IESO Creates and Promotes Hybrid Electricity Generation-What could go wrong?

Who knew?

IESO recently claimed by simply combining very old technology mankind would create hybrid electricity generation! 

The foregoing was stated recently by IESO in their September report “Enabling Foundational Hybrid Facility Models in the IESO-Administered Markets ”.  One example cited by IESO in the 46 page report, says combining batteries (invented in 1800 by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta) with electricity generated by wind turbines (created by Professor James Blyth in 1887) is “hybrid” generation.  The following from the report states: “Expiring wind and solar contracts along with declining technology costs for battery storage is expected to drive hybrid facility development over the next decade.”

It appears to be similar to mating horses and donkeys to create mules.  Considering how long batteries and wind generated electricity have been around perhaps IESO should name this new “hybrid” they claim now exists in Ontario?  The words “double-dealing” and or “chicanery” added to wind/battery or solar/battery would be a good descriptive for these hybrids!   

The foregoing implies IWT (industrial wind turbines) and solar with FIT (feed in tariff) contacts brought to us in Ontario by the McGuinty/Wynne governments will be renewed as long as battery storage is added by the owners. One should wonder if the Ontario Minister of Energy, Todd Smith has been played by Mark Carney, Vice Chair of Brookfield? A Brookfield subsidiary recently proposed a $300 million 161 MW (megawatts) battery storage unit that will reputedly contain four hours (644 MWh) of dispatchable energy and those batteries will be charged in the middle of the night and dispatched during the day when demand is high.  The benefit to Brookfield will translate to selling the power when the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy prices) market price is high while downloading it when prices are low. 

What looks to be somewhat confusing about this “hybrid” issue is the Energy Minister’s letter of August 23, 2022 wherein he states:  “I am pleased to see that through the first Medium-Term RFP (MT1 RFP) our government’s approach of competitive procurements has secured supply at a cost about 30 per cent lower than previous contracts.” It one believes he was referencing IWT contracts which are paid $135/MWh that would reduce the price for grid accepted wind to $94.50/MWh without including what we are also paying for “curtailed” generation of $120/MWh! 

Interestingly enough it appears the “30 per cent lower” quote from the Ministry letter is related to comments in the 46 page September 2022 report from IESO titled:  “Enabling Foundational Hybrid Facility Models in the IESO-Administered Markets”! The IESO report has the following two sentences: “Post-market renewal, there will be a locational marginal price (LMP) for the storage injecting resource and another LMP for the storage withdrawing resource. The LMP values may be different for the two (2) resources (e.g., $20/MW for the storage withdrawing resource and $21/MW for the storage injecting resource).”

The question becomes; had IESO negotiated the additional payment(s) with the IWT owners and made the Minister aware of the agreement reached before he penned his letter as it infers; due to the date of his letter proceeding the IESO report by one month?

Despite the foregoing question it seems interesting that the two additional payments added to the 30% reduction would bring the total cost of wind generation to $135.50 ($94.50+$20.00+21.00=$135.50).  The other question is whether the IWT owners can pick and choose when to sell their stored energy and if they will be allowed to choose hours when the HOEP market price is higher than the guaranteed price?

Another very recent announcement from Capital Power in Windsor suggests Ontario’s natural gas fired plants are keen to get in on the “battery” storage action as the September 21, 2022 article in the CBC suggests.  Capital Power is proposing to add a 40 MW battery storage unit particularly as IESO has forecast “demand in southwestern Ontario as a whole is expected to double over five years to about 2,000 megawatts”.  The article highlights a report from Power Advisory which amusingly recommends the City of Windsor ironically investigate “importing power from Michigan” whom the EIA (US Energy Information System) note in 2021 got their largest share (32%) of electricity from coal generation.

One of the principal reasons for the IESO projected demand increase is; “the announcement of the $4.9-billion Stellantis-LG Energy Solution electric vehicle battery plant, a massive facility slated to open in 2024.” The press releases from the Provincial and the Federal Governments don’t disclose how much taxpayers will be providing as the Federal Press Release notes: “Details of this agreement are subject to commercial confidentiality and cannot be disclosed at this time”.  Needless to say we taxpayers should expect government grants will be several hundred million of our tax dollars! Both press releases tout the wonders of converting from manufacturing ICE to EV automobiles in line with PM Trudeau and his minions seeking to achieve his target of “100% zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales by 2035”. The only announcement about grants was from the City of Windsor who have committed $68 million with the help of a $45 million loan from Infrastructure Ontario an Ontario taxpayer owned entity.

As IESO and the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments here in Canada continue the push for batteries to be manufactured in Ontario and to also provide electricity it is interesting to note California has similar targets as those proposed by our various government bodies. Very recently PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) experienced yet another major battery fire at a large battery storage unit (182.5 MW) and that plant has now been shut down indefinitely!  

From the above summary of ongoing events here in Ontario and elsewhere it seems, in the minds of our bureaucrats and politicians charged with running our energy system (whose objectives should be reliable power), their view is:

“everything old is new again”!

Witness Wind Cash Gobblers on September 22nd

What Ontario ratepayers expect in the Spring and Fall seasons started on the very first fall day (September 22, 2022) in the current year.  

The 4,900 MW (about) capacity of grid connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) spread throughout the province could have generated 74,442 MWh (63.3% of their capacity) if the approximately 8,800 MWh of curtailed wind is included with the IESO accepted generation.

As it turned out IESO accepted 65,642 MWh and were busy finding a home for those MWh with our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec who eagerly snapped up 61,757 MWh at the average bargain basement HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) market price of $8.56MWh (0.86 cents/kWh).

The foregoing happened as we ratepayers/taxpayers are obliged to pay $135/MWh (13.5 cents/kWh) for the grid accepted IWT generation and $120/MWh (12.0 cents/kWh) for its curtailed generation given their “first-to-the-grid rights!  What the above translates to is a total cost of $9,891,000 will be paid to the IWT owners. IESO had to sell off that unneeded generation to avoid overloading the grid and cause blackouts. IESO sold the bulk of it to our neighbours who paid about $529,000 which translates to a net cost to us Ontarians of $9,362,000 for power we didn’t need.   

While it’s not unusual to see those IWT operate at levels of 40/60 % of their capacity it tends to always be during the spring and fall when Ontario’s peak demand is low. Yesterday was no exception as peak Ontario demand occurred at Hour 20 and was only 15,584 MW whereas on those warm summer days peak Ontario demand frequently hovers around the 20,000MW+ mark but wind generation is frequently missing or completely absent.

Those peak demand summer days is when the IWT take a holiday proving all they do is add to the costs of our energy supply with their intermittency and unreliability!

Pretty sure most Ontarians will be happy when those contracts given by the McGuinty/Wynne led government(s) finally expire and those IWT are shut down.  Migrating birds and bats and households in rural communities affected by the high decibel noise and the infrasound affecting their health will, no doubt, be delighted!

To paraphrase the Dire Straits song; IWT owners get “money for nothing, but it sure ain’t free”!

Generating Less Electricity Benefits Ontario Ratepayers

The OEB (Ontario Energy Board) on September 12, 2022 finally posted “Ontario’s System-Wide Electricity Supply Mix: 2021 Data” and it was the latest posting ever from them in the last seven years!  The OEB takes the TX (transmission connected) generation, ie; IESO data* they provide (usually within two weeks of the prior year-end) and add the DX (distribution connected) generation provided by the local distribution companies in the province. We assume it is a slower process to obtain the latter info from the 58 distribution companies but 8 ½ months seems longer than needed!

The foregoing combined data from the OEB report indicates generation from TX and DX generators fell from 154.7 TWh (terawatt hours) in 2020 to 150 TWh in 2021 or 3%.  The 4.7 TW drop equals the annual consumption of about 525,000 Ontario households!

As one would suspect some generation sources fell while some increased but not enough to offset the drop.  The biggest drop was from our nuclear plants which generated 4.8 TW less and our hydro plants also fell generating 2.8 TW less. Combined the 7.6 TW is about what 850,000 average Ontario households (16% of all Ontario households) would consume in a year.  The only generation source to significantly increase generation was Ontario’s grid connected natural gas plants who supplied 12.2 TW an increase of 2.5 TW from 2020 (up 25.7%) and about what 290,000 average households annually consume. The only other categories to show increases were wind; up 100 GW (gigawatts) or about what 10,000 households consume annually and “Non-Contracted” which increased by 500 GW or what 50,000 households would consume annually.  The OEB states the latter “represents a variety of fuel types that the IESO is unable to categorize”! We should suspect those “Non-Contracted” sources are mainly small gas plants operated by manufacturers and sub-contracted to supply generation when the local grid is potentially short of demand!  

The only bright star shining out from the report is related to Ontario’s “net exports” (exports minus imports) which declined by 6.6 TW and had the positive effect of pushing up the market price ie: HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) from an average of 1.39 cents/kWh in 2020 to 2.85 cents/kWh in 2021. While that doesn’t sound like much it did decrease our costs by $118 million on our Net Exports in 2020 of 8.5 TWh. The increase in the HOEP would also decrease the taxpayer liability amount for those intermittent and unreliable non-hydro “renewable energy contract costs” (wind and solar) as referenced by IESO* and slightly reduce the GA (Global Adjustment) component!

We shouldn’t believe what has finally shown a positive year over year result to continue however, due to the push by the Minister of Energy, Todd Smith’s August 23, 2022 “directive” to IESO containing the following instructions:  “to evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas-fired generating stations in Ontario and to develop an achievable pathway to phase out natural gas generation and achieve zero emissions in the electricity system”.

Get prepared for the future which like many European countries will include orders to turn off your air conditioners in the summer and reduce your thermostat in the winter to avoid blackouts. Oh, and don’t charge your EV (electric vehicles) until we tell you, you can!

Energy reliability is no longer a target our politicians promote! The word “reliability” is being replaced by the word “transition” and the OEB is front and center in executing the change with their just released “Energy Transition” post containing a poll we must all take!

*Note on IESO data release: As of January 1, 2021, Global Adjustment costs for all electricity consumers are being reduced because approximately 85 per cent of non-hydro renewable energy contract costs are being shifted from the rate base to the tax base. Savings will vary, depending on consumers’ electricity consumption, ICI participation, and location.

Vestas Wind System Awarded Top ESG Score by Corporate Knights

A recent and very long article in The Oregonian titled “How an airborne blade exposed broader problems at PGE’s flagship wind farm” went into considerable detail on the effects of a turbine blade that was spinning and suddenly was launched in the middle of the night plowing a four-foot furrow in the wheat stubble where it landed.  The foregoing led to a full shutdown of the 217 wind turbines in the Biglow Canyon by PGE (Portland General Electric) and lots of responses from locals pointing out many other issues associated with those IWT (industrial wind turbines). The article elaborates on six major reported issues which included oil spills, metal debris appearances, etc. etc. and also states, how over the years, those turbines (manufactured by Vestas and Siemens) underperformed in respect to generation they originally promised. The article reports on more unfavourable information about the Vestas turbines versus the Siemens ones but both are criticized. It is somewhat surprising the article does not even mention how those IWT also kills birds and bats or how their associated noises (both high decibel and infrasound) affects humans and animals in a negative way.

Vestas is a company with their head office in Denmark and is touted as the world’s largest supplier of IWT.  It may seem oxymoronic to many that Denmark has the highest household electricity prices in the EU currently at “0.3448 euro per kWh”!  The prior fact illustrates what many around the world have experienced due to the favourtism, tax dollars and tax benefits accorded companies awarded contracts to erect IWT to save us from “climate change”! The end result of those IWT installations is much higher electricity prices and unreliability due to the intermittent nature of wind versus dependable energy generation from nuclear and fossil fuels!

Interestingly, Vestas was favourably recognized by Corporate Knights of Toronto* in their January 2022 ESG (environmental, social and governance) assessment of 6,914 companies with more than US$1 billion in annual revenues.  Corporate Knights ranked Vestas Wind Systems as the world’s most sustainable corporation, granting them as the only company, to achieve an A+ rank! Needless to say Vestas tout that ranking in their 74 page  2021 Sustainability Report stating they were “The most sustainable company in the world”. One should wonder about the qualifications of Corporate Knights staff and their ability to examine those 6,914 companies as it relates to ESG accounting standards.  Those ESG accounting standards have been widely criticized as being far too vague as noted in a recent article by Bloomberg.

So, one should wonder did the “top of the heap” award by Corporate Knights spotlighting Vestas ranking higher than the other 6,913 companies provide a benefit to Vestas’s shareholders? The quick answer is no!

If one looks at the Vestas share price on January 3, 2021 it was US$17.23/share but by September 9, 2022 it was US$8.17/share having dropped by 52%.  Looking at the share price on the Corporate Knights release date of the “World’s 100 most sustainable corporation” on January 19, 2022, the Vestas share price was US$9.21 but as noted it fell to US$8.17/share by September 9th down by 11.3%. 

It seems obvious those involved in investing our funds through assets management companies or private pension plans** are not convinced renewable energy is a sound investment.  A recent article notes fossil fuel companies have out performed renewable energy companies by a factor of ten in the current year. Renewable energy companies beat the S & P by an average of 4.3% whereas fossil fuel stocks have outperformed the S & P by an average of 43%.

From all appearances it should be apparent the population who view the possibilities of renewable energy providing the world with all the energy we need are in short supply no matter what Corporate Knights or politicians tell us minions!

*Corporate Knights describe themselves as “The Voice for Clean Capitalism” but seem quite happy to take tax dollars from the Federal Government for their “magazine” as well as obtaining contracts from them to report on “decarbonization trends in Canadian industry sectors”.

**Public pension plans have jumped on board to support renewable energy and have suffered the consequences as pointed out in a recent article about Caisse de Depot and OMERS who took a pounding on just one of their investments.

Was Hour 16 on September 8th a Future Blackout Signal?

Pleased to confirm if your lights flickered at Hour 16 yesterday it had nothing to do with a power outage in Ontario.  At that hour the market price or HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) was $180.67/MWh and the grid was in a shortfall position from Ontario electricity generators.  As a result, we were importing power from NY, Manitoba and even Michigan at that hour. 

Ontario is almost constantly in a surplus position and either exporting power or curtailing those IWT (industrial wind turbines) or spilling hydro but not yesterday!  In all we were net importers for six (6) continuous hours starting at Hour 16 and Quebec also were called on for imports during those hours.

Ontario’s peak demand came at Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM) and was 19,731 MW but didn’t qualify for one of the top 10 demand hours in the current year.  At hour 16 those approximately 4,900 MW of grid connected IWT managed to generate only 254 MWh and for Hour 17 they only managed to produce 235 MWh meaning they generated less than 5% of their rated capacity.

For the full 24 hours IWT generated 5,287 MWh, operating at an average of 4.5% of their rated capacity while our natural gas plants generated 72,505 MWh over the same period. What that suggests if those natural gas plants were non-existent, we would have needed another 67,000 MW of wind capacity to avoid blackouts and produce the 72,505 MWh the gas plants provided.  An additional 67,000 MW of IWT capacity is almost double Ontario’s current total grid connected capacity of 38,079 MW IESO reported we had at the end of 2021.

One should wonder, is the foregoing what Minister of Energy, Todd Smith has in mind with his recent directive to IESO wherein he states: “I asked IESO to evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas-fired generating stations in Ontario and to develop an achievable pathway to phase out natural gas generation and achieve zero emissions in the electricity system. I asked IESO to report back to me with its analysis and results by November 2022.”

It should be recognized with the forthcoming closure of the Pickering Nuclear Plants in 2025 and their hourly generation of 3,000 MWh (72,000 MWh per day) it’s not clear what he anticipates will provide that replacement power.  If its IWT we may need another 67K of those IWT to perhaps provide reliability to prevent blackouts or we will all be forced to reduce our electricity consumption to much lower levels. 

We should also be concerned about the future of our manufacturing and business sectors who will be impacted by the lack of reliable energy! 

From all appearances it seems our politicians lack planning skills so we should expect in the near future “blackouts” may well be a common occurrence.

The Sun Shines in the Middle of the Night in Ontario

It’s unclear how Ontario’s Minister of Energy got it to happen but he somehow managed to get some of those solar panels hooked up to the grid to generate power after the sun set starting late on September 3rd and through the early morning on September 4th as IESO data disclosed.

On September 3, 2022 during hours 20 to hour 24 (hour ending at 12 PM) those solar panels managed to generate 9 MWh each of the five hours and they continued to generate power during the early hours on September 4th managing to continue generating 9 MWh for the first four hours and in hour 5 they fell and only produced 6 MWh and fell further over the next hour producing only 2 MWh in Hour 6 but jumped to 7 MWh in hour 7.  The total generation of those solar panels over the 12 hours of darkness was 96 MWh or about the average annual consumption of 10 Ontario households. If they managed to produce that much solar generation during just one of our summer days, we should try to imagine how much they could produce during the low sunshine winter months!

One should wonder if some new technology developed in Ontario has allowed the foregoing to happen or was the early Spanish model used? 

In Spain’s early adaption companies operating solar farms under lucrative contracts somehow managed to generate solar power in the middle of the night but they were called out:  “Spanish newspaper El Mundo found that between November and January, 4500 megawatt hours (MWh) of solar energy were sold to the electricity grid between midnight and seven in the morning.

It has been suggested that some plants in the regions of Castilla-La-Mancha, Canarias and Andalucía have been using diesel generators connected to their solar panel arrays to illegally benefit from government subsidies.

Perhaps the concept of nighttime solar generation was what was visualized by the Ontario Minister of Energy, Todd Smith in his directive to IESO instructing them “to develop an achievable pathway to phase out natural gas generation and achieve zero emissions in the electricity system”!

Were the results of September 3rd and 4th a demonstration of new technology developed that Minister Smith believes will help to achieve zero emissions in the electricity system or is someone firing up those “diesel generators” to take advantage of the “lucrative contracts” our past and present politicians have signed onto?

PS: What I got back on my query to IESO about this:

“Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.  We had to reach out to a few people for this.  There were issues in receiving data from Northland Power.  These issues have been resolved on the IESO’s end.

I hope this answers your questions.

Regards,

IESO Customer Relations

Conservative Conflicts Begets Confusion

Plato is credited with saying, “Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.

A couple of recent events occurred that when viewed, should strike us all as “strange” but depending on one’s perspective who is telling the truth and who is the “lunatic and fool” may well differ.

Joe Oliver, former Federal Minister of Natural Resources and Minister of Finance under the Harper led Federal Conservative Party penned an article in the Financial Post on September 1, 2022 and it castigates the Justin Trudeau led Federal Liberal Party about the damaging consequences of its green policies. 

The opening two sentences of Oliver’s article were words of wisdom and common sense as he stated: “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be feeling isolated in his campaign against fossil fuels, especially Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as leaders around the world reduce their countries’ reliance on inadequate renewable energy and tone down their own rhetoric about lowering GHG emissions. But for political and ideological reasons his government cannot admit to the terribly damaging consequences of its green policies and the urgent need to fundamentally change course.”

When Greg Rickford was the Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines he appointed Mr. Oliver to the Board of Directors of IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) and a couple of months later he was elected as Chair of the IESO Board of Directors. IESO is responsible for managing Ontario’s power system and defines their responsibilities as: “The IESO is the coordinator and integrator of Ontario’s electricity system. Our system operators monitor the energy needs of the province in real time – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – balancing supply and demand and directing the flow of electricity across Ontario’s transmission lines.”

Ontario’s current Energy Minister, Todd Smith, (appointed June 18, 2021)  and formerly the critic on the “energy” portfolio when the Ontario Conservative Party were in opposition) on August 23, 2022 issued a directive to IESO which contained some surprising instructions to the President.  Needless to say, the directive was also copied to the Hon. Joe Oliver, P.C., Board Chair!

The directive from Minister Smith babbles on about how “Ontario is on track to acquire the electricity generation we need to power our government’s success in driving electrification and strong economic growth, including unprecedented investments that are creating new jobs in electric vehicle and battery manufacturing and green steel.”

Anyone who has followed the news about the foregoing investments in EV and battery manufacturing and green steel will be aware both the Ford led Provincial government and the Trudeau led Federal government joined hands and have handed out billions of our tax dollars to achieve those “unprecedented investments”.  It is also worth noting those “new jobs” are not new as the handouts to the various companies were simply to “retain” the jobs associated with the automotive and steel manufacturers that were already here in the province. 

The concept of a “net-zero” buy-in by Minister Smith seems evident with the push to both declare a moratorium on gas generation and “replacing natural gas with green fuels such as hydrogen and renewable natural gas, or the development of utility-scale carbon capture and storage” as a directive from October 27, 2021 via his “Pathway to Achieve Zero Emissions in Ontario’s Electricity System” suggests.  The above seems to have been confirmed based on his comments in a recent CBC article where he clearly states:

I’ve asked the IESO to speed up that report back to us so that we can get the information from them as to what the results would be for our grid here in Ontario and whether or not we actually need more natural gas,” Smith said Tuesday after question period.

I don’t believe that we do.”

No estimation of the costs of the “Pathway” are noted and no castigation of the Trudeau government by Minister Smith would strongly suggest he is on the same page as Trudeau and those in the Trudeau cabinet such as Steven Guilbeault, the Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. The comment above: “I don’t believe that we do” implies he is obviously conflicted with the Honourable Joe Oliver, Chair of the IESO Board.

As Plato suggests and we Ontarians should wonder; is Oliver “the person that dares to tell the truth” and Smith the one who is calling him “a lunatic and fool” or is it the other way around?

IWT with “First-To-The-Grid” Rights Demonstrate the Best They Can Do is Wimp Out

August 23, 2022 once more demonstrated IWT (industrial wind turbines) inability to produce power when it is actually needed. The day produced a peak demand hour close to being in the top 10 hours so far in the current year reaching 21,075 MW at Hour 17.  We should surmise many of the Class A electricity customers fired up their gas generators to take advantage of their status and achieve the rate reductions that come with reducing their power draw as the Class A status allows.

At hour 17 the market price of power or HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) saw IESO buying and selling power at $159.41/MWh via the intertie markets.  They were selling to Michigan and New York states while buying power from Quebec to ensure reliability over the grid. The exchanges at that hour resulted in a negative flow of 61 MW meaning we imported slightly more power than we exported.

The IWT at hour 17 generated 465 MWh which was just shy of their peak for the day of 519 MWh at hour 16 and represented 2.2% of demand but their capacity is over 15% of Ontario’s total grid connected capacity. At the hour when those IWT were demonstrating their unreliability our natural gas plants produced 4.926 MWh or 23.4% of demand with nuclear and hydro producing almost all of the balance.

The only positive thing about the failure of those IWT to produce power when it’s needed during peak periods is that we generally sell our surplus power for higher prices unlike the Spring and Fall when demand is low but generation from IWT is much higher than summer months. During those months IWT are frequently producing so much surplus power we curtail them and pay $120/MWh for those happenings.  At the same time the HOEP is at low prices so what is actually accepted on the grid is sold to Michigan and NY for pennies of their actual cost.  Both of the foregoing events simply drive-up costs to Ontario’s Class B ratepayers which are the small and medium sized businesses and residential ratepayers. In the meantime, large public entities such as universities and hospitals (many of whom are also Class A ratepayers) dependent on tax dollars are unaffected as they fire up their gas generators so it’s simply another cost to ratepayers and taxpayers.

The foregoing IWT failure is almost a daily event during summer days and highlights the fact once the Pickering nuclear plant is shut down (2025) our natural gas plants will be called on to continually generate power. Without any additional reliable power added to the grid in anticipation of that closure, Ontario’s energy security is at risk.

The question on our minds should be; when will the Ford led government do something that ensures Ontario’s businesses and households will have secure electricity sources that are capable of generating power 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and pass regulations to curtail our subsidies to IWT?

Natural Gas Rises to the Occasion on August 17, 2022

Well, August 17th has come and gone and to the best of my knowledge Ontarians didn’t experience any blackouts in our electricity grid.

The day itself was a nice warm (not hot) summer day and while Ontario’s electricity demand wasn’t amongst the top 10 for the year it did peak at Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM) reaching 19,856 MW. Those IWT (industrial wind turbines) at that hour managed to only generate 350 MWh (1.8% of demand) just short of their peak generation for the day.

For the full 24 hours IESO data disclosed the existing IWT generated 4,673 MWh which was about 3.98% of their capacity and at their lowest point (Hour 11) they managed to generate only 42 MWh or 0.86% of their capacity.  Their average generation per hour was 194 MWh so would not have been missed during any of the 24 hours.

While those IWT were pretty well useless at providing sufficient reliable generation over the day, we should be thankful we had natural gas plants available.  Ontario’s natural gas plants were there for us at the peak hour providing 4,164 MWh (21 % of demand) and over the full day generated 65,820 MWh for an average of 2,743 MWh per hour.   At hour 3 they generated 658 MWh and at hour 18 they produced 4,331 MWh demonstrating their flexibility to respond to actual demand. Without the gas plants being at the ready Ontario would have been blanketed with “blackouts” so one wonders why the push by the eco-warriors to shut them down?

In the event those eco-warriors are convinced IWT could supply what those gas plants did yesterday one should doubt they have bothered to calculate how many more of those IWT we would require when they generate electricity at only 3.98% of their capacity.

Presently we have close to 2,300 wind turbines connected to Ontario’s grid so in order to simply replace our natural gas plants we would require approximately fourteen (14) times the number to meet yesterday’s electricity generation needs.  The result would mean the need would be for almost 32,000 more turbines rated at 2 MW each. Those turbines would be spread throughout the province eating up rural farmland, killing birds and bats, affecting aquifers and creating health problems for people and animals. Their approximate 64,000 MW capacity would be almost double what our current grid connected generation of nuclear, hydro, gas, wind, solar and biomass is!  That strongly suggests electricity costs would skyrocket harming businesses both big and small and drive many Ontario ratepayers into energy poverty.

It seems apparent eco-warriors like the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) and others have absolutely no concept of the harm existing IWT cause and how much more they would cause should they convince politicians to replace our reliable and dependable natural gas plants with them!

Batteries + Industrial Wind Turbines or How to Increase Ratepayer Bills

The global push on coupling “battery storage” with wind generation to achieve “zero-emissions” appears to be a ruse to increase revenue for IWT owners while upping electricity bills for ratepayers. 

Evidence of the foregoing was obvious when Brookfield Renewable, via their subsidiary, Evolugen, disclosed they are trying to get Ontario’s Ministry of Energy to allow them to build the 161 MW Timberwolf Battery Storage System next to their existing 189 MW Prince Wind Farm.

The following will hopefully explain how Brookfield are doubling down to raise revenues at the expense of us ratepayers! Reviewing IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) data for August 22nd provides a brief overview on how the above will be accomplished.

IESO data on generation for the first seven (7) hours of August 16, 2022 disclosed Ontario’s IWT generated 6,961 MWh which would have earned IWT owners $939,735 at the contracted price of $135/MWh.

If one examines the market price (HOEP) over those same hours the average price IESO sold surplus power into the market was $30.44/MWh suggesting the 6,971 MWh costing ratepayers $939,735 may have generated $211,893 from their sale; a net-cost to ratepayers of $727,842 for surplus generation.

If the battery storage owners purchased the above 6,971 MWh at the market price over those seven hours ($211,893) and sold it back over the next 10 hours as Ontario’s demand climbed and the HOEP price averaged $116.93/MWh they could have generated $783,314.  Had the latter occurred those 6,961 MWh in the seven hours would cost ratepayers of $1,511,156 ($939,735-$211,893+$783,314) ie; $216.77/MWh or 21.7 cents/kWh.

It is worth pointing out over the balance of the day (the 17 hours remaining) those IWT generated a total of 6,699 MWh or an average of only 8% of their capacity (another $904,365 cost) but in the first seven hours (when they were unneeded) they operated at 20.3% of their capacity!

IWT perform poorly in the warm summer months but normally generate at a much higher level in the Spring and Fall when demand is much lower so the opportunity to double-down on generating a greater return by battery storage during those seasons would surely drive-up costs for ratepayers. 

The other issue associated with the costs rising is our natural gas plants would be confined to less generation.  Many of those natural gas plant contracts guarantee them their capital costs at the rate of $10K per month per MW of capacity and when operating; they charge for the price of gas used and a small additional cost per kWh.  That $10K per MW of capacity will continue but ratepayers will forego the cheap cost of what they would normally produce offsetting the failure of wind and solar to power up for high demand. Those gas plants would however still be needed as battery storage at this stage; is only available for a maximum of four (4) hours whereas gas plants can ramp up and down at any time.

We ratepayers should hope the politicians and bureaucrats responsible for managing the electricity system in the province recognize the real reason for the Bloomfields of the world pushing battery storage to augment their revenue from their wind and solar farms.

Further enrich the rich while harming the poor and middle class!