April 2015: surplus wind power costs Ontario millions
Electricity exports cost heading for $2 billion in 2015
The continued costs to Ontario’s ratepayers for the oversupply of electricity generation in Ontario continued in April 2015; we exported another 2 terawatts (TWh) of power to our neighbours. April’s exported TWh brings exports for the first four months of 2015 to 8.65 TWh — that’s enough to supply 900,000 average Ontario ratepayers with power for a full year.
Surplus exports represented over 19% of Ontario’s total demand for the month; that figure doesn’t include curtailed wind, steamed-off nuclear or spilled hydro.
The cost (Hourly Ontario Electricity Price + Global Adjustment) to ratepayers for exported power in April was $223 million. We sold it for 1.57 cents per kilowatt hour, thereby generating only $32 million. Ontario’s electricity ratepayers had to eat $191 million in losses that will find their way to the Global Adjustment pot and the “electricity” line on our bills.
As noted in a prior article, the first quarter of the current year generated losses (costs to ratepayers) of $437 million. So now, with the April figures, those costs to date are $608 million or $135 per ratepayer.
We still have eight months left in the year: at the current pace, our bill to support surplus exports will amount to over $400 for the average ratepayer.
Wind power generation for April represented 39% of the exported volume as it produced about 850,000 MWh (megawatt hours) at an average of $123.50 per/MWh, meaning its cost of $104 million represented almost 50% of total export costs.
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli doesn’t seem to notice our growing surplus*; however, he has directed the IESO to acquire another 500 MW of renewable energy from wind and solar in 2015, and mandated conservation of another 7 TWh by 2020.
Time to stop digging the hole.
© Parker Gallant
May 27, 2015
The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.
Editor’s note: speaking at a wind power information evening in Finch, Ontario, on May 6th, Ontario Federation of Agriculture president Don McCabe said there is no surplus of power in Ontario. This is a lot of lost power and a lot of losses to electricity consumers—including farmers—to deny.