Ontario’s electricity costs a “freight train” says energy analysts

Here from AEGENT Energy Advisors, a commentary on the Ontario Long Term Energy Plan or LTEP.

Latest LTEP Can’t Stop the Electricity Cost Freight Train December 2013

  • One key message in the provincial government’s new Long Term Energy Plan is that projected cost increases are much lower than in the 2010 plan.
  • The essential fact about these cost increases is that they are driven mostly by the costs associated with new generation capacity coming into service that is the result of the government’s energy procurement priorities over the last several years. Virtually all of this capacity is contracted on terms that guarantee some level of above-market payments to the generator.
  • The increased costs on our electricity bills are the result of these contract terms. So if you understand the terms of these contracts then future cost increases are largely foreseeable, and for the next several years there is little that can be done to mitigate the increases.

On December 2, 2013 the Ontario Ministry of Energy released the latest Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP), entitled Achieving Balance.  The new LTEP is the first follow-up to the previous plan that was released in November 2010.  Areas addressed in the new plan include conservation, nuclear and renewable energy.
Two prominent messages in the new LTEP are that much has and will be done to mitigate costs and that projected increases are significantly lower than those forecast in 2010.  Figure 7 from the report shows the typical residential electricity bill forecast based on monthly consumption of about 800 kWh.
Read the full article here.

Ontario has too much power, but more approvals today

One proposal and one approval were posted today for wind power projects in Ontario, in spite of the fact that the Energy Minister has said the province has enough power, and is in fact curtailing production—paying for producers NOT to add more power to the grid.
One solar project was also approved today.
Grey Highlands Zero Emissions EBR 012-0683
This posting is for a proposed Renewable Energy Approval by Grey Highlands Nominee (No. 1) Ltd., for the Grey Highlands Zero Emissions People Wind Park, proposed to be located in the Municipality of Grey Highlands, Grey County, Ontario. This is a Class 4 wind facility with a total expected generation capacity of 10 megawatts (MW).

The proposed facility is considered to be a Class 4 wind facility under Ontario Regulation 359/09 (O. Reg.359/09) Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Environmental Protection Act. Applications for Renewable Energy Approvals are required to be submitted in accordance with O.Reg.359/09 for consideration for approval.

BOW Lake 011-9127
A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to Nodin Kitagan Limited Partnership and Nodin Kitagan 2 Limited Partnership, by its General Partners Shongwish Nodin Kitagan GP Corp. and Shongwish Nodin Kitagan 2 GP Corp. to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of 36 wind turbines, with a total name plate capacity of 58.32 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Great Lakes Power Transmission’s distribution system.
This Class 4 wind facility, known as the Bow Lake Wind Farm, consists of areas required for the wind facility components, as well as collector lines. The wind facility is located in the Unorganized Townships of Smilsky and Peever, District of Algoma, Ontario.

Why does wind power cost 4 X as much in the UK?

The Mail

Wind energy costs four times more in UK than Brazil because of way green subsidies are handed out

  • UK families pay £95 per MWh for wind, compared to £27 MWh in Brazil
  • Damning report by Policy Exchange urges government to slash costs
  • Energy Minister Michael Fallon is set to unveil detailed plans about how to make subsidies more competitive

By Gerri Peev
PUBLISHED: 01:34 GMT, 16 December 2013 | UPDATED: 09:36 GMT, 16 December 2013


Britain pays four times as much for its wind energy as Brazil, thanks to uncompetitive subsidies.
A damning report from the Policy Exchange urges the government to hold the wind industry to its pledge to slash costs by the end of the decade.
UK families are paying £95 per MWh for onshore wind, compared to £27 MWh in Brazil, according to its report.

Gap: UK families are paying £95 per MWh for onshore wind, compared to £27 MWh in Brazil
Gap: UK families are paying £95 per MWh for onshore wind, compared to £27 MWh in Brazil

It argues that the government should hold an auction of renewable technologies to allow the industry to compete for state support.
This could start as early as next year for projects which would begin in 2017.


Currently, ministers only plan to introduce energy auctions in 2018 for projects that will be commissioned after 2020.
But this week Energy Minister Michael Fallon is set to unveil detailed plans about how to make subsidies more competitive.

Announcement: Energy Minister Michael Fallon is set to unveil detailed plans about how to make subsidies more competitive this week
Announcement: Energy Minister Michael Fallon is set to unveil detailed plans about how to make subsidies more competitive this week

Critics fear this could mean more onshore windfarms by the backdoor as they are cheaper to run compared to offshore wind, which costs about 50 per cent more to generate.
But government sources insisted that the plan will make it more difficult for the onshore windfarms to get state handouts because they will be subject to a ‘constrained allocation’.
In Brazil, prices for onshore wind have dropped to world record lows since auctioning was introduced.
But in Britain, ministers are much keener on more expensive offshore wind because it is less politically controversial.
While onshore windfarms trigger fury from local communities due to their visual blight and noise, offshore windfarms are far away enough from homes not to spark protest.
But offshore wind is about 50 per cent as expensive as onshore wind, with a strike price of £155 MWh.
The most expensive technologies are tidal and wave power, which cost around £305 MWh.
Simon Moore, author of the report said: ‘The government needs to act more ruthlessly to reduce household energy bills by cutting state support for renewable technologies that do not come down in price….

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2524388/Wind-energy-costs-times-UK-Brazil.html#ixzz2ngFBtQkO
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Read more here.

United Way and its ill-gotten gains

Just when you think things can’t get any slimier (and corporations, like The Co-operators, can’t get any dumber) this comes along: United Way Canada has said it would accept NextEra’s offer of the donation of any awards the energy giant gets as a result of its SLAPP suit against Middlesex-Lambton activist and blogger Esther Wrightman.
See a poll at the end of the story.

Agency to benefit if wind company wins lawsuit 

By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer

Anti-wind turbine activist Esther Wrightman, shown in this file photo at her home, is being sued by NextEra Energy. The company says it will donate any judgement to United Way Canada. That agency said recently it would accept the money, disappointing Wrightman and her supporters. (QMI Agency)
Anti-wind turbine activist Esther Wrightman, shown in this file photo at her home, is being sued by NextEra Energy. The company says it will donate any judgement to United Way Canada. That agency said recently it would accept the money, disappointing Wrightman and her supporters. (QMI Agency)

Wind activist Esther Wrightman says she’s surprised United Way Canada is willing to take the money wind giant NextEra Energy is seeking in its lawsuit against her.
A statement of claim filed by the Florida-based company suing Wrightman over altered NextEra logos that were posted online says any damages would be donated to United Way Canada.
Wrightman said her father wrote to that organization after a United Way official spoke at a meeting of her local municipal council about how it helps the poor in rural communities.
“I think I’m kind of in that target area,” said the Strathroy-area married mother of two, whose family’s modest income comes from her husband’s disability supports, and her job at her parents’ nursery business.
“If they want to get anything from me, there’s nothing,” she said. “I don’t know if the United Way understands that.”
A reply from Sylvain Beaudry, a vice-president with United Way Centraide Canada, says the organization wasn’t aware of the lawsuit, but “will accept the award for damages that may result.”
Wrightman said, “My dad wrote back and said, ‘Are you serious?'”
The United Way replied that they were.
Read the full story here.
You may be interested in United Way Canada’s email: info@unitedway.ca

“Ecocrats” make millions while consumers pay and pay for renewables

This article from The Mail on Sunday tracks people involved in the U.K. renewables business…and discovers how much money they are making, while influencing public policy.
  It’s a shocker.

The fatcat ecocrats exposed: Web of ‘green’ politicians, tycoons and power brokers who help each other benefit from billions raised on your bills

  • Four of nine-person Climate Change Committee, official watchdog that dictates green energy policy, are, or were until recently, being paid by firms that benefit from committee decisions

By David Rose
PUBLISHED: 22:14 GMT, 14 December 2013 | UPDATED: 22:14 GMT, 14 December 2013

Other industries would stand accused of damning conflicts of interest but when it comes to global warming, anything goes…
The Mail on Sunday today reveals the extraordinary web of political and financial interests creating dozens of eco-millionaires from green levies on household energy bills.
A three-month investigation shows that some of the most outspoken campaigners who demand that consumers pay the colossal price of shifting to renewable energy are also getting rich from their efforts.

Enquiries by this newspaper have revealed:

  • Four of the nine-person Climate Change Committee, the official watchdog that dictates green energy policy, are, or were until very recently, being paid by firms that benefit from committee decisions.
  •   A new breed of lucrative green investment funds, which were set up to expand windfarm energy, are in practice a means of taking green levies paid by hard-pressed consumers and handing them to City investors and financiers.
  • £3.8 billion of taxpayers’ money funds the new Green Investment Bank, set up by the Department of Business and Skills. One of its biggest deals involved energy giant SSE selling windfarms to one of the new green funds, Greencoat Wind. The Green Investment Bank’s chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, is also chairman of SSE. The bank says it ‘provided expertise’ to enable BIS to take a £50 million stake in Greencoat, which helped fund the SSE sale.
  • The same bank’s chief executive, Shaun Kingsbury, is one of the UK’s highest-paid public sector employees. His £325,000 salary is more than twice the Prime Minister’s.
  • Firms lobbying for renewables can virtually guarantee access to key Government policy-makers, because they are staffed by former very senior officials – a striking example of Whitehall’s ‘revolving door’.

Among the most astonishing features exposed by our investigation is the way in which vehement advocates for radical policies designed to curb global warming are making huge sums of money from their work. Here are some of the key  figures among the new breed of  fat-cat Ecocrats…

See the new 1-2-3-4ever video!

Here from the talented folks in CCSAGE (County Coalition for Safe Appropriate Green Energy) in Prince Edward County is a new, short video on the impact of wind turbines on communities.
Titled a “lament,” the video is backed by real turbine noise recorded in Denmark.



For immediate release
Wind turbine noise portrayed in disturbing video
MILFORD, ONTARIO.  DECEMBER 14, 2013.     Lights! Camera! Noise! A new video, produced by residents of Prince Edward County, depicts the environmental hazards from industrial-scale wind turbines, and the impact that the power-generating machines are having on Ontario’s rural residents.  “The 1234ever Lament” is a three-minute recitation of a poem, now available as a YouTube video.  It illustrates “shadow flicker”, and includes compelling footage of whirling turbines that currently dominate the Wolfe Island landscape.
Written by Jim McPherson, “The 1234ever Lament” asks why Ontario continues to use wind turbines that generate electricity that is not needed, and that have a negative impact on rural neighbourhoods while causing electricity bills to increase for everyone.
“This short video tells a compelling story of what it is actually like to live near a wind factory,” said environmentalist Esther Wrightman of Kerwood, Ontario.   Wrightman  is fighting a multi-million dollar “SLAPP”-type lawsuit by NextEra, a Florida-based wind developer that was offended by Wightman’s use of the term “Next Terror” in her advocacy against a nearby wind project that deliberately demolished a Bald Eagle nest.
Find “The 1234ever Lament” on YouTube… Click here
Contact:  Jim McPherson at         everafter@kos.net 

Credits:   Recording of actual wind turbine sounds by Kristian P. Larsen of Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Cold Air blog: Big Thunder is a big mistake…and it’s not the only one

Here is a link to a post today on Scott Luft’s Cold Air blog, in which he discusses curtailment of power generation, crazy government policy decisions, backroom deals and the ongoing insult of NIMBYism.

Big Thunder is a Big Mistake, and it’s not the only one

There were a number of items that caught my attention on the industrial wind turbine front this week, including two articles in the province’s largest newspapers (by circulation):

  • Ontario is tilting at the wrong windmills is a strong editorial from the Globe and Mail; “…cost is climbing, as expensive wind and solar power is brought into the system, as demanded by Ontario’s Green Energy Plan…”
  • Ontario tilts against wind turbines as costs spiral, by the Star’s Martin Regg Cohn, showed signs of intellectual, if not emotional, life; While the NIMBYists beat their breasts, the bean counters took their eyes off the turbines. Politics trumped economics.”

The item that inspired me to write is the 18-month outlook released by the system operator (IESO) on Friday.  I’ve written on the final paragraphs of previous IESO outlooks; this one ends:

In the first 30 days after wind became dispatchable, about 1% of the wind energy that could have been generated was curtailed due to global SBG concerns while 6% of total wind energy available was curtailed due to local SBG concerns. The majority of local SBG concerns were in the northeast and northwest where transmission constraints are more frequent. Wind dispatch in these areas prevented water spillage which was a primary alternative solution to mitigate

There are only two wind generators on the northeast and northwest regions: Prince Farm is just outside of Sault Ste. Marie (which is in the northeast zone), and Greenwich is north of Lake Superior, in the northwest zone.

With a trip to my database to pull my estimates on Curtailment of electricity supply in Ontario, I found that between wind becoming dispatchable and home heating season kicking in, there was one site far more likely to be curtailed than all others – and it’s the northwestern Greenwich site.

Over the period noted in the graph the estimate is that 35% of Greenwich’s potential generation was curtailed.

Prince Farm is near the top too, but the second place, over near Kincardine and Huron’s shore,  deserves a quick mention.  Underwood was the subject of Vampire Turbines in July where I demonstrated it was likely drawing power off the grid over 25% of all July hours.  It’s a particularly lousy site in terms of production that’s capable of meeting Ontario’s demand, but it’s right on a very major transmission line.  If this site is ever constrained it’s a big problem in terms of additional, planned and contracted, growth for the area.
One of Samsung’s few projects, Armow, is set to be plunked right by the Underwood site, where it will join a number of other Ontario industrial wind projects in threatening a municipal airport.

In Thunder Bay the Big Thunder wind park has always had some strong local opposition, and recently Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau has been aggressively questioning the project; a project few want, and none need.
The northwest zone did have 2 coal generating stations, but it’s been years since they ran much at all.  Nonetheless it was felt, in Toronto, that not running on coal was bad, so they are being converted not to run on biomass. The reality is that wind turbines built in the constrained northwest will have, essentially, no coal or gas-fired generation to displace.

Read the full post here.

MPP Jim Wilson protests Collingwood area wind power project decision

Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson is outraged that the application for a wind power project near Collingwood has now been deemed “complete.” In a news release issued today, he outlines reasons why the wind power project should not go ahead, and says he has written a letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The news release is here:

Wilson Outraged with Approval for Wind Turbines at Collingwood Airport

(December 13, 2013) Simcoe-Grey MPP is reeling after getting news that the Ministry of the Environment has accepted wpd Canada’s application as “complete” to build eight 500 foot industrial wind turbines on the flight path of the Collingwood Regional Airport and other airports in Clearview Township. The approval moves the application onto the technical review stage, which could result in final approval in a mere few months time.
Today, Wilson sent an open letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne to question her government’s decision to push forward with the application.
“I am writing to you today in response to your government’s decision to declare wpd Canada’s application to build eight 500 foot industrial wind turbines on the flight path of the Collingwood Regional Airport complete and accepted for technical review,” wrote Wilson. “As you are aware, my constituents and I strongly oppose this project.”
Wilson continued, “Premier, this decision was made by your government without consultation and in spite of safety concerns. It goes against resolutions opposing this development from the Township of Clearview, Town of Collingwood and Town of Wasaga Beach. Once again, please find enclosed a letter from the Collingwood Airport Services Board, as well as the aforementioned resolutions against this project.”
Wilson has been extremely vocal about his opposition to this specific project and others like it. His position on renewable energy dates back to his days as Energy Minister that projects should only be built in communities where they are welcomed and wanted and at prices ratepayers can afford.
Wilson has been working to restore local controls over these projects. He introduced legislation—Bill 2, entitled Restoring Planning Powers to Municipalities Act, 2013—earlier this year. He also strongly opposes the Liberal’s Feed-in-Tariff program that is driving up the cost of hydro bills.
“Premier, the grid doesn’t need this energy. Ontario can’t afford to pay for this energy. Your failed energy scheme has already cost Ontario 300,000 manufacturing jobs and counting. Enough is enough,” continued Wilson. “What will it take for you to agree that massive wind turbines directly beside an airport are not a good idea?”
Wpd Canada’s application is now in the technical review stage of approvals. Public comment is being accepted by the Ministry of the Environment until February 1st, 2014. Wilson urges his constituents to participate in this process. You can find more information on the Environmental Registry website, www.ebr.gov.on.ca.

To read his letter go to his website.

Manvers residents to take “all legal means” to fight wpd wind power

Despite the hue and cry throughout Ontario over electricity rates and fleeing manufacturers, the Ontario government persists in approving more wind power projects (who knows how many backroom deals with giant corporations they are pledged to fulfill?). Two this week are Suncor’s Adelaide and wpd Sumac Ridge.

As this story recounts, the Manvers area residents are already planning to fight with everything they have.

Ministry approves Sumac Ridge wind project; Manvers group planning appeal

MOE approves wind energy project in Manvers Township with conditions

Wind turbine protests

Catherine Whitnall

Manvers Township and area residents had the opportunity to attend two public consultation meetings held in Bethany (Jan. 10) and Pontypool (Jan. 11) as the proponents of proposed wind turbine move toward obtaining approval from the Province.

Kawartha Lakes This Week

(MANVERS TWP) Manvers Wind Concerns announced they will appeal the Province’s decision to approve the controversial Sumac Ridge wind energy project in the City of Kawartha Lakes.
On Wednesday (Dec. 11) the Ministry of the Environment announced approval for wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge wind project, although with conditions, including a requirement that construction not begin until all permits for endangered species have been issued.
Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble said she checked the notice on Thursday morning (Dec. 12) and that the approvals were for two Sumac Ridge wind turbines.
She said there are four proposed wind farms for the City of Kawartha Lakes being developed by different green energy companies; Sumac Ridge, Snowy Ridge, Settlers Landing and Stoneboat. Each project has five turbines. Sumac Ridge is being developed by wpd Canada and is the first of these to get provincial approval.

“They’re saying, ‘I’ll give you more pie, but they’re not baking any more pies.”

Coun. Stauble said she and the Manvers Wind Concerns group were trying to determine which three turbines had been removed and where the remaining two turbines would be located. She contacted the Ministry for that information, and checked the website again later while waiting to hear back.
“I didn’t get a response, so I checked again and saw it had been revised. The approval is for all five Sumac Ridge turbines.”
(Shortly after this interview, the Ministry emailed Manvers Wind Concerns apologizing for the error and confirming the approval is for five turbines.)
A press release issued by wpd states, once constructed, the project will feed an estimated 26,497,200 kWh of clean, renewable energy annually into the electricity grid: an equivalent to the average annual power use of 1,514 homes.

Read more here:

Toronto Hydro adds insult to injury

Here from The Sun, a comment on Toronto Hydro’s money-saving tips for this Christmas.
(Our personal favourite is the “no-cook chicken”—that should solve a lot of problems!)

Hydro barons mad with power


Mike Strobel city hall logo

By ,Toronto Sun

First posted: | Updated:
Toronto Hydro's 12 Days of Christmas
Toronto Hydro’s 12 Days of Christmas (YouTube screengrab)

TORONTO – Better get this column written before the power goes out and we retreat to our caves and candles.
That’s where we’re headed, if the dimbulbs running Ontario’s electrical grid aren’t unplugged.
Now, I think they’re even laughing at us.
When I watched Toronto Hydro’s new 12 Days of Christmas video on YouTube I assumed it was a Yuletide jest.
It tells us to save energy by making ornaments from old incandescent bulbs and pine cones. It suggests we dine on such fare as “no bake” energy bars, “no cook” cheeseballs or chocolate coconut balls, “low cook” cheese dip and “no cook, low cook” fudge.”
Excellent plan. We’ll keep our electrical bill down by eating nothing but raw food. I look forward to the “no cook” chicken. Perhaps it will be easier to digest in the dark.
Here’s my version of 12 Days, which was composed — by torchlight, presumably — some 300 years ago in deepest, darkest England. Altogether, now, folks, sing along…
On the 12th day of Christmas, the dimbulbs gave to us…
12 idled windmills,
11 workers snoozing
10 summer brownouts
9 leaping nepotists
8 veeps a milking us
7 grasping greeners
6 snafus at Pickering
5 golden handshakes
4 shiverin’ seniors
3 bankruptcies
2 axed gasplants
… And the worst damn bills in the land.
Leaping lords, indeed. Our hydro barons have had “no cook” egg on their faces all week — scandalous salaries and rampant nepotism at Ontario Power Generation, shocking rate hikes of 50% over the next decade, more revelations at the gas plant hearings.

Read more Here.