Most Canadians from coast to coast look forward to Spring arrival as we get excited about warmer weather and watching mother nature show her stuff. Those Canadians living in Ontario however can be both happy and sad about Spring arrival as it has the bad habit of generating increased costs for one of life’s necessities which is energy with an emphasis on the cost of electricity.
Two recent happenings on March 19, 2023, bring the focus on the sad part of Spring arrival. The first is more sunshine which creates more energy from those solar panels which under the McGuinty led government received contacts at ridiculous guaranteed rates as high as 0.80/cents a kWh. Now apparently, they have embarked on more hits to our pocketbooks as the first six (6) hours of March 19th suggests they can now produce power even when the sun isn’t shining as this screenshot from IESO demonstrates!
Solar Panel Generation When the Sun isn’t Shining?
As if the foregoing wasn’t enough weird news, on the same day as solar power was generated in darkness, we note IESO data supplied more bad news. Normally at this time of year as the snow melts and water flows Ontario benefits from more generation from our hydro facilities which are also our cheapest and cleanest source of generation. As it turns out IESO data disclosed more bad news as the first three (3) hours of March 19th (two days before spring arrives ) those IWT (industrial wind turbines) generated more electricity than our hydro plants as evidenced in the following two screenshots.
Wind Generation Beats Hydro Generation!
To accentuate the foregoing those IWT did the same thing in the last three hours of the day as the following screenshots clearly show!
IWT Generation Hours 22, 23, 24!
Hydro Generation Hours 22, 23, 24!
Over the full 24 hours IWT generated a total of 92,447 MW or approximately 78.6% of their capacity and only slightly less than hydro which generated 94,511 MW but could have easily produced more. Ontario was busy selling off the unneeded power which we (logically) should attribute to IWT generation to our neighbours at an average price of $14.86/MWh. We exported 53,308 MW so generated revenue of around $792K while we paid $135/MWh for it, so it cost Ontarians about $6.4 million for unneeded power. We should also suspect IESO were busy telling OPG to spill hydro (we are obliged to also pay for) as demand was low and only peaked at 17,057 MW at hour 20.
The ups and downs of those intermittent IWT and solar panels are in the bad habit of generating lots of unneeded power during the spring and fall seasons when Ontario demand is low. They are the principal reason the Province of Ontario stiff taxpayers with annual additional costs of $6.5 billion in an attempt to hide the mess our electricity system is actually in.
Just one day’s data makes it obvious both of the foregoing sources of intermittent and unreliable electricity generation should be tossed in the garbage!
Inspired by a recent National Post article entitled; “A U.K. ferry company spent hundreds of millions on hybrid vessels that can’t be plugged in” and living close to two islands in the Bay of Quinte serviced by ferries proved to be an inspiration. The two islands are Wolfe Island and Amherst Island where 1,400 and 400 people respectively live and are dependent on ferries to reach the mainland for shopping, healthcare, etc. etc. Both of the islands are plagued with those IWT (industrial wind turbines) with Wolfe Island suffering from the 198 MW capacity of the 86 turbines owned by TransAlta and Amherst Island from the 26 turbines with a 75 MW capacity owned by Windlectric. Needless to say both projects were unwanted by those living on the two islands and the residents tried to stop them from getting approval. Nevertheless, due to the nature of the GEA (Green Energy Act) brought into being by the McGuinty led Ontario Liberal Government (with Gerald Butts as his principal advisor) the residents of both islands were unable to stop the projects.
Perhaps to soften the blow on March 16, 2018, the Ontario Liberal Government under Kathleen Wynne as Premier together with the then recently elected Federal Liberal Government under PM Trudeau stepped in to make a major announcement presumably meant to win back Liberal support from the citizens living on both islands.
The Press Release issued started off saying: “Ontario is building the first fully electric non-cable vessels in Canada with two new ferries to connect the mainland with Amherst Island and Wolfe Island.“ Later in the press release under “Quick Facts” it goes on saying: “Ontario is investing approximately $94 million and the Government of Canada is contributing up to a maximum of $31,271,905 towards building the new ferries through the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component“.
Those statements suggest the two ferries were to be built in Ontario and as well the press release bragged: “Those ferries will now be electrified, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 7.4 million kilograms of carbon dioxide per year, the same as taking 1,357 cars off the road, compared to conventional diesel ferries.“
The interesting part of the foregoing Provincial Press Release is, just four months earlier on November 6, 2017, two Liberal MPs, Mark Gerretsen and Mike Bossio along with Ontario Liberal MPP, Sophie Kiwala, had made a similar announcement. Included in this article was the following: “The new ferries will also take advantage of propulsion technologies and will run cleaner and quieter than the existing ferries,” said Kiwala”, Liberal MPP for Kingston and the Islands. Sophie Kiwala, went on to state “the province has awarded the contract for the two new ferries to Damen Shipyards from the Netherlands at a cost of $61 million.“ The article also said newly elected Liberal MP, Mark Gerretsen announced the federal government had committed to one third of the funding for the two vessels and it could be as much as $30 million. Additionally, the article noted, “The ferries – set to arrive in December, 2019 for Amherst Island and December, 2020 for Wolfe Island – will help alleviate tensions during service interruptions and inspections.“
Should one compare the November 6, 2017, announcement to the March 16,2018 press release you notice several major differences between the two!
1.The March 16, 2018, press release claimed the two ferries would be built in Ontario whereas the earlier announcement claimed they would be supplied by Damen Shipyards from the Netherlands!
2.The November 6, 2017, announcement claimed the cost for the two ferries would be $61 million whereas the March 16, 2018, press release stated the cost would be $94 million!
The cost for the two ferries was $94 million or more, not the $61 million originally announced. Additionally the new ferries created a need for major dock works perhaps to charge their batteries.
3.The November 6, 2017, announcement stated the ferries would take advantage of “propulsion technologies” (think Sea Doo) whereas the March 16, 2018, press release stated they would be “electrified”!
It is true the ferries are both “electrified” however, they both have twin diesel generators installed to allow hybrid and full diesel propulsion for maximum redundancy.
4.The November 6, 2017, announcement stated the Amherst Island ferry would arrive in 2019 and the Wolfe Island ferry would arrive in December 2020.
They are running well behind schedule as it was reported: “The Amherst Islander II and Wolfe Islander IV arrived at the Port of Quebec City yesterday, Sept 26, 2021.“ Since moving from Quebec City they have been moved to Picton Harbour where they still are docked presumably to allow time to upgrade the docks. Recall from above; that back on November 6, 2017, those politicians appear to have told the reporter; “The ferries – set to arrive in December, 2019 for Amherst Island and December, 2020 for Wolfe Island – will help alleviate tensions during service interruptions and inspections.“
5.The November 6, 2017, announcement also stated two of the existing ferries would remain in service to backup the new ferries during the busy tourist periods of the year.
Once again we should note the three Liberal politicians back in 2017 look to have made promises that were false as an article a few days ago noted in respect to the Wolfe Island ferry; “The Ministry of Transportation says that when the new ferry arrives, they won’t be able to run both ferries at the same time due to staffing issues“.
It is readily apparent those three Liberal politicians (presumably backed up by many bureaucrats), involved in making the critical decisions in respect to the acquisition of the two ferries messed up badly or kept key information locked up. We should also suspect the price paid due to the “hybrid” nature of the two ferries was well above the costs of diesel ferries with the same passenger/automobile capacity. The push to reduce those “greenhouse gas emissions” came at a huge cost with lots of delays. Word on the street is, they may be in operation by the current spring. So far, no emissions have been reduced!
This is another clear message to us taxpayers that our politicians have no regard for how they waste our tax dollars and prove that by continuing to spin those Ferry tales.
The Toronto Sun newspaper had a February 23, 2023 article written by Lorrie Goldstein noting a report released by the CCI (Canadian Climate Institute) disclosed Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2021 by 19 million tons or 2.8%. Goldstein pointed out correctly that the results fly in the face of past assurances from the likes of PM Trudeau and former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson that they would decline! The article went on to point out the impossibilities to achieve the goals they had set unless they shut down Canada’s complete industrial sector along with our oil and gas sector. In other words unless they cripple the Canadian economy the goals, they have committed to will be unachievable!
While Goldstein correctly points out the negative place Trudeau and his minions now find themselves, the picture painted by the CCI’s report was actually spun differently by them! To wit: The CCI press release about the results had the following quote from Rick Smith, President of CCI:
“It’s promising to see Canada starting to make tangible progress in reducing carbon pollution, especially coming out of the pandemic. Time is short, and our goals are ambitious.Hitting those goals is crucial to Canada’s future security and prosperity.
Perhaps the foregoing quote from Smith (formerly head honcho at Environmental Defence) is simply a take on the old idiom; “don’t bite the hand that feeds you“ based on the CCI’s charitable status. A review of their year-end March 31, 2022 filing with the CRA indicates their employees are well paid and we should suspect Smith is at the top of the following chart from their filing:
It is also worth noting Rick Smith and Gerald Butts (PM Trudeau’s former Principal Advisor) are closely connected as both were the heads of two of the Strathmere Group’s 12 members as outlined in a series of articles. Smith also has a close relationship (they even co-authored a book) with Bruce Lourie, one of the CCI’s directors and he is also listed as the Secretary-Treasurer of the CCI in the CRA filings.
If one examines their CRA filing as a “charity” it discloses gross revenue of $2,487,656 with $2,433,119 (97.8%) of it simply our tax dollars handed to them by the federal government. Please note they didn’t claim any of their total expenditures of $3,646,724 as being “on charitable activities”.
It is apparent based on the numbers above the CCI overspent their revenue by about $1.159 million. Rest assured they will seek additional taxpayer funding and a recent search on the Government of Canada’s “Grants and Contributions” website indicates they were handed $500,000 on December 5, 2022 by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change where Minister Steven Guilbeault now hangs his hat! The grant is reputedly to do a “Policy analysis and stakeholder views on climate and environmental impacts of inactive oil and gas wells“.
If one seeks financial information on the CCI website the only information one can find for their 2021-2022 year is the following one page “snapshot” and it’s in their “Annual Impact Report”:
I would think based on the foregoing, 99% of all Canadians would not consider anything the CCI contributes to Canada and Canadians to be what can be considered charitable.
The question that anyone examining the financial aspects of this “charity” called the Canadian Climate Institute should immediately ask is:
Why in hell should the CCI be considered a charity when here in Canada and in so many other places around the world we are seeing “energy poverty” skyrocket? Charitable food banks are pressed to help families suffering from poverty caused by increased costs of energy in the form of intermittent and unreliable renewable energy as well as carbon taxes on fossil fuels needed in so many aspects of our day to day living from farming to delivering the food to your local grocery store. Paying our tax dollars to ENGO such as the CCI amplifies the unjust treatment we are now experiencing!
To paraphrase Rick Smith’s ramble: Hitting the goals to reduce emissions is crucial if the plan is to increase energy poverty!
Time to right the wrongs and rescind the charitable rights of these hundreds of ENGO here in Canada using our tax dollars to further escalate energy poverty!
Yesterday, Ontario’s IWT (industrial wind turbines) were humming and supplied the Ontario grid with 81,736 MW despite IESO appearing to have curtailed another 5,600 MW of their potential generation!
Due to the fact it was a Sunday with businesses shut for the weekend coupled with a mild winter day, demand was light so the peak reached at Hour 19 was only 16,478 MW. Because of those factors, IESO were busy selling off our surplus power to our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec for pennies of its cost to Ontarians. Total exports were 69,070 MWh or 84.5% of the accepted IWT generation and the sale price averaged $5.45/MWh or just over a half a cent per kWh (kilowatt hour).
To put the foregoing in perspective the 69,070 MWh is about what 2.4 million Ontario households consume daily and represents around 46% of all Ontario households.
Based on the foregoing data from IESO it is obvious that generation by the IWT were fully responsible for the 69,070 MW that was exported. What that illustrates is with the guaranteed contracted prices of $135/MWh that generation cost Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers $9.324 million and adding the cost of the 5,600 MW of curtailed generation (at a cost of $120/MWh) it brings the additional costs to $9.996 million.
Oh yes, and we exported those 69,070 MW for the HOEP market price of $5.45/MWh, so we earned $376K (3.8% of their costs) reducing the overall costs to $9.620 million.
So one might ask, so how much did it cost us per MWh for the 12,666 MWh we didn’t export, and they would be shocked to find out it works out to $759.51/MWh or 0.76 cents/KWh.
Going “green” sure hurts the ratepayers and taxpayers in Ontario but our neighbours are surely delighted we are providing them with our highly subsidized “emissions free” electricity!
Now, try to imagine if we did the foregoing every day of the year and shake your head at the $3.5 billion it would cost us!
In fact, the taxpayers in Ontario are actually burdened with an annual cost of $6.274 billion for “Electricity Cost Relief Programs” associated with those renewable energy contracts as outlined in the very recent 2022-2023 Third Quarter Finances update from the Provincial Ministry of Finance.
From the Update:
Now try to imagine how that money could have benefited our health sector or built out some needed infrastructure!
Southern Ontario is currently experiencing what the eco-warriors would call “global warming” with lots of wind so it led to a IESO DATA look and it was a bit shocking to see what was going on. The wind was doing a great job at generating intermittent and unneeded IWT (industrial wind turbines) generation that wasn’t needed but with their “first-to-the-grid” rights IESO were forced to accept both lots of it on February 14th and 15th as the following highlights.
As a co-incidence a Provincial press release about the provinces 2022-2023 finances hit the in-box and in in it they disclose the province was projecting a deficit of $6.5 billion for the year. In a quick look at the financial information it was interesting to note that $6.6 billion in expenses for the Energy base ($327.6 million) plus $6.274 billion allocated for “Electricity Cost Relief Programs” brought the total to the $6.6 billion of expenses in the press release. Imagine, without the latter the province would be forecasting a small surplus of $100 million and that would have been something to brag about!
As many Ontarians may not know the Electricity Cost Relief Programs were established by the Ford led government to absorb the above market costs of the pricy wind and solar contracts signed by the McGuinty/Wynne governments. Those governments; in the push to “green” the electricity sector; was what they bought into when eco-warriors were demanding the world must stop using fossil fuels due to the “global warming” (now referenced as “climate change”) scare.
The IWT generation for all of Tuesday and part of today (Wednesday) makes it obvious why the almost $6.3 billion of costs for the “Relief Programs” exists!
February 14, 2023
IESO’s wind generation forecast for the full 24 hours was 44,037 MWh but they cut the output to 41,251 MWh suggesting about 2,700 MWh were curtailed. That resulted in a total cost for the IWT generation and curtailment of $6.279 million for the day ($135/MWh for accepted generation and $120/MWh for curtailed). Total exports to our neighbours throughout the day were 46,938 MWh so one could easily suggest all of it was either IWT generation or caused by it! The average market price (HOEP) over those 24 hours was $10.74/MWh meaning it earned a miserly $504K reducing the cost of IWT generation to $5.775 million.
February 15, 2023
IESO DATA for the first 18 hours disclosed they forecast generation of 75,648 MWh but the output recorded was 54,881 MWh meaning 20,767 MWh were curtailed. That suggests the first 18 hours of the day cost $9.901 million and as the average HOEP over those 18 hours was a tiny $2.22/MWh the exports of 49,095 MW returned only $109K of those costs paid to the owners of the IWT.
The taxpayers/ratepayers of Ontario were forced to absorb $15.567 million to provide our neighbours in NY, Michigan and Quebec with those 93,255 MWh over those 42 hours. Those MW we basically gave away is about what 3,2 million average Ontario households would consume in one day!
Hopefully the foregoing brings to light why the Ford government allocates the $6.274 billion for “Electricity Cost Relief Programs”. It also suggests we should all wonder why they haven’t cancelled those IWT contracts instead of now indicating they will extend their contracts. They recently extended the Transalta Melancthon 200 MW IWT development near Shelbourne, Ontario which stands out for having a long and controversial history.
We should wonder as taxpayers if that $6.274 billion cost will only get larger in the future as the past 42 hours suggests it won’t diminish!
The Ford led government had a chance to balance the budget but instead seems content with burdening Ontario taxpayers in supporting our neighbour’s electricity costs! Not sure how that will attract jobs to the province?
It is apparent no one noticed from Hour 9 to Hour 11 on February 11, 2013 Ontario’s baseload power decreased by 814 MW of capacity as Bruce Power’s G-8 nuclear reactor was tripped off. It’s not clear why it was tripped, but in terms of security to avoid blackouts in the province; that baseload power would generate over 7 TWh (terawatt hours) over a full year or about what 800,000 average Ontario households consume.
The above should be of concern to the Ontario Ministry of Energy but so far, they haven’t noticed! The Ministry are instead excited about the recent announcement triggered by a November 24, 2022, Ministerial directive from Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Todd Smith to IESO. That directive instructed them to complete negotiations with the proponents of the Oneida Energy Storage Project, a 250 MW BESS (battery energy storage system).
Needless to say when the announcement was finally made the Ontario Conservative Party were excited and Global News reported in a February 10, 2023 article, Premier Ford stating; “It’s equivalent to taking 643,000 cars off the road,”. The article went on to note the project “is being supported by the Canada Infrastructure Bank which has earmarked some $170 million to the initiative.“ The CIB’s press release contained slightly different information than the Ford quote claiming: “The Oneida Energy storage project is expected to reduce emissions by between 2.2 to 4.1 million tonnes, equivalent to taking up to 40,000 cars off the road.“
Hmm, the foregoing suggests someone’s math is askew as taking 643,000 cars off the road is a multiple of 16 times what the CIB said was 40,000 cars! Who should we taxpayers believe?
The CIB’s press release had numerous quotes in it from both federal and provincial government politicians as well as the partners; Northland Power Inc., NRStor, Aecon*NB: and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC).
As an example of the excitement displayed, here is what Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources had to say: “The Government of Canada is pleased to collaborate with partners to unlock the energy storage solutions needed to store clean energy while meeting increasing electricity demands,” and he went on further stating: “The Oneida Energy storage project represents a significant Indigenous-led development that will create good jobs for Canadians while reducing emissions. The Government of Canada is pleased to invest $50 million in building this project with Indigenous partners — resulting in one of the world’s largest battery storage projects.“
Premier Ford said: “I’m thrilled to see so many great partners come together to build this world-class project that will provide affordable, clean energy for generations to come,”.
The other quote, in my mind, that stood out, was from Mike Crawley of Northland Power Inc. as Crawley was reputedly the former Ontario President of the Liberal Party and following that served as President of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Crawley’s quote was: “The Oneida Energy Storage Project is a milestone for Ontario’s burgeoning energy storage sector. It will make the province’s electricity grid more efficient, stable and reliable. For Northland, this project marks our first storage investment. We recognize the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada for their continued support of energy storage initiatives. Finally, we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with NRStor and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, without whom this project would not have been possible.”
We should suspect Crawley’s attribution to “Ontario’s burgeoning energy storage sector” is a subtle call for support (financial and regulatory) from the CIB and the Ford government to grant approval for a storage project Northland Power have been chasing for over a decade. That project is the Marmora pumped storage project utilizing the abandoned iron mine in Marmora, Ontario. Crawley has somehow managed to entice OPG into joining Northland in their pursuit of that contract perhaps believing it will convince Ontario’s Energy Minister, he must give it his blessing.
Mike Crawley was called out by Bob Runciman, a Conservative MPP, who sat as a member of Ontario’s parliament for 29 years and in 2004 was opposition leader. The Hansard report indicates in Runciman’s examination of the then Minister of Energy, Dwight Duncan in 2004, he raised “conflict issues” about Crawley and his position as President of AIM PowerGen while being the Ontario President of the Liberal Party of Canada. The issue was in respect to a $475 million contract awarded to Erie Shores Wind Farm owned by AIM PowerGen. According to the Hansard records Crawley was also President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association at the time. Needless to say nothing came of the issue raised by MPP Runciman when he asked Duncan to “put the contract on hold” pending an investigation by the Ontario Integrity Commission. Duncan refused! Crawley still maintains influence with the Liberal Party and his influence seems to now also involve the Ontario Conservative Party.
Mr. Crawley is registered as a Lobbyist with the Federal government and in June of last year he met with Jonathan Wilkinson who stated the Government of Canada “invested $50 million” in the project. We should wonder if the $50 million investment came about as a result of Crawley’s lobbying efforts?
Looking quickly at the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC) it is difficult to find complete information related to their “green energy portfolio” other than the claim; “itis capable of producing over 1000MW of clean energy through involvement in 18 solar or wind projects either directly (Equity Interests) or indirectly (Community Benefit Agreements). Their website identifies their portfolio’s capacity as 297 MW of “wind” and 145 MW of “solar”! They recently announced they were upset the Lake Erie Connector Project had been suspended for which the CIB had planned to “invest up to $655 million or up to 40% of the project cost. ITC, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., and private sector lenders will invest up to $1.05 billion, the balance of the project’s capital cost.“
As if the furore from the proponents along with provincial and federal politicians wasn’t enough the Federal Minister of Finance and Deputy PM, Chrystia Freeland rang out with her rants on twitter about the project and how “it will create good jobs, help build Ontario’s 21st century electricity grid, and make electricity more affordable for Ontario families.”
As Minister of Finance she should recognize handing out $220 million of our (Federal) tax dollars for a project destined to raise the cost of electricity and create a few jobs to occasionally power homes or businesses for a few hours annually is not the panacea she hyperventilates about.
The time has come for all of Canada’s politicians to cease the madness of their “net-zero” targets and recognize how eliminating the 6% to 7% of emissions from the electricity sector will have no impact on Canada’s fossil fuel reduction but will result in the loss of well-paying jobs throughout our economy.
Time for sanity to return to our elected politicians!
*Aecon has been awarded a $141 million Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract by Oneida LP.
NB: One of my contacts informed me John Beck CEO and President of Aecon is a big supporter of the WEF where our Finance Minister Freeland also hangs her hat! I went to the WEF website and searched his name and it popped up many times and he sits on one of their “Steering Committees. We should all wonder what in hell is going on!
An article from March 2022 cited a Hydro Quebec strategic plan they had just released and it forecast they would need 100 TWh (terawatt hours) annually of additional energy in order to meet Quebec’s net-zero emissions target by 2050.
To put context on that 100 TWh; it currently represents about 50% of generation Quebec Hydro annually distributes to Quebec ratepayers and grid connected export markets! If one does the math the annual generation of 100 TWh would require about 11,500 MW of new generation (baseload) capacity running at 100% and that is, coincidentally, more than double the capacity of Churchill Falls (5,428 MW) which is owned by Newfoundland & Labrador (N/L). The existing contract between the two provinces for the power generated at Churchill Falls expires in 2041 and currently costs Hydro Quebec a very low $2.00 per MWh or $2 million per TWh. The $113 million Hydro Quebec paid N/L in 2021 suggests Churchill Falls supplied them with 56.5 TWh hours or about 25% of what Hydro Quebec distributed in 2021 and around 30% of Quebec ratepayers total demand!
We should guess N/L will be looking for much higher rates for any future contracts come 2041 or instead will run transmission lines to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and/or to New England to achieve a much better return and perhaps help pay those cost overruns for the Muskrat Falls project. The foregoing would raise Quebec’s needs to over 150 TWh by 2050 or at the very least drive up their energy costs!
Hydro Quebec’s 2021 annual report indicated they sold 210.8 TWh of which 35.6 TWh (63% of Churchill Falls generation) were exported to New England, New York, Ontario and New Brunswick.
In respect to the Ontario/Quebec relationship; Ontario will try to supply power to Quebec in the winter (Quebec’s peak demand period) whereas Quebec will try to supply Ontario in the Summer which is generally when peak demand occurs. The agreement between Ontario and Quebec is referenced as the “Seasonal Capacity Sharing Agreement.“ As an example, Ontario, using natural gas generation, recently supplied Quebec with power during the cold snap. We should wonder how importing generation from natural gas plants will help Quebec meet its “net-zero” target or Ontario’s by generating fossil fuel power to supply Quebec?
Hydro Quebec issued a press release in November 2022 forecasting by 2032 they will require an additional 25 TWh principally to support the transition to electrification for transportation, building conversion, green hydrogen production, battery production, etc. etc. The press release suggests: “The anticipated growth takes into account significant energy efficiency efforts that will make it possible to curtail 8.9 TWh by 2032. Hydro-Québec programs such as the Efficient Heat Pump Program for residential customers and the Efficient Solutions Program for business customers will help optimize electricity use.“ They will also seek a “demand response” of 3,000 MW during the coldest winter days from those labeled as “various customer segments”. The release also indicated they have put out a call for tenders including; “one for 300 MW of wind power and the other for 480 MW of renewable energy—are already underway“, and “Two more, for 1,000 MW of wind power and 1,300 MW of renewable energy, respectively, will be launched in the next few months, and others will follow in the coming years to meet the needs“.
We should find it odd Hydro Quebec would believe 1,300 MW of wind and 1,780 MW of renewables (solar?) will be sufficient to provide them with the 25 TWh they forecast needing by 2032 due to their intermittency and unreliable nature but perhaps they are really counting on the 3,000 MW of “demand response” to keep the lights on and households warm during cold winter days. We should also wonder where the other 75 TWh they will need by 2050, will come from?
They shouldn’t count on Ontario being able to supply them as the Ford led government here in Ontario is on the path to also achieve the same “net-zero” target our Energy Minister, Todd Smith, asked IESO to achieve via his October 7, 2021, letter to them. While he has subsequently backtracked somewhat on the foregoing in his October 6, 2022, directive it nevertheless may detract from attracting new generation as the following sentence from his directive implies: “New build gas facilities will be required to submit emissions abatement plans to IESO as part of their future contractual obligations, including considerations for operating in special circumstances such as emergency events, if applicable.“
Ontarians and Quebecers should wonder; in the future, will those emergency events include us sending our natural gas generation to help them keep the lights on and their households warm during winter cold snaps in Quebec and will they be able to supply Ontario with power on those very warm summer days when our peak demands occur?
No doubt by the time the foregoing potential problems become a regular occurrence our current group of politicians will have retired from politics and be living on nice taxpayer funded pensions so will not care about the consequences of their failed policies.
We voters should find a way to make elected politicians responsible for their ineptitude but perhaps that is far too much to hope for, just as “net-zero” is simply “wishful thinking” if we want reliable and competitive power prices!
The past couple of days in Ontario have demonstrated the ups and downs of energy demand both from those of us in Ontario and our neighbours tied to us via the intertie grids.
February 2, 2023
Starting with February 2, 2023, examining IESO data, clearly demonstrates the ups and downs of demand for electricity coupled with the market price variation (HOEP) of overproduction of IWT (industrial wind turbines). The wind was blowing hard all through the day but with baseload nuclear and hydro providing most of the demand what wasn’t needed was most of the power being generated by IWT. IESO forecast IWT would generate 94,503 MW over the full day (80.3% of capacity) but it wasn’t needed. Recorded output was 72,115 MW (61.3% of capacity) meaning IESO instructed IWT owners to curtail almost 22,400 MW. As most Ontario ratepayers know the IWT contracts provides them with “first-to-the-grid” rights and also pays for curtailed power at the rate of $120/MWh and $135/MWh for the accepted power. For the full 24 hours on the day the price allocated for accepted and curtailed IWT generation amounted to over $12.4 million in costs to Ontario’s ratepayers/taxpayers and about $172/MWh in costs for the accepted power.
Coupled with the foregoing; as demand was low for most of the day, the market price (HOEP) averaged $3.12/MWh so IESO were busy disposing of unneeded power for pennies of its costs. Even at the daily peak hour (Hour 19) the HOEP was only $5.18/MWh. For the full day exported power was 41,911 MW representing 58.1% of the generation IESO accepted from IWT. If one assumes the unneeded power from IWT represented all of the exported power or caused it, the cost added to the 30,200 MW of IWT generation consumed by Ontario ratepayers is another $7.1 million bringing the cost of the 30,200 MWh, added to the grid, to $11.2 million or $370/MWh (.37cents/kWh).
The happenings on February 2nd once again demonstrate how we Ontarians continue to provide cheap power to our neighbours. We do that by absorbing the costs of those intermittent and unreliable IWT sprinkled throughout the province allowing our neighbours to buy our surplus energy for pennies on the dollar while we eat the costs.
February 3, 2023
February 3, 2023, turned out to be a “Top 10” Ontario peak demand day reaching 21,388 MW and 24,821 MW for the “market peak” at Hour 19! The result was the HOEP for the full day averaged about $41.70/MWh. While that represents a large jump from the prior day those IWT were still costing us a lot more then the aforementioned HOEP average.
To put the foregoing in context, IESO data in the first 5 hours forecast IWT generation would be 18,795 MW but they only accepted 13,838 MW meaning about 5,150 MW were curtailed and the HOEP over those 5 hours was a piddly 0.62 cents/MWh. If one, then calculates the HOEP for the remaining 19 hours in the day it becomes $56.60/MWh so, much higher than the first 5 hours! Continuing to look at those 5 hours it becomes apparent we Ontarians absorbed the costs of almost $2.5 million to generate those 13,715 MW. Hopefully our neighbours in NY, Michigan and Quebec appreciate our generosity for those MW which was very close to the IESO accepted IWT generation.
Looking at the full day, IWT were forecast by IESO to generate 69,174 MW but their output was 62,940 MW meaning we paid for around 6,200 MW of curtailed generation but as noted in the preceding paragraph only about 1,000 MW more were curtailed in the following nineteen hours. Over the day IESO were busy selling off approximately 87,000 MW to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec with the latter taking well over a third of them. The last point should be no surprise as Quebec is a winter peaking province and on February 2nd Hydro Quebec asked their customers to reduce their electricity consumption due to the anticipated cold starting late Thursday night.
The other interesting happening related to generation on February 3rd was how much gas generation there was over the day. Ontario’s natural gas plants produced 88,172 MW which coincidently was only slightly higher than our total exports. It is worth pointing out when a MWh of natural gas is generated ratepayers are only paying the raw costs of the natural gas plus a small markup as the capital costs and the approved ROA (return on assets) have been included in the price of electricity since those plants were originally commissioned. In other words once a gas plant is operating it generates power that is very much cheaper compared to both wind and solar.
About 60% of households in Quebec heat with electric furnaces or electric baseboards so are dependent on electricity to stay warm during cold winter days. For that reason we should suspect Ontario’s natural gas plants may have played a key role in ensuring those Quebecers were able to avoid a blackout on the recent very cold days we have just experienced.
The other thing Ontario’s natural gas plants may well be doing is allowing Quebec EV owners to recharge their EV batteries. Approximately 10% of all new cars registered in Quebec* are EV possibly due to the large $8,000. grant the province provides to purchase them. Interestingly, while Hydro Quebec tells households to turn down their heat and avoid using certain appliances during peak hours, they say nothing about when you should or shouldn’t charge your EV.
The generosity of Ontarians is astounding due to the treatment of IWT and the contracts in place providing those “first-to-the-grid” rights. On top of that, if we are subsidizing the sales of our IWT surplus power to other markets where it may be used to charge EV it just doesn’t seem quite right!
Maybe the Ford Government should ask Quebec to provide Ontario with carbon credits to offset the “emissions” of our natural gas plants that keep their people warm in the winter!
*A September 22, 2022 New York Times article stated the following about EV in Quebec: “Quebec has 150,000 electric vehicles on the road, compared with 113,000 in New York State, an indication of how ubiquitous charging can encourage ownership.“
Inspired by a friend’s graph on his twitter page led me to examine IESO data for the full day. The post was on Scott Luft’s Cold Air twitter page and the graph was inclusive for the first 18 hours of Ontario’s generation from wind, solar, gas, hydro and nuclear on January 28, 2023. Wind over the 18 hours continued to shrink in output while gas and hydro generation expanded as Ontario’s demand increased and the graph displayed it so nicely it was hard to ignore
Hour 1 (hour ending at 1 AM) as happens almost every day saw Ontario demand falling which it did so, peak demand was 14,914 MW at that hour and IWT (industrial wind turbines) generation was running at 88.2% of their capacity and generated 4,324 MW or 29% of that hour’s demand. That output was their highest over the remaining 23 hours. At that hour, IESO reported our net-exports (exports minus imports) were 3,176 MW and total exports were 3,686 MW or 85.2% of wind generation. The HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) market price at that hour was a miserly $4.15/MWh! What that suggests is if the 3,686 MW sold were all IWT generated power they earned $15,297, but the cost to us Ontarians was $497,610. Our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec must love the fact our energy mix has lots of IWT connected to our grid with the ability to deliver them cheap power.
Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM), the last hour on Scott’s graph, IWT generation was 467 MW contributing 2.5% of Ontario’s demand (18,314 MW). The following hour peak demand for the day was reached at 18,493 MW and IWT generation at that hour fell to 141 MW or 0.8% of demand. Luckily hydro and gas generation were both available to increase their output with hydro generating 5,979 MW (32.3% of peak demand) and natural gas plants 2,576 MW (13.9% of peak demand). The balance was produced by our nuclear power plants with a tiny amount from biomass.
For the full day IWT were forecast to generate 49,294 MW but IESO reported output at 46,966 MW implying they curtailed about 2,300 MW. Net exports over the full 24 hours were approximately 42,300 MW and at the average HOEP for the day of $20.62/MWh would have generated revenue of $872,000. If we attributed the IWT generation was either the full amount of the exports or the cause of other generation being exported; the net cost of that would have been close to $6 million for the full day. We should also suspect their high “middle of the night” generation may also have caused hydro water spillage for our must-run hydro plants which would add further to the costs.
Just another day to remind us of the mess caused by the McGuinty/Wynne Ontario led governments and their compliance with the recommendations of Gerald Butts, Trudeau buddy, and former right-hand man until resigning due to pressuring the Attorney General in respect to the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
NB: I misspelled the word graph on the post by using the word “graft”. I guess I was using that word spelling to reflect what the IWT owners have done to our electricity system
Over the past week or so those with an interest in what has been going on in Davos, Switzerland, at the WEF conflab may have missed a few interesting happenings. Here is a brief review of a few of them.
New York state to forgive $672 million of overdue gas, electric bills
A January 19, 2023 article in Reuters carried the news, New York Governor Kathy Hochul was going to forgive $672 million of unpaid electricity and gas bills for almost 500,000 customers. She said it was “the largest utility customer financial assistance program in state history.” The forgiveness will provide “one-time credits to all residential non-low-income customers and small-commercial customers for any utility arrears through May 1, 2022.“ Governor Hochul went further and “launched a pilot program that guarantees its low-income participants will not pay over 6% of their incomes on electricity, and set aside an additional $200 million in discounts on electric bills for over 800,000 New York state residents who make less than $75,000 who are ineligible under the current discount.“ As a matter of interest New York state has the 9th highest residential electricity rates of all US states and the $672 million is only about 10% (without currency conversion) of the $6.5 billion Ontario taxpayers absorb annually to keep our electricity rates at current levels. Ontario’s huge cost increases were caused by the McGuinty/Wynne led governments and their renewable energy push with high contract prices driving rates up by over 100%. It is worth noting wind and solar contributed only 6% of NY’s total generation in 2021 and Governor Hochul has set 2030 as their carbon free targets at 70% and 100% by 2040. We should have serious doubts those targets are attainable without more financial pain to New Yorkers!
For all their ferocity, California storms were not likely caused by global warming, experts say
The foregoing headline was from the LA Times January 19, 2023 edition, and as one should suspect the Times is considered a MSM news outlet. The article was related to the outcry from ENGO blaming the recent “drought-to-deluge” cycle that impacted California causing floods, property damage and 19 deaths on (as one would expect) “climate change”! It is so refreshing to see the reporter actually did research and this particular paragraph stands out in the article: “Although the media and some officials were quick to link a series of powerful storms to climate change, researchers interviewed by The Times said they had yet to see evidence of that connection. Instead, the unexpected onslaught of rain and snow after three years of punishing drought appears akin to other major storms that have struck California every decade or more since experts began keeping records in the 1800s.“
It’s so nice to see a few MSM journalists actually consult with real weather “experts” not just those like Al Gore or Greta who push for mankind to stop using fossil fuels to save the planet!
It’s Armageddon: Media Silent on Biden Admin Plan to Snatch Public Land For Solar Farms
The captioned headline was from the Washington Free Beacon a few days ago and noted: “In December 2022, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that her department would expedite plans to build solar energy farms across tens of thousands of untouched public land in 11 Western states. The announcement has garnered little to no national attention, save for the occasional report that the Biden administration is expanding renewable energy production.“ The article, linked to a presentation by the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM), referenced those 11 Western States and specifically provided details on six of them. The public land identified in those six states totalled 440,200,000 acres of which 97,921,069 acres (22.2%) were designated as “Available for Development by BLM! One acre could potential hold up to 2,000 panels so at that level for just those 6 states there could be as many as 19 billion solar panels installed. We should all wonder after their “end of life” where would those solar panels wind up. A Harvard Business Review article about solar panels suggested: “In an industry where circularity solutions such as recycling remain woefully inadequate, the sheer volume of discarded panels will soon pose a risk of existentially damaging proportions.“ The article went on to note; “The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s official projections assert that “large amounts of annual waste are anticipated by the early 2030s” and could total 78 million tonnes by the year 2050.“ The Harvard article goes on to say: “With the current capacity, it costs an estimated $20–$30 to recycle one panel. Sending that same panel to a landfill would cost a mere $1–$2.“ Perhaps solar panels are not the nirvana pushed by those eco-warriors who want us to completely abandon fossil fuels including US President Biden!
It’s hard to spot any solar panels on the roof of President Biden’s beachfront home pictured below.
The Biden Administration Finally Admits Its Mistake in Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline
Last but not least was a great article disclosing how the US Department of Energy quietly released a report about the effects of President Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline right after his inauguration. As the article discloses; the cancellation; “has already cost the United States thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth while families suffer under the weight of record high energy prices.“ The article was written by Tom Harris and posted in Real Clear Energy just a few days ago. The article included specific details from the report noting: “the pipeline would have created between 16,149 and 59,000 jobs and would have had an economic benefit of between $3.4 and 9.6 billion.“ What the foregoing also suggests is there was an effect on Canada as the crude oil that would have been carried in that pipeline would have been from Canada and have generated both royalties and taxes to government coffers. The sale of that crude would have benefited the economy and increased the value of the Canadian dollar giving it more buying power and have helped to reduce our inflation rate.
The article goes on to state: “Two years into sowing its Green New Deal policies, the administration is reaping a bitter harvest. Due to Biden’s folly, oil, natural gas and electricity prices have more than doubled in just a single year. Meanwhile, more than 28 percent of Americans abstained from purchasing food or medicine to pay an energy bill in 2021.“ Additional points in the article clearly outline the cascade caused by the cancellation and its effect on global energy prices that hit the European community even harder then North America.
The follies of the Biden Administration’s mistakes will undoubtedly go down in history in a negative way as will our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who didn’t fight back on behalf of Canadians after Biden’s decree.
We should all recognize and note the damage being done on a collective basis by the WEF, the UNIPCC, etc. but we mustn’t forgive or ignore the damage being caused by our local politicians be they municipal, provincial or federal!
As has been highlighted in the foregoing four above brief synopsis the road to “Net-Zero” is paved with bad intentions and bad outcomes.