Did Jack Gibbons of the OCAA and Bruce Lourie Hijack the IESO via the Rural Ontario Municipal Association?

The IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) on a weekly basis issue a Thursday afternoon bulletin and the latest came with a five (5) minute video executed by Carla Nell, VP of Corporate Relations.  It referenced the ROMA conference held on January 24th and 25th! Curious I wondered over to the ROMA site to view the agenda and postings related to the conference.  I found no postings and the agenda said nothing about what the video inferred.  I was able to find a January 17. 2022 post about plenary sessions and it specifically mentioned “timely issues such as climate change.“ as part of the upcoming conference. Reading further led to the discovery that: “Dr. Bruce Lourie, a best-selling author and environmental policy expert, will address delegates on Tuesday about mitigating climate risk and transitioning to a net-zero economy.”  Alarm bells rang!

Connecting the above mentioned video by Carla Nell of IESO with Bruce Lourie’s reputed “expert” policies immediately had me wondering; was Lourie’s address to the “delegates” related to the OCAA’s (Gibbons) success in getting approval from those 32 municipalities (including most of the largest ones) that Ontario should shut down all of the gas plants?  Those plants have been invaluable in keeping our lights on during the recent cold spells and 60% of Ontario households with natural gas furnaces warm?                      

Lourie and Gibbons go back a long, long way in their actions related to the energy sector. A hearing at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in respect to the Power Corporation Amendment Act in 1992, has Gibbons delivering a preamble to his remarks saying: “I am Jack Gibbons, an economist with the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, before I joined the Canadian institute, I was a staff member of the Ontario Energy Board. I have with me Mr Bruce Lourie

Back in 1992 Gibbons was in favor of natural gas stating to a question asked of him; Natural gas is so much cheaper than electricity. Look at space heating. If we just look at the financial costs — forget the environmental costs — the incremental cost of electricity for space heating is about six times that of natural gas.“ 

At some point Gibbons reversed his beliefs even though both he and Lourie were at that hearing!

So, was Lourie a substitute for Gibbons at the ROMA conference?  Unfortunately, ROMA’s website doesn’t seem to have posted what Lourie’s address was so we can’t really know what he said but with the “net-zero” mention we should be rightly concerned. The video, mentions several scary aspects including eliminating gas fired power plants mere months after IESO’s study clearly reported: 

Completely phasing out natural gas generation by 2030 would lead to blackouts and the system changes that would be required would increase residential electricity bills by 60 per cent.

Has IESO and the Provincial Government under Ford suddenly conceded control of the electricity sector to the 32 municipalities who bought into Gibbons sales pitch?

We voters need immediate clarification from all parties running in the Provincial election in June as to exactly what their position is in respect to what the video suggests!

We should not let the eco-warriors hijack the energy sector once again!

Ontario Peak Electricity Demand Without Gas Plants

No Problem, Simply Plug in Your EV

Curiosity piqued today about Ontario’s “peak demand” yesterday due to the cold weather!  Reviewing IESO data at hour 18 (ending at 6 PM) indicates the January 24th peak was an average of about 21,260 MW.  While searching data on the IESO website it led to the discovery of a letter Jack Gibbons, CEO and Chairman of OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) had sent to IESO dated June 17, 2021 pushing their agenda to shut down those gas plants.

The letter was humourous as it displayed the way eco-warriors think.  Here is one message from the letter Gibbons believes will work in the event Quebec has no surplus hydro to sell us and/or the wind is not blowing or the sun isn’t shining during one of those “peak demand” hours or days!

One of Gibbons recommendations to eliminate gas fired generation during peak winter and summer hours was:

We can harness our electric vehicles’ (EVs) batteries to provide power to the grid during peak demand hours. According to Ford, its new F-150 Lightning pick-up truck can provide 9.6 kW of power to the electricity grid. Currently, Ontario has 9 million vehicles. If we have 1 million EVs by 2030, they could provide up to 9,600 MW to our grid during our peak demand hours.

Hmm, wonder how that would have worked at hour 18 yesterday?

At that hour our source of electricity came from: nuclear 10,721 MW, gas 5,866 MW, Hydro 5,143 MW, wind 847 MW solar 1 MW and biomass 62 MW.

At that hour wind and solar were operating at about 16.9% of their capacity which wasn’t enough to even supply Quebec’s needs.

At that hour we were exporting (not importing) 1,381 MW to Quebec because their demand was high.

At that hour OPG’s Pickering Nuclear Plant (scheduled to close in 2025) was generating 2,534 MW.

The OCAA under Gibbons is suggesting we would have no problems because all those “electric” F-150 trucks would be fully charged in -25 C weather.  One hopes when the team at IESO read Gibbon’s letter and the above paragraph they burst out in laughter. 

One should wonder if Gibbons bothered to actually do some research as he would have discovered; “As of October 2021, there are 66,757 EVs registered in Ontario” Gibbons should perhaps set up a Ford dealership and get busy selling 933,000 (at a minimum) of those trucks.  He should perhaps also consider the fact not everyone can afford the $58,000 cost and the 370 km limited range which will be considerably less on one of those -25 C days in our Canadian winters! Gibbons and the “charity” he runs apparently want to see Ontarians freeze in the dark as blackouts arrive when those damn batteries don’t deliver those “KW of power” he promised!

The OCAA is Seeking Future Blackouts for Quebec in the Winter

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) under Jack Gibbons was busy throughout 2021 making the rounds of various cities and municipalities throughout Ontario convincing them they should tell the Ford government to close all the natural gas plants in the province.  A total of 32 cities and municipalities joined hands with Gibbons thanks to inept (the only descriptive that made sense) councils and told the government of Ontario to shut those gas plants.  Gibbons somehow convinced them Quebec has a huge surplus of hydro generation that will easily replace those gas plants when our power demand needs them.  Apparently, none of those councils bothered to investigate Gibbons claim.

Gibbons bio indicates he is an “economist” and reportedly “studied economics at the University of Toronto (B.A.), Queen’s University (M.A.) and the University of British Columbia“!  We should have serious doubts about his claim based on the rhetoric associated with his push to close the gas plants. Gibbons comes across like a pitchman selling snake oil in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

If any of the mayors or council members bothered to do even a little research they would have discovered Quebec’s peak demand occurs in the winter.  Hydro Quebec encourage their ratepayers to use less power during the December to March period as 61% of households use electricity to heat their homes versus only about 17% in Ontario.

If the Ford led government in Ontario responded to the OCAA desires the results would have a negative effect on households in both provinces but in particular Quebec due to their peak winter demand*. 

A recent four (4) days of cold winter weather in both Ontario and Quebec dispel the “Gibbons/OCAA” notion!  Ontario was called on to provide considerable power to Quebec over those four days and without the availability of our natural gas plants (most of which were built to back up intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation) our ability to provide that power would have been close to NIL as our Ontario demand was also relatively high.

Over the four days commencing January 13th through to January 16th we exported just over 106,000 MWh (megawatt hours) to Quebec for an average of 1,104 MW/hour and the peak day was the 16th with an average of 1,410 MW/hour.  Over those four days Ontario’s gas plants generated just over 395,000 MW so we were able to provide our neighbours with what they needed (27% of our gas plant generation) to keep those electric furnaces and baseboard heaters operating so they would avoid blackouts and freezing households.  We provided those 106,000 MW at an average cost of less than 5 cents/kWh based on the HOEP prices over those four days so their cost didn’t drive up Hydro Quebec’s energy prices whereas Ontario’s ratepayers lost money on every kWh exported.

Carbon Credits please

Perhaps Hydro Quebec should either provide Ontario with “carbon credits” or pay the Federal “carbon tax” for the power supplied, allowing us to recover some of the costs for that natural gas generated power to keep them warm. Unfortunately, Ontarians should doubt that will ever happen!

* In Québec, peak periods occur during winter because so many of us heat our homes with electricity.

Wind Turbine Collapse in New Brunswick will create “Green Jobs”

Just over a year ago our PM, Justin Trudeau was caught talking about a “reset” during a UN virtual conference stating: “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset,“ and went on to say; “ This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.” Trudeau was pilloried by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre for the remark as it seemingly connected with; “The Great Reset” propagated by the WEF (World Economic Forum) where the rich elites of the world gather annually to plot the global transition to a “great reset” with “climate change” as their main focus!

The calls from the WEF and others pushing the “net-zero” transition have overcome the Federal Liberal Party and they have proffered different titles such as “Building Back Better” the “Just Transition” etc. and in all those scenarios they claim; executing them will create a million jobs! 

Needless to say, those calls, now spanning six years, are failing to create those jobs but continued support of the concept by the MSM (main stream media) has convinced many citizens and corporations to jump on board. The latter have done this by doing what they believe they can to reduce their emissions (based on what they are told) by transitioning their business in different ways in order to, presumably, avoid the increasing “carbon taxes” they would face. 

One such company is Alberta based, TransAlta Corporation via their 60.09% ownership in TransAlta Renewables (as of December 31, 2020) and the Federal Regulations imposing “coal-to-gas” regulations sped up by Catherine McKenna, when Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.  TransAlta, as of December 31, 2021 reported they had completed the latter task well ahead of the 2030 deadline.  TransAlta is pushing hard to achieve the “net zero” pinnacle and based on their annual 2020 ESG report their “greenhouse gas emissions are now down to just over 16 tonnes from 42 million tonnes in 2005.

Those green jobs are shrinking

The other thing that’s fallen as well as emissions, is the number of people TransAlta employ. The oldest annual report posted on their website is for 2017 and at that time they reported having 2,341 employees in 2016 but their 2020 annual report indicates employment fell to 1,476 at December 31, 2020, a drop of 865 jobs or almost 37%!  Gross revenues also fell from $2,397 million in 2016 to $2,101 million in 2020 for a drop of $296 million or 12.3%.

The foregoing push by TransAlta to reduce emissions appears to be having the opposite effect Trudeau promised us in his “build back better” speeches as both revenue and staff levels fell!   

TransAlta’s majority-controlled subsidiary; “TransAlta Renewables” near the end of 2021 got some bad news too, as an industrial wind turbine at their Kent Hills 167 MW (megawatt) IWT (industrial wind turbines) complex in New Brunswick collapsed. An investigation determined all 50 of the 3 MW turbines bases would need to be replaced whereas the remaining five (5) were OK! The estimated cost to replace the bases could be as high as $100 million and take until the end of 2023.  They estimate their revenue base will decline $3.4 million per month until the turbines are back up and running.

Here come those “green jobs”

One assumes the $75 to $100 million estimate to replace the bases will require lots of cement (close to 2,000 tons per turbine) and rebar and a crew plus equipment to first disassemble the 50 turbines and later to reassemble them.  It’s unclear as to whether they will remove the cement from the flawed bases but if they do it will require a crew plus equipment and quite a bit of dynamite.

All of the foregoing activities will play a hand in creating jobs over the two years of the rebuild but will, no doubt, create emissions.

When the workers have completed the reassembly, it will be seen as a perfect opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, to have a media appearance to tell us how the great “reset” is proceeding and the myriad of jobs* it created!

Any questions about the full carbon footprint of those rebuilt IWT and the jobs temporarily created at the media event will be tossed aside as will the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind generation which always requires dependable power (frequently fossil fueled) to back it up. Trudeau and his “climate change” Minister, Guilbeault, will insist the “transition to net-zero” and “building back better” is working to the benefit of all Canadians!

Canada’s taxpayers need to initiate a “political reset” and dump those Liberal politicians who seem intent on creating Venezuela north!  We voters in Ontario did it by recreating the Ontario Liberal Party as the “minivan party” so the time has come to do it again at the next election!

*Ontarians will remember the same promises from the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal years!

 

Multi-billionaires and their Mind-blowing Hypocrisy

It is somewhat amusing and disheartening to realize the super-rich such as; Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Fink frequently preach to us earthlings about “climate change” and the path to net-zero.  They do this as they fly off in private jets to Davros to attend the WEF (World Economic Forum) annual event or to Glasgow for COP26 thereby creating tons of emissions.

Both Gates and Bezos however, tell those who ask, that they buy “carbon offsets” to eliminate their carbon footprint.  Gates reported he spends US$5 million annually on those offsets.  To put that in perspective Gates is reputedly worth $137 billion so $5 million represents 0.000036% of his net worth or to us in the real world, the purchasing of a “timmies” coffee for a friend!

Bezos (until very recently the richest man in the world) reputedly also buys those carbon offsets but hasn’t disclosed how much he spends annually.  Bezos did announce in February 2020 he would launch a US $10 billion fund (slightly less than 5% of his reported net worth) titled the “Bezos Earth Fund“ to fight “climate change”.  Pretty sure Bezos is totally delighted with the lock-downs imposed on much of the developed world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon; which he founded, has benefited tremendously as they import goods from developing countries like China, India, etc. and deliver them to your front door by truck.  Now try, as hard as you possibly can to determine how Amazon can become “carbon neutral” by 2040.  Oh, yes, Bezos has pledgedto get the company carbon-neutral by 2040, 100% renewable energy by 2030, and 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030.“ 

Now if you want to watch how Larry Fink and Bill Gates speak with each other on the “Path to Net Zero” they jointly participated in a short YouTube video posted April 23, 2021.  Fink opens by saying “this will not be an easy task” and goes on to state “every hydro-carbon company in the United States is now focused on this” and suggests “it’s because of Bill and other people”!  Fink’s reputed net worth is somewhere around US$1 billion so it pales when compared to Gates or Bezos. As the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company with almost US $9.5 trillion (approximately 11% of Global GDP) of assets, however, Fink is a huge influence on that “Path”!  Fink annually sends a letter to the world’s 200 largest company’s CEOs and his last one (issued in early 2021) had much to say about “climate change” including this unambiguous sentence: “No issue ranks higher than climate change on our clients’ lists of priorities.“  His letter goes on saying;  “From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $288 billion globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019.“  This years letter will be interesting to see how those assets performed in light of the energy crisis in European and Asian countries which affected share prices of renewable energy companies in a negative fashion as the wind stopped blowing and Russia was unable to deliver fossil fuels during their absence. 

Based on more recent news it appears Fink may have had an awakening as an article from just over a month ago quoted him saying: it’s a “bad answerfor investors to abandon oil and gas, and it won’t help solve climate change.“ As if to support the latter view from Fink and to contradict his above noted chat with Gates and the “path to net-zero” it’s interesting to discover a BlackRock-led group recently won a $15.5 billion bid for a Saudi gas pipeline.  One should assume a gas pipeline will indeed by used to transport “fossil fuels” which intimates BlackRock and Fink understand the importance of fossil fuels to many of the companies they have investments in!

Could Fink’s somewhat mild “about-face” trigger politicians to also understand the importance of fossil fuels in a world dependent on them for 80% of our energy needs.  Let’s all hope so in an effort to end the hypocrisy that seems intent on driving people around the world into energy poverty except for those who can afford to purchase those “carbon offsets”.

Wind Hammers Ontario Ratepayers and Taxpayers

Yesterday (January 5, 2022) Ontarians were once again battered by gusting winds approaching 90 km at times and those with ownership of industrial wind turbines (IWT) in the province were loving it!  Our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec, etc. also were pleased as they collectively took 59,242 MWh (megawatt hours)) of the 90,146 MWh generated by those IWT and only had to pay an average of $17.33/MWh (1.7 cents/kWh).

The 90,146 MWh ($135/MWh) added to the 7,800 MWh ($120/MWh) of curtailed wind generation drove the total cost of wind generation for the day to $13,106,000 or $145.39/MWh (14.5 cents/kWh).

Those IWT generated an average of just over 85% of their rated capacity throughout the day (including the curtailed MW) and 58% of their generation was exported for those very cheap prices.  I’m confident the trading companies buying and selling our surplus generation for our neighbours also enjoy the benefits we bestow on them too by creating the trading revenue.  

So, we generated approximately $1,027,000 from the sale of those 59,242 MWh but they cost us Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers about $8,613,000. That means we subsidized the sale with $7,586,000 or $128.00/MWh of our after-tax dollars!  We hope our neighbouring states and provinces are very appreciative of our continuing generosity!

We Ontario taxpayers and ratepayers should appreciate the very recent “mea culpa” expressed by our former Premier, Kathleen Wynne, in her interview with MacLean’s magazine when asked about issues she didn’t feel good about stated: “Well, I score myself very low on the electricity price,” Wynne said.“

Hey, Kathleen, we ratepayers and taxpayers score you and your predecessor, Dalton McGuinty and those minions like Gerald Butts, Katie Telford and Ben Chin who pulled your strings very low too. Perhaps your handling of the electricity file is why the Ontario Liberal Party became the EV (electric vehicle) minivan party. 

The unfortunate part of your party’s demise is Butts, Telford and Chin now pull the strings of the Liberal Party of Canada and seem intent on perpetuating your low scores on all of Canada’s energy security!

Who Pretends to Save us From Climate Change and the Pandemic?

An article in the Financial Post on December 30, 2021 signaled the bloom may be off the rose in respect to the market price of renewable energy firms. While the article points to the drop in value of stocks in the European travel and tourism sector in 2021, they note green renewable energy stocks fared much worse with values dropping despite the Stoxx market hovering at record highs.

Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial wind turbines saw their stock price fall by a third and for Siemens Gamesa Renewable their stock price fell by 37 per cent. The world’s largest offshore wind farm company Orsted A/S saw their market price fall 33 per cent. Despite the drop in the price of their shares however, they still trade at a high P/E (price/earnings) ratio.

Price Earnings Ratio The P/E ratio is calculated by dividing the market value price per share by the company’s earnings per share. Earnings per share (EPS) is the amount of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of a company’s common stock“                                                                                     

To put the foregoing in context Vestas P/E ratio is currently 32.9 meaning it would take that number of years before they generated the total EPS at their current market price. For Orsted A/S the P/E ratio is 44.2 and in Siemens case it doesn’t apply as they lost money in their latest reporting period.

Another “green” associated company whose stock market price has reached astronomical levels is Tesla the electric vehicle manufacturer. An article in the NY Times in late October stated the following:

Tesla is worth more than virtually every other major carmaker in the world combined. Analysts are squarely of two minds about its current level. In the bull camp: Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities, who tweeted yesterday, “Tesla hitting $1 trillion is just for starters.” In the bear camp: Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners, who wrote in a client note last week that Tesla’s stock — which then traded at 173 times next year’s earnings — was “egregiously overvalued.“  Based on the foregoing “bear camp” prophecy it is easy to understand why Elon Musk reportedlyoffloaded US$16.4 billion worth of shares since early November.“ What is also surprising is that Tesla’s bond rating is still in the junk category at BB+!

With politicians from all of the developed world countries pushing to eliminate ICE (internal combustion engines) sales and endorsing EV (electric vehicle) sales however, they have directly impacted the price of Tesla’s shares. Their efforts to free the world of emissions from the transportation sector has made Musk the richest man in the world. Pretty sure he appreciates the work of the UNIPCC bureaucrats, eco-warriors and the “woke” politicians who helped him get to that pedestal!

What about the Covid-19 pandemic?

 The other issue that surfaced just two years ago in the form of a “pandemic” has also presumably made rich people richer.  As one example it’s worth noting Moderna’s stock price on March 1, 2020 was US$29.95 and now is US$234.70 for a gain of almost 700%.  Pfizer Inc’s stock was trading at US$30.97 per share back on March 1, 2020 as the pandemic lockdowns hit and its current price is US$56.74 share so has almost doubled in less than 2 years.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines obviously played a hand in their increasing stock market value particularly as they are fully endorsed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) whose spokesperson seems to be Dr. Anthony Fauci. Fauci presses the need to be vaccinated and get booster shots.  He is the Chief Medical Advisor to the President so since the pandemic arrived, he has reached a position of power that is no doubt, the envy of every other bureaucrat in the USA and elsewhere.

Who owns Moderna, Pfizer and Tesla?

It is an interesting exercise to quickly look at some of the major shareholders of both Moderna, Pfizer and Tesla and it is fascinating to discover the names amongst the “top ten” shareholders. Those in the top 10 list of shareholders for Tesla, Moderna and Pfizer include BlackRock, SSgA (State Street Global Advisors) and Vanguard.  Fidelity Management are among the 10 largest shareholders of both Moderna and Tesla.

 At this point it is worth noting all four of the above “asset managers” are co-incidentally also members of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative which happens to be an outgrowth of GFANZ (Global Financial Alliance for Net Zero).  GFANZ is where Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England is the Chair and Mark Bloomberg is Co-chair. Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock is also listed as a Principal of GFANZ!   

Surely the foregoing connections are all co-incidental and those entities, the rich and famous guiding them and represented under the GFANZ umbrella are simply out to save the world from “climate change” while protecting us “commoners” from the perils of both that happening and the pandemic that arrived two years ago!

Someone is making money from both of the concepts of “climate change” (formerly referred to as “global warming”) and the Covid-19 pandemic and based on the above cursory review it would appear to be many of those amongst the elites and super rich.

Perhaps some of the less naïve politicians around the world are also benefitting too but that would require some serious investigation into the possible “conflict of interest” issues they are supposed to abstain from once they are elected!

IESO Reports IWT Delivered a Miserly 6 MWh at 1 PM on December 30, 2021

The IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) reports the delivery of MWh (megawatt hours) hourly and also tell us IWT have a grid connected capacity of 4,783 MW representing 13% of all grid connected generation sources. IESO also reports what each generation source supplies to fill the needs of Ontario demand each hour of the day.  It comes as a bit of a shock to look at what happened at 1 PM on December 30th and note that all the IWT capacity generated only 6 MWh or 0.125% (one eighth of one percent) of their capacity at that hour.

IWT have special rights built into their contracts in Ontario granting them “first to the grid” privileges and the foregoing highlights the complete ineptitude of those who granted them those rights!

The foregoing wimpy action shouldn’t be considered the only aberration within the 24 hours as those IWT were exceptional at demonstrating their unreliable and intermittent habits for the full day.

Had those IWT performed at 100% of their capacity they would have delivered 114,792 MWh over the 24 hours but what they actually delivered was 6,185 MWh or 5.3% of their capacity despite their “first to the grid” rights!  To highlight their failures further they delivered 5,254 MWh (84.9%) during low demand hours from 1 AM to 7 AM* and from 8 PM to midnight.

Ontarians should be thankful we have the availability of reliable nuclear, hydro and natural gas plants to step up when wind and solar are absent. The availability of natural gas generated in Canada at affordable rates will prevent the calamities currently evident throughout the UK and EU countries where the cost of electricity has skyrocketed due to wind’s absence.

*Hourly output starts from the time noted by IESO.

Hour 19 on December 8, 2021 Shows Why Ontario needs Gas Generation

Should one bother to look at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) data for hour 19 on December 8th one would note Ontario’s natural gas plants thankfully produced 30.4% (6,399 MWh) of the entire hour’s generation which was just over 21,000 MWh. Without gas generation Ontarians would have experienced rolling backouts much like California does on high demand days.

While gas plants were thankfully, at the ready, our nuclear (8,510 MWh) and hydro (5,076 MWh) plants were reliant as always, generating 64.7% of the hour’s needs.  Collectively those three dependable sectors produced 95.1% of the entire hour’s generation. The balance of 4.9% (1,033 MWh), largely unneeded, came from wind, and biomass as the sun had set so no solar generation was produced.

Ontario demand during the hour was a shade over 20,000 MWh so IESO exported the unneeded generation to Quebec (556 MWh), NY ((369 MWh) and Michigan (452 MWh) and thankfully because demand was higher due to the colder weather the market driven HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) averaged $94.44/MWh meaning the cost of the surplus generation had a minor impact on costs paid by the ratepayers and taxpayers of the province.

It seems strange Ontario’s ratepayers are much better off when the sun isn’t shining or the winds not blowing hard but that is what the GEEA (Green Energy and Economy Act) brought us.

On an unusually cold day like December 8th we should be thankful for the readily available gas plant generation we have. Those gas plants (contracted to backup intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation) ensured we would not be hampered by rolling blackouts.

So, all you municipal politicians in Ottawa, Toronto and elsewhere in the province, PLEASE tell us why you are demanding those reliable gas plants should be shut down! 

Winds Whips Hydro in Ontario or So It Appears

As December 1, 2021 drew to a close at Hour 22 on the IESO “Generators Output and Capability Report” wind generation suddenly passed hydro generation and stayed ahead of it for the following 20 hours, pausing at Hour 19 on December 2nd but passing hydro again for hours 20 and 21.  Over those 23 hours wind (as reported by IESO) reputedly out-produced Ontario’s hydro generation by almost 21,000 MWh.  Based on IESO data it appears about 2,700 MWh of wind generation was also curtailed. What IESO data doesn’t disclose is how much hydro was spilled over those 23 hours.

For wind and solar data IESO report it on three lines by hour; “Available Capacity, Forecast and Output”.  When hydro is “spilled” or nuclear is “steamed off” we won’t see that reported by IESO and are uninformed until financial reports from OPG or Bruce Power are released.  OPG’s 9-month financial report for September 30, 2021 indicates they spilled 1.7 TWh (terawatt hours) due to SBG (surplus baseload generation) to that point in the year.  Hydro spillage is paid for by ratepayers and so far, has added over $100 million to this year’s electricity bill. The 1.7 TWh is equivalent to (approximately) what 250,000 average households would have consumed over those 9 months.

The reasoning by IESO as to whether they will spill hydro or curtail wind (which we also pay for) is reputedly determined by the HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price). Most contracted IWT (industrial wind turbines) are paid $135/MWh and $120/MWh if curtailed.  IESO in situations that create SBG will sell off the surplus (if the HOEP is high enough) before they spill hydro or steam off nuclear.  It has never been clear to many why the contracts awarded for either IWT or solar panels were granted “first to the grid” rights but both of those intermittent and unreliable generation sources were, so we must pay them even if the generation is unneeded!

A quick look at the costs for those 23 hours  

The 2,700 MWh (approximately) of curtailed wind meant generators were paid $120/MWh costing $324,000. Those same IWT generators were paid $135/MWh for the 98,800 MWh of accepted wind amounting to $13,338,000.  To top off the costs for the 23 hours favouring wind generation, OPG was paid $60/MWh for spilling hydro (minimally estimated at 21,000 MWh) adding $1,260.000 and bringing total costs to $14,922,000 for the 23 hours!                                        

The $14,922,000 represents a cost of $151/MWh for the 98,800 MWh of accepted wind generation but doesn’t include costs associated with the gas plant backups for wind and solar which would add another $3 million or so for the 23 hours nor does it include losses from selling power to our neighbours.

On the latter, IESO were selling off approximately 2,500 MW hourly to our neighbours in Michigan, NY etc. for the HOEP average price of about $30/MWh. Those 60,000 MWh therefore generated about $1.8 million reducing the total cost above to $13,122,000.  If we accept the fact those exports were IWT generated the remaining 38,800 MWh supplying local ratepayers cost $340/MWh.

Had OPG provided those 38,800 MWh the cost would have been $60/MWh ($2.3 million) saving Ontario ratepayers over $12 Million!

One should wonder why the McGuinty/Wynne government blessed those contracts and why the Ford led government has done nothing to fix it?

Events like those 23 hours clearly show wind whips Ontario’s ratepayers not it’s hydro generation!

NB: Over the days of December 1st and 2nd during one of the hours wind was generating almost 93% of its capacity and on another hour was generating only 15% demonstrating its intermittent and unreliable habit!