View from Quebec: you have too much power but you’re still signing wind contracts?

Doesn’t make sense to us either. Especially when you factor in the economic losses from tourists staying away (as in the Algoma Region which is soon to be scarred with turbines) and depressed property values, Ontario’s rush to wind power is unexplainable. But, when you don’t do any cost-benefit analysis to support your decisions, “a failed experiment” is what you get.
Here, a view from the Montreal Gazette.

Ontario to pay idle wind farms

Province has a power surplus but signed 20-year contracts with wind-power producers

CPSeptember 11, 2013 7:00 AM


Ontario to pay idle wind farms

Wind turbines dot the shoreline near Port Burwell, Ont. Ontario has signed generous contracts with wind producers for about 5,800 megawatts of electricity, only about 1,500 of which is connected to the grid.

Photograph by: Geoff Robins , THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — Ontario will start paying wind power generators today not to produce electricity, but the government says the move will actually save ratepayers big bucks.
Ontario has had a surplus of power since 2006, but until now, the province paid for all the electricity generated from industrial wind mills, even when it wasn’t needed.
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says the system operator can now order wind producers not to generate power, and will pay them — just as it pays Bruce nuclear — not to produce electricity when it’s not needed.
He says they are paid at a reduced rate that will save the province $200 million a year just on the wind mills.
Ontario has signed generous contracts with wind producers for about 5,800 megawatts of electricity, only about 1,500 of which is connected to the grid.
The Progressive Conservatives say paying wind power producers with 20-year contracts not to generate electricity shows the Liberals’ green energy act “is a failed social experiment.”
Critics point out wind power is unreliable and can’t be counted on in peak demand periods like gas-fired generation or nuclear plants.
Meanwhile, Chiarelli says Ontario is making a net profit of up to $6 billion a year on importing and exporting electricity, a big turnaround from 2003 when the province paid $500 million to import power because it didn’t have enough to meet demand.
It’s not unusual for neighbouring jurisdictions to sell each other electricity, but the province used to frequently have to pay Quebec or New York state to take the excess power off its hands.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Dear Minister Chiarelli…

September 9, 2013
[Tongue in Cheek Letter]
The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy,
Dear Minister Chiarelli:
It has come to my attention that the Independent Electricity System Operator will start paying industrial wind developers for not producing any electricity, starting on September 11, 2013.  I understand that they could possibly receive as much as $200,000 per megawatt of installed power for not producing that electricity.
 This leads me to believe that I could also be persuaded to not produce any electricity in order to obtain the benefits of that program.  I would start small and perhaps not produce electricity for say 2 megawatts, which would mean a payment of $400,000 per year. In a few years I could expand and not produce electricity for, say, 10 megawatts.
I understand that IESO put up meteorological stations to determine what electricity is not produced and that these stations are also paid for by them.  I would be delighted to have IESO put up a station to measure what I will not produce.   In fact, it seems to be fruitless to actually put up any wind turbines if I am paid for not producing electricity so perhaps we could agree to skip the process of obtaining a Renewable Energy Approval—it just takes up too much time for that other Ministry. Another benefit of the latter is that the wind turbines I would not put up would not kill any birds or bats, thereby saving money that would have gone to paying someone to collect the carcasses.  I trust you will find merit in this suggestion and hope that you agree.  It has the added benefit of stopping those pesky naturalists from complaining.
  In studying the electricity system I see that those industrial wind turbines that will be paid for not producing electricity will be backed up by gas plants who will also be paid for not producing electricity.
In a couple of years I would also like to apply for some of the money that I could be paid for, say, a small gas plant generator of 10 megawatts that would not produce electricity.  That payment of around $1.8 million a year would allow me to expand my non-producing industrial wind turbine production by perhaps as much as another 100 megawatts.
  I certainly applaud the efforts of your ministry to not produce electricity and am sure that those efforts will be endorsed by the Environment Commissioner, Mr. Miller, as he is adamant that he wants us to conserve energy: what better way to do that than not produce it!
  No doubt there are many companies and businesses throughout the Province that are supportive of your efforts to pay for not producing electricity and many among them are those large and small solar generators who will also (we understand) be paid for not producing electricity.   At this juncture I do not plan to get into the business of not producing electricity from solar panels but will consider it for the future.  Any information that you can send me on that program would however be appreciated as I have other family members who are considering getting into solar panels so they can also be paid for not producing any electricity.
I look forward to doing business with your Ministry by not producing electricity.
Yours truly,

Parker Gallant

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not Wind Concerns Ontario policy.

ReD (formerly Sprott) closes deal on 4 wind power projects

Here is a report from the business news world on a recent transaction.

Renewable Energy Developers (ReD) has closed a deal to buy four Ontario wind projects that total 50MW from affiliates of Wind Works Power. The projects have 20-year feed-in tariff contracts with the Ontario Power Authority.
ReD and its financial partner provided secured loans to the projects during 2012. The Toronto-based company has co-developed the projects for the past 14 months with Wind Works and has submitted all projects for renewable energy approvals (REA) in 2013. The proponents have proposed to employ Repower MM92 2MW turbines.
It is expected that ReD and its financial partner will each hold a 50% ownership interest in the projects once they are completed and will equally fund the project construction costs in 2014.
Toronto-based Capstone Infrastructure recently agreed to acquire ReD (formerly Sprott Power) in a deal valued at about C$70m.
“I am very pleased to complete this transaction and increase our contracted development pipeline of projects,” said ReD president and CEO Jeff Jenner.
“With the strength of our financial partner and the proposed arrangement with Capstone Infrastructure, these development projects will be fully supported as they move into construction and operation.”
Ontario Environment Ministry officials are reviewing REA applications for 20MW Ganaraska, 10MW Settlers Landing, 10MW Snowy Ridge and 10MW Cloudy Ridge.

Not a Willing Host communities voices grow

Posted here on the London Free Press website, the online version of a feature for this weekend.

This blows: Growing list of Ontario municipalities declare ‘unwilling hosts’ to wind turbines


By ,The London Free Press
First posted: | Updated:
wind turbines
Wind powered turbines spin on a wind farm in Port Burwell, a town near London, Ont. (Derek Ruttan/QMI Agency files)

LONDON, ONT. – Enough. Dozens of Ontario municipalities say they don’t want wind turbines.
Heavily pushed by the provincial Liberal government, the electricity they produce deeply subsidized by taxpayers, giant wind energy projects have sprouted across rural Ontario — often pitting neighbour against neighbour and community against community.
With local control over where the highrise-sized towers can be built taken away by the province, many communities — especially in southwestern Ontario — were already fuming about wind turbines long before Premier Kathleen Wynne took office in February, vowing not to impose such projects any more on places unwilling to take them.
Now, a list of unwilling hosts is circulating — with 61 of the province’s 444 municipalities already on it.
That number will only rise, observers warn, as the “Not a Willing Host” movement grows and pressures the government to bar the industrial turbines from rural Ontario, where 1,200 have already cropped up.
Wind Concerns Ontario, an organization upset at the province’s aggressive promotion of wind power at the expense of local control, compiles and maintains the list of unwilling hosts.
“It was important for someone to keep this list and say, ‘You are not alone,’” said Wind Concerns president Jane Wilson.
“Wind power can work,” she conceded, “but plunking them (turbines) down, right next to communities and next to homes and schools, is not the right idea.”
Ninety municipalities — in favourable zones, located mainly in southwestern and eastern Ontario — “are vulnerable to wind power,” she said.
“That’s where the wind companies have been prospecting.” As the list stands now, two-thirds of those “vulnerable” municipalities are effectively saying no more.
Wind Concerns has dubbed the seven years of wind power development under the Liberals “a disaster for rural Ontario.”

Read the full article at the London Free Press site.

Dawn Euphemia’s “not a willing host” declaration prompts windco departure

Here from the Sarnia Observer, an account of the reasons behind wind power developer rpGlobal’s decisions not to proceed with its wind power project “at this time.”
Among the reasons cited, the fact that host community Dawn-Euphemia had declared itself “Not a Willing Host” to wind power projects.

A wind company has informed Dawn-Euphemia Township it’s not moving ahead with plans for a 32-turbine wind farm in the rural Lambton County municipality.
   Administrator-clerk Michael Schnare said the township received an e-mail recently from rpGlobal saying “they are not proceeding with the project at this time.”
   In July, Dawn-Euphemia council joined the list of Ontario municipalities declaring itself not a willing host to wind turbine projects.
   “They cited that as one of the reasons,” Schnare said about the rpGlobal e-mail, adding it also mentioned “the level of opposition in the community to the project.”

Some councils putting health and safety concerns ahead of developer dollars

Several municipalities in Ontario are taking a stand against wind power development out of concern for their citizens, reports the Windsor Star, in spite of the fact they may be risking revenue and largesse from corporate wind developers.

Cash-strapped Amherstburg council declared the town an “unwilling host” for wind turbine projects and is potentially turning away big bucks from future developers in property tax revenue and payments turbine operators make to towns per unit.
Lakeshore gets $100,000 in property tax revenue from its 120 wind turbines and will receive $4 million over 20 years in annual payments made by the wind turbine companies per unit to the municipality, said Steve Salmons, Lakeshore’s director of community and development services.
“It’s been a financial windfall for us,” Salmons said. “We also have $1 million in road improvements and repairs (developers made) that wouldn’t have gotten to.”
Lakeshore council is “open for business” when it comes to wind turbines. Salmons estimated the turbines will have a $7 million economic impact on the town including lease payments made to land owners. Amherstburg Coun. Diane Pouget is unconvinced by the financial benefits. “We don’t know what the health issues are associated with (wind turbines). We have asked for no further wind turbines to come into our community until we receive all of the (health) information.”
While the town may be passing up sources of revenue, Pouget said health and safety are a paramount concern for council. She said it was her understanding that Ontario pays the U.S. to take its power when it has generated too much, partly because there is no way to store renewable energy The federal government is doing a study on the health effects of wind turbine noise and results are due next year.

It is approximately 70 weeks until the next municipal election in Ontario.

OPA announces another ‘engagement’ opportunity

In what seems to be a never-ending string of “dialogue” and “engagement” this summer, the Ontario Power Authority announced yesterday that it will entertain (Okay, they didn’t use that word) comments on a new, competitive procurement process for “large renewable energy projects.”

Aside from the fact that they really mean POWER projects, this engagement activity comes well before the province actually has a new Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP).

The OPA introduces the new engagement opportunity:

The OPA is commencing the development of this new competitive procurement process for large renewable energy projects by engaging with stakeholders, municipalities and Aboriginal communities as outlined below. This is the beginning of the discussion about the new competitive procurement process. The OPA will be providing the Minister with interim recommendations by September 1, 2013, and it is expected that additional engagement activities will occur in fall 2013.

Meetings will be held beginning the week of August 12, and written submissions may also be sent. The deadline for all comments is August 21.

For more information, follow the link:

Not much ‘local’ about Dufferin wind: editorial

Here from the Orangeville Banner, an opinion on Dufferin Wind Power’s heavy-handed moves to push forward with its wind power project.

Adding “Dufferin” to your corporation’s name doesn’t necessarily make you local.   
No matter how many times the wind farm developer claims to be, Dufferin Wind Power Inc. is no champion of the local community. At least that’s the way we see it.
If recent events are any indication, Dufferin Wind isn’t interested in playing nice with those local landowners it has so far been unable to buy out. It appears more interested in prying the land it needs for its 99 MW wind farm in Melancthon and 230 kV transmission line away from private landowners who have refused to sell.
It’s using the threat of expropriation, as permitted under the Green Energy Act, to convince landowners into signing deals. And if they don’t, Dufferin Wind will have the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) buy it by force. 
Read more at the Orangeville Banner, here: