Record-breaking wind power production means record-breaking costs to consumers
The latest report from the energy watchdog team of Parker Gallant and Scott Luft is out, with the news that November was a great month for power generation from wind … but not so great for Ontario’s ratepayers.
Delving further into wind’s volatility, one need only look at IESO who have responsibility for managing the electricity grid, forecasting our power needs, and ensuring that generators are ready for any spikes or drops in power demand to prevent blackouts or brownouts. The volatility caused by wind generation has become an issue that they must now deal with and it appears to be causing them problems. This is somewhat evident if one simply looks at the daily demand at hour 17 on December 2, 2014, as wind dropped relatively quickly as demand was rising. The result was the HOEP went from $30.23 per/MWh to $643.00 per MWh from one hour to the next. The question raised by this occurrence is: was this bad planning, or volatility caused by the sun sinking (no solar output) and the wind dying down coupled with ratepayers turning on their lights?
It seems as though IESO misses their forecasts with greater frequency as more and more renewables (both visible and embedded) are added to the grid. This would seem to imply that when the wind dies down or picks up, or when clouds pass overhead or when the sun actually shines on solar panels, they scramble to balance supply with demand. That begs these questions: has IESO the ability to manage the volatility of renewable energy? And, Why should they continue to fumble with adding unreliable sources as Ontario is already oversupplied with very low emission electricity?
Read the full report here: November 2014 Sets another record