Good money after bad: mismanagement of Ontario’s power system

Environment Minister Murray will say, it's all for the environment! Problem: wind power does nothing for the environment.
Environment Minister Murray will say, it’s all for the environment! Problem: wind power does nothing for the environment.

January 23, 2016

This “Op-Ed” appears in the current edition of Ontario Farmer. It is not available online.

Good money after bad: how mismanagement of Ontario’s power system affects you

By Parker Gallant

It’s been several months now since the Auditor General of Ontario released her 2015 report, in which she levelled scathing criticism of how the Ontario government has mismanaged the electricity sector. In what will be her last report to include the management of Hydro One because the government has partially privatized the electricity distributor, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk condemned the planning and policy implementation processes that have resulted in Ontario’s electricity consumers paying too much for power.

The report made specific mention of the fact that Ontario has a surplus of power, a situation that is likely to continue, if the government continues to give out expensive contracts for “renewable” power sources wind and solar, which provide only a small amount of Ontario’s power and then only intermittently.

The Auditor General said, “The Ministry’s attractive guaranteed prices program has been one of the main contributors to the surplus power situation Ontario has faced since 2009, in that it has procured too many renewable projects, too quickly, and at too high a cost.” The Auditor General’s office also found that Ontario paid “double the current average cost” in North America for wind power.

Her estimate was that Ontario’s electricity customers paid out $9.2 billion just for wind and solar contracts. Worst of all, perhaps, is the fact that Ontario is paying top dollar for renewables –and then selling the power at bargain bin prices—because of the power surplus.

Readers may recall that in most parts of Ontario, we had a very windy Christmas Eve. That breezy situation cost us plenty; because we are forced to buy wind power even when we don’t need it, wind power makes up a substantial portion of the surplus power we sell off. On Christmas Eve, that was about $9.4 million, which is not counting what we paid Bruce Nuclear to “steam off” power, or what we paid some wind power producers to limit or “curtail” power production.

What would your local hospital have done with even a small part of that $9.4 million?

What could Ontario have done with the $339 million the Auditor General says we paid for curtailing surplus electricity between 2009 and 2014?

What would you have done with the $360 extra you paid last year (assuming you use only 800 KwH per month of power)?

Read the full article here. Good money after bad-January7

Parker Gallant is a former vice-president with TD Bank. He resides in Prince Edward County, and is vice-president of Wind Concerns Ontario.

 

Comments

Pat Cusack
Reply

Sincerely hope that Mr. Sunny Days gets to see this as well! Really shocking what is happening in our world at the moment. Very depressing actually. No wonder so many people are not well.

john de Vries
Reply

New technology is always a difficult thing to get off the ground…GOV is perhaps not the way but in a hundred years…things will look different…patience…regulation…and community consultation are essential….we need to phase out dirty electricity production…and at the same time we can no longer dam rivers….so here we are…what a mess!

Barbara
Reply

Just label anything that gets in the way of installing IWTs as “dirty”

IWTs are not new technology.

I have been following the money and the connections for about five years now. And if you did the same you might learn something.

Sommer
Reply

Barbara, at some point, in hopefully the not too distant future, all of your research that exists in archives on the key players in this whole money wasting scheme and all of the elected and paid ‘leaders’ who ushered in this mess will be exposed for all to see.

Bert Zegers
Reply

New technologies also often fails. That’s why we have a “smart” meter that is unable to do TOU (Time Of Use), and we are now “tiered”
Back to where we where before the “not so smart” meter.
And that is why we now heat only ONE room in our house with a woodstove, and the “new technology environmental friendly Geothermal” is degraded to a backup heater, because “new technology” Intermittent wind has more than doubled our electricity costs.

Parker Gallant
Reply

Generating electricity from wind turbines is very old technology that goes back to the 1800s, older than the diesel engine. Didn’t work then and still doesn’t work except to kill birds, bats, etc. and harm humans.

Check out this website: http://scienceonstreets.phys.strath.ac.uk/new/James_Blyth.html

Jane Hadden
Reply

Ontario needs to stop this insanity, there are rural seniors who have a choice heat, eat or sell their home they have lived in for years. We have enough wind farms in Ontario slow down for a while.!

Johana
Reply

Jane

Surrounded by 84 IWTs, I can’t escape the adverse effects the IWTs have had for > 6 years now – NO ONE is interested in buying my house and without that money, I CAN’T move away.

Bert Zegers
Reply

@ John.
Are you aware that Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity generation in the world?
That Intermittent wind is causing pollution?
That we don’t need Intermittent Wind, or have to dam rivers because we have surplus electricity?

Indeed ,what a mess this government made.

Chris
Reply

@Bert
The point is the are still building solar farms and wind farms and paying double and triple the cost of electricity to buy this. Yet because we have surplus have to pay other hydro areas to take the surplus hydro, it’s not like you can save it up. We are losing millions a day on having to get rid of this surplus, paying more for hydro that any other area in North America, and all this green power still only accounts for 4% of our production but represents a giant fraction of our bill. Do you see the problem. Natural Gas and hydro dams can make power for a a fraction of the cost. And have little polutution, or none. We have paid for the experminatation with Nuclear for decades on our bills which was a complete failure and now will pay for wind and solar for decades which is a complete failure. We need power when we need it not when the sun or wind decides to give it.

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