Wind flat as power demands peak in Ontario heat wave

Don't count on wind power to help during a heat wave: it's not there.
Don’t count on wind power to help during a heat wave: it’s not there.

Wimpy wind falls flat

Just as Ontario suffered from a heat wave   our 3,217 megawatt (MW) capacity of wind suffered a failure, producing a miniscule 13 MWh (hours) at 10 AM on July 27, 2015, as demand ramped up.

Ontario’s numerous industial wind developments were producing at .004% of their rated capacity.

To look at this in more detail, during hour “10” of that day, wind produced .00066% of total Ontario demand of 19,469 MWh.

The only good news in this is the wholesale price of electricity (HOEP) during that hour was almost $82.00/MWh so it only cost ratepayers about $700.00 — if one assumes those 13 MWh were exported!

Hardly reliable and hardly dependable.

So, why is Energy Minister Chiarelli seeking another 300 MW of capacity in his latest directive to the IESO?

Parker Gallant

July 28, 2015

1. Highest ever recorded tempature in Ontario on July 27th was in 1919 when it reached 36  C

 

Editor’s note: the Ontario Ministry of Energy may be reached here.

Comments

John Vincent
Reply

..ahh, but isn’t wind great?!!…..(tongue in cheek)

NIABY
Reply

When the wind is blowing lightly or isn’t blowing at all, like on very hot, still days, the wind turbines have to re-adjust to face the wind. This requires running motors, which requires electricity.

So not only are they not producing electricity during peak periods, they’re drawing electricity from the grid and increasing peak demand! They’re making the problems worse!

Jjoe
Reply

The average reliability rate for wind turbines is 30% of rated capacity. These examples are even worse.

John Vincent
Reply

In this area, I think 30% is optomistic. Looking at the before I’ve seen figures from 15 to 20%.

Matt
Reply

July 28th at 11 a.m. 8MW from wind. The turbines are currently using more electricity for the controls and for cooling then what they are producing.
Several wind farm were in the planing in 2002 -2004 but in order to get financing, wind studies had to be conducted. These studies found that wind will not exceed 20% efficiency and therefore none of those early plans materialized. Only the recent subsidies make the wind projects profitable.

Bob Lyman
Reply

Every conceivable argument in favour of Ontario spending billions of dollars on wind energy has been debunked. The claim that it was needed to allow the phaseout of coal ignores the fact that coal was made redundant by falling electricity demand and growing nuclear power capacity. The claim that wind is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (if you buy the catastrophic global warming claim) was similarly disproven by falling demand and rising generation from other sources. The claim that it is economical is disproven by the use of above-market FIT rates and legally-imposed first-to-the-grid rights, neither of which would be needed if wind were really competitive. The claim that it is reliable and can substitute for other dispatchable and reliable generation sources is disproven by the fact that wind is rarely available when demand peaks. The claim that it is environmentally benign is disproven by the thousands of dead birds and bats killed. The claim that wind power would create jobs has been disproven by studies in the U.K. and Spain that show that, for every job created by the wind industry, two to three are lost in the economy because of higher electricity rates. There is only one justification left – wind enriches the renewable energy companies that supply wind equipment, many of whom are headed by people close to the Ontario Liberal Party. What a high price Ontario pays for such a meagre and unworthy benefit!

wgulden
Reply

It is easy to use “efficiency” and “capacity factor” interchangeably, but they are technically quite different.

Efficiency is how much of wind’s kinetic energy is converted to electricity. It is limited by Betz’s law at 59%, and for real-world turbines it varies greatly by wind speed, maxing out at capturing maybe 70% of Betz. An average is maybe half of that.

Capacity factor is the percentage of the nameplate capacity that the turbine produces. Almost always, it is this number that is being discussed, not efficiency. A few premium spots run into the 40’s, but most places are in the 25-30% range.

wgulden
Reply

Oh, and “capacity value” is what Parker is discussing here. It is how much production you can count on. As Parker shows, for wind it approaches zero, no matter how the industry tries to spin it (yuk, yuk) with statistics.

Sommer
Reply

Meanwhile, victims with adverse health impacts experience relief when the turbines are off.
This is beyond insane.

John Vincent
Reply

It amazies me its taken years for people to wake up to all these fatcs.

Barbara
Reply

And it took years to gather this kind of information. Things have to happen before people wake up!

John Vincent
Reply

Not really Barbara, I was writing about this 5 years ago, as you’ve seen in an old letter I published on another thread on this site. It’s easy to figure out, no wind, no power, and for solar, no sun no pwer. pretty basic.
Mor windmills in a no wind area,doesn’t mean more power from less wind, it means no power form more windmills. No one has learned that yet either.

John Vincent
Reply

Barbara: I just pulled an old “letter to the editor” I wrote back in 2011 that indicates what is now being said about the vagaries of wind and the high cost for nothing. Back then people didn’t believe it, but if you know the power system and the technology, its pretty obvious. Here’s that old letter:

Re Ms. Quackenbush’s letter : Green Energy is the Answer
Thursday February 10, 2011

I’ve written several letters in this forum on the apparent “green energy “ revolution and its unfortunate to see Ms. Quackenbush resort to attacks such as “self centeredness and NIMBYism” to try and get a pro green point across. I would suggest she is being blinded by the FIT contributions for her family’s farm installed solar panel.
“Green energy” as it has been translated under the provincial government’s initiative is not sustainable. It is extremely costly, a cost that is no way reflective of state of the art technology. Granted what is put out in the way of windmills and solar panels may be state of the art, but they are in no way self sustaining with regard to our power system and our electrical needs, and never can be. This is why solar panels and windmills have such high subsidies and long (20 year) contracts to keep them in place.
Because of their variable outputs there product is worthless on the open power market and it makes the current power system, potentially, more unstable as more of the units come on line. This tied to the contracts that say we must take all power produced by them will increase our electrical bills phenomenally with every new solar panel and windmill installed. Our recent experience of having to pay others to take our electrical power will escalate as McGuinty pushes to raise the windmill capacity to another 5000 MW. What we actually get from that will be a fraction of that capacity due to the vagaries of wind, however, we will have to pay someone else to take that power, and Ms. Quakenbush’s solar power, when we don’t need it and nature decides the wind will blow and the sun will shine.
To put the coal fired power plant demon in perspective, southern Ontario has two coal fired power plants still producing. As I write this letter on a Friday morning with the peak coming in, two coal fired units are in service, one at Lambton GS and one at Nantickoke GS. Both units are far less than full load, but are there to counteract the unpredictable nature of “green energy”. The current windmill loading, by the way, is 480 MW’s. That’s less than a third of the installed capacity.
By comparison, the five US states bordering Canada roster 144 coal fired generating plants all producing. Add to that the new units being built. Coal energy factors in, in the US at 2.83 cents/kw Hr compared to our solar panel cost of 85 cents/ KWHr and windmills at 25 cents /Kw Hr. Their’s looks even better when we pay them to take high green cost power we are paying for.
Ms. Quackenbush suggests the new smart meters will allow us to reduce our peak usage and so our power costs. I’m afraid she is being severely fooled, as are we all. The cost saving we can make are pennies and not dollars. I had my first opportunity to look at my power charts and rates from the new smart meters. To think we, as individuals, are going to be helped by this metering is like expecting manna from heaven. This is a topic for another letter.
. I would suggest Ms. Quackenbush learn more about electrical power systems, how they operate and what it means to the paying people of Ontario, and not just those with these machines in their backyards. We are all affected and will be severely financially effected in the future by this pig in a poke.

John Vincent
RR#1 Woodville

Barbara
Reply

True John, and perhaps “data” would have been a better choice of words instead of “information”.

John Vincent

Accepted

Khris
Reply

Point of intrest. I drove to Sarnia around 10.00 AM and looked at over 80 Windmills around Strathroy NOT ONE WAS SPINNING same on my return around 2.00 PM. I found them to be very distracting. Temp was 30 Plus. One more great waste of Tax money

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

This is the crux of the issue on demand: in the seasons of greatest demand for power, wind in Ontario is at its lowest.

ken kreibich
Reply

Wind power not dependable, unreliable, too expensive because OPG has signed long term deliver all you make to the grid at prohibitive prices, stop this industry destroying cost.

Scott Luft
Reply

OPA. Whatever sins OPG has made, this nonsense isn’t one of them.

John Vincent
Reply

OPG has had nothing to do with wind mills or solar, except the one at Pickering NGS which was put in over ten years ago. By today’s standards, this is a puny machine.

[…] Highest ever recorded tempature in Ontario on July 27th was in 1919 when it reached 36 C. (Source: Wind flat as power demands peak in Ontario heat wave ) Ontario electricity customers: in pain with more to […]

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