Real-world evidence shows wind power is expensive
… and produced when it’s not needed. Consumers pay big
December 11, 2017
The wind power industry continues its refrain that wind power is cheap and getting cheaper … meanwhile, real-world stats tell a different story.
Energy commentator Parker Gallant has done analysis on two December days in Ontario last week, and shown that because wind power is produced out of phase with demand (this is a fact), it contributes to power surplus and waste.
“IESO forecasts indicated that wind could have delivered 23.8% (177,100 MWh) of total Ontario demand (755,200 MWh) via the 4,200 MW of grid-connected wind capacity. But wind turbines have a bad habit of generating power when it’s not needed (middle of the night, spring and fall),” says Gallant. “So the intermittent power must often be curtailed (constrained/wasted but paid for). It was! The IESO curtailed 41.8% of their forecast generation meaning 74,000 MWh were not used! Via the contracts in place with wind power companies, IESO is obliged to pay for both delivered and curtailed power at prices for grid-accepted power at $135/MWh and $120/MWh for curtailed power.”
In fact, Gallant says,”The cost of the delivered wind power for those two days was almost three times the current levied* ‘average’ cost of 8.22 cents/kWh, and 3.7 times the off-peak cost of 5.9 cents/kWh.”
Meanwhile, the surplus of wind meant other sources of power — clean, emissions-free hydro and nuclear — were constrained, too.
At this moment, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is considering approvals for five more wind power projects in Ontario. Intermittent, undependable, expensive power that isn’t needed, and will certainly add to costs for Ontario’s electricity consumers.
Read Parker Gallant’s post here.