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!

Finally, Common Sense Prevails, But Not from Past and Present Politicians

Back on April 14, 2021 shortly after the Federal CIB (Canada Infrastructure Bank) issued a press release titled: “The CIB And Private Sector Partners To Invest $1.7 Billion in Lake Erie Connector” it inspired an article titled: The Canadian Version of “Dumb & Dumber”. At that time the CIB was under the control of Catherine McKenna, then Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and they committed to provide “$655 million of our tax dollars to build a 117 kilometre underwater transmission line connecting Ontario with the PJM Interconnection under Lake Erie. 

The April 14, 2021 article went on to explain why the concept was a waste of tax dollars and the reasons why the politicians were labelled with those “dumb and dumber” descriptives!

Well, it now appears the bureaucrats responsible for reviewing the concept within the Ontario electricity sector have pointed out the fallacies of the plan which has resulted in ITC, a Michigan based company (subsidiary of Fortis Inc.) who were partnering with CIB to abandon the $1.7 billion Lake Erie connector project.

Fortis Inc. recently released* their second quarter 2022 results and buried in the results was the following statement:

In late July 2022, ITC suspended development activities and commercial negotiations relating to the $1.7 billion Lake Erie Connector project. ITC has determined that there is no viable path to conclude certain key commercial negotiations and other requirements within the required timelines, in part due to recent macroeconomic conditions, including rising inflation, interest rates, and fluctuations in the U.S.-to-Canadian foreign exchange rate. This project has never been included in the Corporation’s five-year Capital Plan.”

The suspension of the Lake Erie Connector project should be seen as a positive for Ontario and Canadian taxpayers as well as Ontario’s ratepayers as it was an implausible concept from the start.

Let’s hope this is the beginning of a more prevalent occurrence by our bureaucrats to stop the bleeding of Ontario’s clean electricity system in the push to achieve “net-zero” denying inane politicians their pandering of the eco-warriors!     

Let “common sense” prevail!

*Thanks to Scott Luft of Cold Air for his tweet of the Fortis statement from their 2nd Quarter report.

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.

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!

Eco-Warriors Bubble Up Again

The Narwhal is pushing pumped storage on behalf of Northland Power and dear old Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) is excited.  They are also excited about battery storage.

I took a run at the Northland plans back on November 18, 2013 and didn’t like what it was suggesting at that time.  I wouldn’t think things have changed much except for the increasing capital costs which suggest it would be even worse now than it looked like almost nine years ago.

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.

Eco-Warriors are Strangling Energy Advances at a Cost to Consumers

Back in 1989 Greenpeace Canada lost it’s charitable status with the CRA and they kept trying to get it back without success but suddenly in late 2020 for some reason the CRA suddenly allowed the newly formed Greenpeace Canada Education Fund to have charitable status. The latter claim they are “focused on research, investigations and education” and reputedly have engaged “more than 17,000 students from K-12 and 328 presentations across Canada”.  One should presume those engagements have been to scare our children and grandchildren that the world will end unless we deal with “climate change”. 

As a coincidence an unrelated “Google” search led to finding an entity called the Green Energy Coalition which has been an “intervenor” with the Ontario Energy Board and on occasions; jointly with Environmental Defence.  Members of the GEC are none other than; Greenpeace Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, Sierra Club of Canada and the World Wildlife Fund.  The latter three plus Environmental Defence are all registered Charities and push the concept of eliminating fossil fuels and supporting expensive and unreliable renewable energy in the form of wind and solar.  One should note they are not the only eco-warrior intervenors pushing for the end of fossil fuel use.  Others include Pollution Probe, OSEA (Ontario Sustainable Energy Association), the Atmospheric Fund (created by the City of Toronto in 1991), Clean Air Council/Clean Air Partnership (funded by many municipal governments) and several others. One of the others is the School Energy Coalition Intervention Services (SEC) handled principally by the law firm Shepherd Rubenstein” who are also big supporters of “climate change”. The SEC (primary funding from school boards) intervenor awards alone for the April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020 OEB year report totaled $840K which was 18% of all the awards for that year.

What becomes obvious is, our tax dollars; municipal, provincial and federal, not only pay for the Ontario Energy Board, school boards, etc. etc. via all the tax burdens we experience but also are used to create not-for-profits and charities that continually fight as intervenors and whose costs are also billed to us via our bills for both the electricity and natural gas, we use, which are also both taxed on our bills. 

A recent example was the intervenor costs associated with Enbridge’s effort to replace a deteriorating 19.8 kilometer pipeline (denied by the OEB) in Ottawa where intervenor costs for SEC were $63,319.55, for Pollution Probe $36,637.43 and $12,856.01 for Environmental Defence.

Not sure how the OEB can view intervention by those eco-warriors as a benefit to all of the households and businesses using electricity and natural gas in Ontario as we are also obliged to pick up those intervenor costs which has a multiplier effect on our tax costs. Just another tax on tax on tax!

This is but one example of why we should not wonder why Canada ranks so low in the OCED for getting things done due to our numerous regulations and the bureaucrats managing them! 

Perhaps the time has arrived to reduce our regulations and the numerous bureaucrats managing them!

Ontario’s Industrial Wind Turbines Fall Flat When Actually Needed

According to IESO data, Hour 19 on May 14th was Ontario’s peak demand hour reaching a high of 17,758 MW and once again those IWT were missing.  At that hour they generated a miserly 335 MW or 1.8% of demand while representing almost 16% of total capacity.  It should be noted they also have “first-to-the-grid” rights meaning they rank ahead of all other generation due to their contracts with the province.  

At hour one (hour ending at 1 AM) when demand is amongst the lowest in any day and declining, those IWT were generating 1751 MW or almost 39% of their capacity with demand under 13,000 MW ie: less than the combined capacity (14,814 MW)  of nuclear (even without the 3,144 MW of Bruce shut for their planned Vacuum Building Outage) and hydro . 

Generating excess power when unneeded always reflects itself by causing the market price ie; the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) to be low when IESO sell it off to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec. At hour one the HOEP averaged $13.31/MWh (1.3 cents/kWh) whereas at hour 19 it averaged $78.66/MWh. The foregoing is a reflection of how IWT generation’s intermittent and unreliable nature has caused the price of electricity in Ontario and around the world to increase to unaffordable levels.

It is worth noting at Hour 1 Ontario’s natural gas plants were generating 127 MW and in Hour 19 generated 3,477 MW disclosing their reliability.

The facts emphasized above should be ones the OCAA should disclose to the 32 municipalities throughout the province who have told the Ontario Ministry of Energy to shut down all gas plants by 2030. The OCAA has also pushed for the closure of all our nuclear plants suggesting Quebec would supply us with cheap hydro. That claim is an illusion by the OCAA as Quebec doesn’t have the power, we would need to replace what nuclear and gas provide! 

We Ontarians and those inept municipal politicians should be thankful we have those natural gas and nuclear plants or we all would experience continuing backouts!

Pretty sure we all appreciate; lights on to lights off!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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