets have parked their EV buses until the investigations determine the cause of the fire(s) is complete and the cause known.

Child Labour mines for Cobalt in the Congo and Zambia

Cobalt is one of the principal ingredients in an EV lithium-ion battery and the Congo has the highest known cobalt reserves in the world representing close to 70% and another African country, Zambia has the 2nd highest known reserves.  Interestingly enough CNN back in May 2018 did some investigative work resulting in them posting a video titled “CNN FINDS CHILD LABOUR IN COBALT TRADE.” The video highlights the use of child labour to mine the cobalt and supply those EV battery manufacturers in China, the U.S.A, Europe and shortly, presumably Ontario. The latter have joined hands with PM Trudeau and the Province to provide grants for a new $1.5 billion plant to be built in Windsor with our tax dollars. Obviously, those tax dollars will be supporting the continued use of child labour in the Congo and in Zambia.

Supply Shortages Loom

Another major problem with the whole “energy transition” push is the probable upcoming shortages of key components required for the electrification of everything and one of those is copper.  As noted in an article in the Financial Post a couple of weeks ago, “Numerous metals and minerals have been hawked as “the next oil,” but according to veteran energy historian Daniel Yergin, only one metal represents the linchpin of the energy transition away from fossil fuels — copper.“ Yergin “sees a looming supply-demand gap in copper that risks “short-circuiting” the energy transition and stalling global ambitions to slash greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2050.” The article cites a report estimating copper supply would need to double from current production of 25 million metric tons to 50 million metric tons by 2035. The report concludes: “copper shortages could delay how long it takes to reach net-zero emissions; Yergin also acknowledged that various other critical minerals — lithium and cobalt, for example — could well have an impact on climate goals too.”

It sure looks as if the electrification of everything is a pipe dream that will continue to exhibit dire consequences on mankind except perhaps for the small but very rich segment of the population. The time has come to kill the wishes of the eco-warriors and those politicians who have consumed their Kool-Aid.

How many wind turbines needed to replace Ontario’s gas plants?

Yesterday out our way, July 26, 2022 was like a late spring day with mild temperatures in the mid-twenties, sunshine for most of the day and a light breeze. 

No signals of “climate change” were evident!

Peak Ontario demand for electricity occurred at a 5-minute interval during hour 19 at 19,457 MW. During that hour IWT (industrial wind turbines) produced 278 MW while Ontario’s gas plants during the same hour generated 3,766 MW. 

Over the entire 24 hours of the day IWT generated 7,150 MWh while gas plant generation was 49,375 MWh.

The foregoing should make one wonder how much IWT capacity would have been needed to replace the natural gas generation on this particular day?  The 4,900 MW of those IWT operated at a daily average of 6.08% of their capacity and produced those 7,150 MWh so how much more IWT capacity would be needed to replace the output of the gas generation was the question that came to mind?

After a few mathematic equations the conclusion was; this particular day, Ontario would have needed additional IWT capacity of 81,208 MW bringing total capacity of those IWT to 86,108 MW or 2.26 times the total Ontario current grid connected capacity of 38,079 MW of all generation types in the Province.

What the above suggests, should  eco-warriors like the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) and others like the City of Ottawa get their way, it means Ontario’s landscape would have over 34,000 IWT (an average of 2.5 MW capacity per turbine) scattered throughout the province.

Those 34,000 IWT are approximately 12 times the current 2,700 IWT or so, we have. Those existing IWT already affect the health of those living near them, harmed aquifers as well as decimating birds and bats, (many on the endangered list) so try to imagine the effect 34,000 of them would have!

Time to stop the stupidity driving the politicians catering to the eco-warriors out to decimate the province and country in their false belief mankind is the control knob of the climate.

Did Anyone Notice Wind Wimped Out Again

Yesterday, July 13, 2022, was one of those; not so hot summer days in most of Ontario so according to IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) peak demand at hour 16 only reached 18,135 MW during a five (5) minute interval.  At that hour those IWT (industrial wind turbines) with a capacity of 4,900 MW were contributing 108 MW or 2.2% of their capacity and 0.6% of demand. Had they been absent they wouldn’t have been missed!

The two generation sources the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) insist the government shut down, ie:  Nuclear, generated 9,430 MW and Natural Gas plants generated 4,093 MW at that hour.  Had the latter two generation sources not been operating at that or any other hour Ontario would have experienced wide-spread BLACKOUTS with a negative effect on businesses and our daily activities.

Once again at hour nine (9) as daily demand was increasing on a regular work day, those IWT were generating 36 MW which was probably less than they were using just to keep their lights blinking! 

The foregoing unreliability and intermittency of IWT is not an occurrence for Ontario only as it has been demonstrated around the world where they have been endorsed and promoted by politicians.  On their own, without other generation sources, such as natural gas or coal fired generation backing them up, most of the developed world would find ourselves back in the dark ages.

It seems truly unbelievable the push to go fully “fossil fuel free” has gained so much momentum around the world collectively as one example: the push for EV (electric vehicles) to replace ICE (internal combustion engines) is occurring. 

Plugging those EV in to recharge them without fossil fuels generating electricity is nothing more than a pipedream by the eco-warriors and their obedient and obtuse politicians as recently noted.     

Opinion: The summer wind is Ontario’s fickle energy friend

My latest in the Financial Post is a slightly different version of a recent post which I think you will appreciate.

Find it here:

https://financialpost.com/opinion/opinion-the-summer-wind-is-ontarios-fickle-energy-friend