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!

Wind Energy once again displays its spasmodic and undependable nature

Another couple of warm (not hot) summer days here in Ontario on July 16th and 17th and guess what?  If you guessed those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were basically unreliable and failed to deliver what the eco-warriors believe in, you were absolutely right!

July 16th

Those IWT on July 16th at Ontario’s peak demand of Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM), generated 158 MW or 0.8% of the peak demand of 19,999 MW. That 158 MW represented 3% of their capacity at that hour but much earlier in the day they reached their high for the day at 3 AM when they generated 444 MW or 9% of their capacity.  At 9 AM however when demand is increasing, they once again hit their low point generating only 44 MW or 0.9% of their capacity. In total those IWT generated 4,906 MW over the full 24 hours and that represented only about 4.2% of their capacity. 

Fortunately for all of us Ontario’s natural gas plants were available to ramp up at 9 AM and generated 1,309 MW and at the Hour 17 peak for the day generated 4,483 MW.

July 17th

On July 17th the IWT were generating 531 MW at the Ontario peak demand hour which was once again Hour 17 and was 2.6% of the peak which reached 19,925 MW.  Those IWT peak for the day, was Hour 21 at 635 MW or 12.9% of their capacity. Earlier in the day at Hour 9 they generated 118 MW or 2.4% of their capacity

Once again, those natural gas plants came to the rescue generating 4,427 MW at the peak hour, and 1,563 MW at Hour 9 when those IWT were almost absent and because demand was still high at Hour 21 those gas plants generated 4,081 MW.

The Irony:

While the gas plants were demonstrating their necessity it is ironic as IESO is contemplating adding additional reliable supply via the addition of a 600-megawatt hydrogen-ready power plant project in Sarnia, Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) is pushing to stop it!  “The new plant would be designed to run on either 100 per cent natural gas or a blend of up to 65 per cent hydrogen and natural gas, according to a document the company submitted to the federal agency.”  The article in the Sarnia Observer went on to quote Gibbons: “Building a new gas-fired power plant would be moving Ontario in absolutely the wrong direction”. The OCAA’s list of supporters includes none other than George Smitherman, former Minister of Energy under the McGuinty led government and who enacted the GEA (Green Energy Act).  Another supporter is Peter Tabuns, Ontario’s NDP energy critic. It seems obvious the same individuals who caused Ontario’s electricity prices to spike by well over 100% in the past decade don’t recognize the importance of a reliable and competitively priced electricity supply.

Conclusion

All Ontario residents and businesses should be thankful our natural gas plants are at the ready to ensure we don’t suffer rolling blackouts similar to what is happening in Europe and in US states such as California and Texas who have embraced wind and solar in order to save the planet from the fictitious predictions of the eco-warriors!

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

The Summer Doldrums arrived and wind falls flat

Well, summer has finally arrived and as happens annually, wind falls off with the possible exception of the occasional hurricane’s arrival! 

Once again, wind generations summer fail was evident as on July 7th, 2022 Ontario’s industrial wind turbines (IWT) with a capacity of about 15.6% of total capacity in Ontario was at the bottom of the heap in respect to generation!

As one example Ontario’s peak demand occurred during a five-minute interval at Hour 17 reaching 19,638 MW and the 4,900 MW* capacity of wind generated only 332 MW at that hour representing 6.7% of it’s capacity and 1.7% of demand. To wit:

At peak, generation sources were producing the following:

Nuclear                9,529 MW

Hydro                    5,222 MW

Natural Gas        4,336 MW

IWT                           332 MW

Solar                         207 MW

Biofuel                     115 MW

Total                  19,741 MW

As is obvious from the above the three sources of what are referred to as “new” and renewable (IWT, Solar, Biofuel) energy collectively delivered 654 MW or 3.3% of Ontario demand which clearly suggests without nuclear, hydro or natural gas generation Ontario’s households and businesses would have been living with rolling blackouts at the very least throughout the day.

IESO reported wind’s peak generation occurred at Hour 1 (hour ending at 1 AM) when it produced 462 MW of its capacity (9.4%) and it wasn’t needed as demand at that hour was falling below 13,000 MW. When morning arrived however and demand was increasing at 9 AM those IWT (industrial wind turbines) produced a miserly 57 MW (1.2% of their capacity).

As many Ontarians know IWT under the terms of their contracts have “first-to-the-grid” rights ranking ahead of all other generation sources and if their generation isn’t needed, they are still paid if IESO curtail them. It is worth noting the latter regularly occurs during the Spring and Fall seasons when peak demand is much lower but those Spring and Fall breezes are a part of our normal weather pattern.

 As the Premier Ford led Ontario Government ruling party embark on their second majority governing term we should hope (and pray) he and his minions will actually do something to alleviate the mess in the energy sector created by the Ontario Liberal Party when they ruled the province! 

 Hopefully that is not too much to ask of Premier Ford or to expect during these times of rising inflation caused principally by rising energy costs!

*For some reason five (two are related) of Ontario’s IWT farms are still not yet commissioned even though they have been operating for a few years under contracts signed during the McGuinty/Wynne years. They are: Amherst Island (83 MW capacity), Bow Lake (two with a 58 MW capacity and Henvey Inlet (North & South with a 300 MW capacity).

Industrial Wind Generation Demonstrates It’s True Colours

If one follows or occasionally looks at Ontario’s hourly generation and took a peek at IESO’s Generators Output and Capability Output for Sunday July 3, 2022 their immediate reaction (should they regard wind as intermittent and unreliable) might have been; “aha, as I suspected, wind is a very fickle generation source”! 

That view would have been particularly obvious if they noted; as demand increased over the opening hours of the day wind fell flat and hour 10 highlighted that failure. At that hour they couldn’t even come close to generating IESO’s forecast of 101 MW producing only 17.8% (18 MW) of the forecast.  IESO’s forecast at that hour was only 2.3% of Winds Total Available Capacity (4,485 MW) shown on the report.

The hourly Ontario peak demand at Hour 10 was 14,070 MW so wind supplied 0.13% despite its total capacity representing 13% of all of our grid capacity as reported by IESO. Those Industrial Wind Turbines did that in spite of their favourable position under the contracts giving them “first-to-the-grid” rights!  

The IESO Crysler forecast and output for this 100 MW IWT project was respectively 18 MW but only 2 MW (11% of the forecast) were actually generated. The Crysler contract (for some unknown reason) was one of the few allowed to maintain its contract status under the first Ford government’s tenure as the ruling party in Ontario despite having had considerable pushback from the county prior to and after the election.  It recently gained “commissioned” status (awarded by IESO) but as one can see it joins the ranks of the others and fails to produce power when needed or forecast.

Hour 10 clearly demonstrates one of the many failures of IWT generation proving they are both intermittent and unreliable and absolutely need to be backed up by reliable fossil fuels in the form of natural gas generation which at hour 10 was generating 1192 MW! 

All those IWT (industrial wind turbines) ultimately do is increase the price of every kilowatt hour we consume.

Hopefully the second tenure voters have granted the Ford led government in Ontario will actually result in actions by them to eliminate the privileges granted to all companies owning those IWT! That would help reduce costs to ratepayers and taxpayers and reduce the harm they cause humans living in households near them along with their devastating effect on birds, bats and other nature related effects.

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!