Ontarians Generosity was Again in Evidence on May 16, 2023

Well once again Ontario ratepayer’s and taxpayer’s generosity was in full swing as those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were in full motion throughout the day.  IESO forecast they would generate 60,760 MWh or about 52% of their capacity (enough to supply over 2 million average Ontario households) but accepted 51,130 MWh meaning about 9,630 MWh were curtailed.

The cost of the foregoing at $135/MWh for what was accepted was $6,902,550 plus another $1,155,600 for the curtailed power at $120/MWh bringing the total cost to $8,058,150 for the IWT output. The big problem with yesterday’s IWT output was; we didn’t need it as demand throughout the day was less than what our baseload (nuclear and most hydro) provided and peak demand only reached 14,757 MW at Hour 21.

What the foregoing resulted in was seeing all that surplus generation exported while driving down the market price (HOEP) which averaged only $3.40/MWh over the day.  As a result, IESO data disclosed our net exports (exports minus imports) to Michigan, New York and Quebec were 57,732 MWh. Going further, the IWT accepted generation of 51,130 MWh represented 88.6% of what we gave away. If we included the IWT curtailed generation those IWT could have generated 105% of what we sold off for pennies of their guaranteed “first-to-the-grid” costs.

The results from having those IWT generate their intermittent and unreliable power is costs to Ontarians for just yesterday’s unneeded generation was just shy of $7.9 million.

The above clearly shows how layering unreliable and intermittent generation like wind and solar drives up the costs of our energy consumption.

Despite the obvious there clearly is no intention IESO will reduce those costs as a Press Release from them yesterday illustrates they are going to add yet another layer.  They announced the “largest energy storage procurement ever in Canada“ and the bulk of it will be battery storage allowing the IWT owners to double down on the revenue grab from us ratepayers.  Those battery storage systems will allow them to buy their intermittent wind generation (we are obliged to purchase) for the cheap market price and sell it back into the grid at higher prices when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. 

We should all wonder; when will commonsense ever return or is this meant to drive more of us into “energy poverty” to save the world from “global warming”!

PS: The overnight temperature in most of Southern Ontario in mid-May was around zero (0) degrees Celsius which suggests we may have solved the UNIPCC crisis!

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!

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!

Industrial Wind Turbines Create a New “March Madness” in Ontario with Generation Costs of $342.08/MWh

The winds were once again blowing strong in Ontario on March 25th resulting in electricity costs rising and the Provincial government forced to absorb their excessive costs by using taxpayer dollars.

Reviewing the IESO data for the day discloses those IWT delivered more electricity to the grid than hydro for ten (10) of the 24 hours.  IESO also seemed to have messed up on their forecast of peak demand which resulted in it occurring at Hour 11 (hour ending at 11 AM) when it reached a meager 17,340 MW for the day versus their forecast of 16,841 MW.

IESO forecast over the 24 hours, IWT would generate 92,283 MW but, the output reported was 83,330 MW suggesting 8,843 MW were curtailed meaning we ratepayers/taxpayers were forced to eat those costs of $1,061,160 ($120/MWh) for the curtailed generation.  When the foregoing is added to the costs of the accepted IWT generation ($135/MWh) the costs of wind power for the day rise to $12,325,560.  It is interesting to note total grid accepted hydro for the day was only 86,032 MW suggesting IESO undoubtedly directed them to “spill” some generation which we ratepayers/taxpayers are also obliged to pay. In the latter case IESO don’t disclose those spills so there is no way of knowing how much was spilled or the costs associated with it!

If we look further at IESO data, we discern we exported 52,259 MW over the day (about what 1.7 million households consume daily) and for most of the 24 hours we were paid peanuts for it. For two of the hours (Hour 10 and Hour 16) we were paid $166.58/MWh and $148.87/MWh principally because IESO’s projections were less than demand so for those two hours the sales generated $1,125,275.  If we then deduct the 7,121 MW sold in those two hours the balance (45,138 MW) sold paid us $11.52/MWh (0.1cent/kWh) so generated a miserly $533,531. 

Going further, we should safely assume the surplus energy sold was either generated by those IWT or their generation caused the sale of other cheaper electricity. The foregoing raises the costs of the generated IWT power utilized by Ontario residents to $342.08/MWh or 0.34cents/kWh.  

(The equation is simply: $12,325,560 minus $1,658,806. ($1,125,275 + $533,531 = $1,658,806) divided by 31,181 MW (IWT output [83,440 MW] minus total exports [52,259 MW]) = $342.08/MWh!)

This clearly identifies why the “Electricity Support Program” paid by taxpayers is projected to cost $6.5 Billion annually and the effect those first-to-the-grid overpriced contracts for renewable energy have on us Ontarians.  It also has had a detrimental effect on making the province attractive for industries who look for investment locations with competitive energy prices.

The time has come to eliminate March Madness which arrives in Ontario every Spring when the wind blows hard but our energy demand falls!

PS:  Coincidently please read the following article issued March 25, 2023 from the UK supporting our views: Eminent Oxford Scientist Says Wind Power “Fails on Every Count” – The Daily Sceptic

Spring is Just Around the Corner and Ratepayers get Hammered

Most Canadians from coast to coast look forward to Spring arrival as we get excited about warmer weather and watching mother nature show her stuff.  Those Canadians living in Ontario however can be both happy and sad about Spring arrival as it has the bad habit of generating increased costs for one of life’s necessities which is energy with an emphasis on the cost of electricity.

Two recent happenings on March 19, 2023, bring the focus on the sad part of Spring arrival.  The first is more sunshine which creates more energy from those solar panels which under the McGuinty led government received contacts at ridiculous guaranteed rates as high as 0.80/cents a kWh. Now apparently, they have embarked on more hits to our pocketbooks as the first six (6) hours of March 19th suggests they can now produce power even when the sun isn’t shining as this screenshot from IESO demonstrates!

Solar Panel Generation When the Sun isn’t Shining?

As if the foregoing wasn’t enough weird news, on the same day as solar power was generated in darkness, we note IESO data supplied more bad news.  Normally at this time of year as the snow melts and water flows Ontario benefits from more generation from our hydro facilities which are also our cheapest and cleanest source of generation. As it turns out IESO data disclosed more bad news as the first three (3) hours of March 19th (two days before spring arrives ) those IWT (industrial wind turbines) generated more electricity than our hydro plants as evidenced in the following two screenshots.

Wind Generation Beats Hydro Generation!

To accentuate the foregoing those IWT did the same thing in the last three hours of the day as the following screenshots clearly show!

IWT Generation Hours 22, 23, 24!

Hydro Generation Hours 22, 23, 24!

Over the full 24 hours IWT generated a total of 92,447 MW or approximately 78.6% of their capacity and only slightly less than hydro which generated 94,511 MW but could have easily produced more.  Ontario was busy selling off the unneeded power which we (logically) should attribute to IWT generation to our neighbours at an average price of $14.86/MWh. We exported 53,308 MW so generated revenue of around $792K while we paid $135/MWh for it, so it cost Ontarians about $6.4 million for unneeded power.  We should also suspect IESO were busy telling OPG to spill hydro (we are obliged to also pay for) as demand was low and only peaked at 17,057 MW at hour 20.

The ups and downs of those intermittent IWT and solar panels are in the bad habit of generating lots of unneeded power during the spring and fall seasons when Ontario demand is low. They are the principal reason the Province of Ontario stiff taxpayers with annual additional costs of $6.5 billion in an attempt to hide the mess our electricity system is actually in.

Just one day’s data makes it obvious both of the foregoing sources of intermittent and unreliable electricity generation should be tossed in the garbage!

Wimpy Wind Once Again Demonstrates its Unreliable Nature

Ontarians should be thankful Sunday March 12, 2023, was both a weekend day and also kind of an early spring day which contributed to a relatively low electricity demand day.  Ontario’s peak demand came at Hour 19 (hour ending at 7 PM) and was only 17,614 MW. While the below screenshot of IESO data shows (at the top) the output of all electricity sources at 8 PM the coloured graph ends at Hour 20 and it shows the peak hour occurred at Hour 19 and at that hour all those IWT (industrial wind turbines) generated was a miserly 244MW or 5% of their capacity and 1.4% of peak demand.

Now squint at the coloured graph above and focus on the green, yellow and red lines at the top which are respectively IWT, solar and biomass generation to recognize why they can’t ever hope to replace flexible natural gas (dark blue), hydro (light blue) or nuclear generation (orange).

Over the full 24 hours of the day total wind generated was 7,215 MW which represented 6.13% of their capacity and at their low point at Hour 15 they only managed to generate 163 MW (3.3% of their capacity). At Hour 1 (ending at 1 AM) they hit their high for the day generating 484 MW (9.9% of their capacity).

Ontario’s natural gas plants stepped up to meet our needs yesterday generating 43,653 MW or six (6) times what those IWT generated. What the foregoing makes obvious is that Ontario would need another 29,400 MW of IWT capacity to replace what our gas plants generated in addition to the 4,900 MW of existing grid connected capacity.  Adding that capacity to the grid would also increase the need to upgrade the transmission system and both of those additions would drive up the cost of energy further.

As yet another addition to the foregoing Ontario would need a minimum of approximately 7,500 MW of BESS (battery energy storage systems) with the capabilities to deliver stored power to replace what those gas plants generated.  That 7,500 MW of battery storage would need to store their power in the days before the wind disappeared and it wouldn’t happen if the wind wasn’t blowing. 

Blackouts would be the alternative to the above.

Now try to imagine how much more IWT generation coupled with BESS units we would need on a hot summer day when demand peaks at over 22,000 MW!  

The Vagaries of Wind and Solar Generation Demonstrate why we Need Natural Gas

The below screenshot of IESO data for the past several days clearly demonstrates why Ontario needs the reliability of natural gas to fill in for when the sun’s not shining and/or the wind’s not blowing. At the bottom left of the screenshot the “Generation by Fuel Type – Hourly” highlights Ontario’s baseload capacity which is principally nuclear and hydro in the orange and blue colours. Most hydro is classified as baseload but part of it is considered as “variable” generation so is able to ramp up or down as needed when grid  demand rises or falls.  Nevertheless daily demand frequently is well above what those two sources are able to provide so natural gas plants need to be at the ready when those renewable energy sources are in the doldrums.

The foregoing is demonstrated by the large and small hourly generation from the green (industrial wind turbines or IWT) and yellow (solar) portions of the chart which at times generate as much as hydro and at other times very little! Simply looking at the daily peak demand hours it is readily apparent from the visual observation of the chart that wind and solar often are missing.  Natural gas generation (dark blue) and its rammable ability are required to fill in the gaps as is obvious once again from just a quick glance.

Just looking at one days IESO data contained in the above chart clearly shows why we cannot live without natural gas plants and their ability to step up when needed. Looking at February 24th at peak hour 19 (hour ending at 7 PM) natural gas generated 4,907 MWh, hydro 6,088 MWh but solar was absent and those IWT only generated 715 MWh versus their peak generation of 2,516 MWh for the day  at 3 AM when peak demand was at its low point for the full 24 hours.

The above is a clear demonstration of the unreliable nature of IWT and why natural gas generation is needed unless the objective is to create blackouts!

Winds Nebulous Contribution at Peak Hour Demand

Inspired by a friend’s graph on his twitter page led me to examine IESO data for the full day. The post was on Scott Luft’s Cold Air twitter page and the graph was inclusive for the first 18 hours of Ontario’s generation from wind, solar, gas, hydro and nuclear on January 28, 2023.  Wind over the 18 hours continued to shrink in output while gas and hydro generation expanded as Ontario’s demand increased and the graph displayed it so nicely it was hard to ignore

Hour 1 (hour ending at 1 AM) as happens almost every day saw Ontario demand falling which it did so, peak demand was 14,914 MW at that hour and IWT (industrial wind turbines) generation was running at 88.2% of their capacity and generated 4,324 MW or 29% of that hour’s demand. That output was their highest over the remaining 23 hours. At that hour, IESO reported our net-exports (exports minus imports) were 3,176 MW and total exports were 3,686 MW or 85.2% of wind generation. The HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) market price at that hour was a miserly $4.15/MWh! What that suggests is if the 3,686 MW sold were all IWT generated power they earned $15,297, but the cost to us Ontarians was $497,610.  Our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec must love the fact our energy mix has lots of IWT connected to our grid with the ability to deliver them cheap power.

Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM), the last hour on Scott’s graph, IWT generation was 467 MW contributing 2.5% of Ontario’s demand (18,314 MW).  The following hour peak demand for the day was reached at 18,493 MW and IWT generation at that hour fell to 141 MW or 0.8% of demand. Luckily hydro and gas generation were both available to increase their output with hydro generating 5,979 MW (32.3% of peak demand) and natural gas plants 2,576 MW (13.9% of peak demand).  The balance was produced by our nuclear power plants with a tiny amount from biomass.

For the full day IWT were forecast to generate 49,294 MW but IESO reported output at 46,966 MW implying they curtailed about 2,300 MW. Net exports over the full 24 hours were approximately 42,300 MW and at the average HOEP for the day of $20.62/MWh would have generated revenue of $872,000. If we attributed the IWT generation was either the full amount of the exports or the cause of other generation being exported; the net cost of that would have been close to $6 million for the full day.  We should also suspect their high “middle of the night” generation may also have caused hydro water spillage for our must-run hydro plants which would add further to the costs.

Just another day to remind us of the mess caused by the McGuinty/Wynne Ontario led governments and their compliance with the recommendations of Gerald Butts, Trudeau buddy, and former right-hand man until resigning due to pressuring the Attorney General in respect to the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

NB: I misspelled the word graph on the post by using the word “graft”. I guess I was using that word spelling to reflect what the IWT owners have done to our electricity system