“Increasingly wrong”: wind power curtailment data shows wind not needed

 Curtailment of industrial wind power production in Ontario soars in 2015

A 2015 year-end review of my hourly estimates indicate the curtailment of output from industrial wind turbines (IWTs) soared in 2015. I show total curtailment exceeding 1 million megawatt-hours, which I assume Ontario ratepayers paid ~$127 million for regardless.

I show the potential supply curtailed rising to 10% from 6%.

WindCurtailmentByRegion

 

The increase in curtailment in the Bruce region is galling as an examination of output from one IWT location there revealed that during the peak electricity demand of summer it was often a net consumer of grid power rather than a contributor to supply.

Note in the above graphic that only the Northwest breaks a trend that sees higher curtailment equate to lower market valuation of the output of the zone’s IWTs, with a doubling of curtailment in the Bruce region matched by a halving of market value of production.

The increase in curtailment in 2015 is particularly relevant because the Large Renewable Procurement which the IESO (operator of the system) intends to proceed with in 2016 used about 6% as the level of curtailment it anticipated.

If more IWTs are added, they’ll be increasingly wrong.

In 2015 potential output from IWTs could have increased by about 2,500 gigawatt-hours (GWh), while I estimate curtailment increased by about 575 GWh – which indicates 22% of new supply ended in curtailment of wind.

There are other reasons curtailment would change, particularly in 2016. Up until January 1, 2016 flexible nuclear at Bruce Power was dispatched previous to IWTs, but the rules have now been rationalized. We may look back at 1 million MWh of wind curtailment as the good ol’ days.

On the other hand, new locations seem to be more heavily curtailed initially – and that could be a function of forecasting accuracy growing (as curtailment estimates are based on forecasts).

Here’s a look at my estimated percentage of curtailment for each IWT location the IESO reports on. …

Read more here.

Comments

Raymond Beaudry
Reply

All this curtailment at great cost to the consumer at 15 cents per kwh and destruction of beautiful lands and key habitat full of species at risk. Add to that noise, visual and night light pollution with all those flashing red lights. A real intrusive sight to see on Manitoulin Island thanks to Northland Power Inc.and their UCCMM partners where consultation means show me the money after they initially opposed this project.

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