Canadian Electricity Association: pro-wind bias affects credibility

Power for the Future
Who can Ontario’s ratepayers believe?
The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), founded in 1891, claims in its Mission Statement: “CEA is the authoritative voice of the Canadian electricity industry, promoting electricity as a key social, economic and environmental enabler that is essential to Canada’s prosperity.”
That “authoritative voice” recently claimed during National Electricity Month the “average Canadian” spends just $3.59 per day on electricity and on June 11th tweeted a Bob Chiarelli-ism: “The average #electricity bill in Canada is under $4 a day – that’s less than most Canadians pay for a morning coffee!”
This comes as no surprise as the Chair of the CEA is  Anthony Haines, also the CEO of Toronto Hydro who on his pay can afford $4 coffee.  Haines is often seen supporting Chiarelli when the Minister is defending himself about the Auditor General’s report on “smart meters,” or making an announcement about increasing our costs of the basic commodity.  The “average”1. Toronto Hydro Customer currently pays $5.31 per day ($1,940. per annum) for their hydro or the equivalent of two “morning” coffees while Hydro One customers pay about $6 per day.
The CEA in its “Data World” report claims Ontario’s electricity generation in 2012 was 140.4 terawatts (TWh),  but IESO reported 151.8 TWh of generation in their January 11, 2013 press release!   I am inclined to believe the data published in IESO’s Press Release rather than what the CEA provided.   Missing 11.4 TWh tarnishes the claim to be the “authoritative voice” of the Canadian electricity industry.
A 2008 report produced by the CEA contained the following statements:  “wind has little impact on the surrounding area, with the exception of aesthetic concerns related to visibility. For these reasons, wind power is touted as a preferred alternative to other non-renewable energy sources.”
“Wind energy also provides significant economic benefits to the rural communities where wind projects are constructed. These take the form of investment, jobs, municipal tax payments and land lease income for landowners.”
There are many rural Ontarians who would quickly dispute most if not all of the claims made in those two claims.
Interestingly, a few members of the CEA are also members of the Clean Air Renewable Energy Coalition, founded by Suncor and the Pembina Institute and includes Toronto Hydro and OPG. CAREC are strong proponents of renewable energy from wind and solar.
Needless to say “economics” under the guise of CAREC or the CEA is not an “enabler” for ratepayers, particularly in Ontario where, according to the Ontario Energy Board; 570,000 households live in energy poverty.2.
© Parker Gallant

  1. The average electricity bill in Ontario assumes consumption of 26.3 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day or 9,600 kWh annually.
  2. The generally accepted term of “energy poverty” is used to describe a household spending 10% or more of their disposable income on heat and electricity needs.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.

What's your reaction?


  • John Vincent
    Posted June 16, 2015 10:43 am 0Likes

    I’m not sure what people are doing to get such high bills. I’m a Hydro One rural customer. I have a small farm with the associated electrical load invloved, a work shop in use every day with machinary and two people, my wife and I, home 24/7 both retired. You would think our bills are through the roof. This past 30 day average is $3.15 per day. We make no special effort to pick between high cost and low cost power, we use it as we need it. Granted, the cost of power has gone up over the years due to all the various factors (mostly green energy), discussed on this forum. However, I can’t imagine what we’d have to do to get costs twice what they are now as indicate by your numbers above.

    • Scott Luft
      Posted June 16, 2015 11:05 am 0Likes

      There is a big communication divide between those who heat (water and air) with natural gas, or some other combustible, and those locked to electricity for their energy use.
      In my area $3.15 buys about 16 kWh – which is about half what I use but I’m yet to transfer over my hot water to natural gas, and there’s 4 of us in the household.
      If usage is to be meaningful, I think it needs to include all energy use, like:
      10,000 kWh a year (electricity)
      2 1/2 cords wood
      1000 cu. meters natural gas.
      Stealing a line I read the other day, 11 years ago I’d given up using fossil fuels in my house for good, but this past winter started using them for evil.
      It’s an improvement.

      • John Vincent
        Posted June 16, 2015 11:22 am 0Likes

        All I use is electricty for everyhting except the furnace, which is oil. Yup, I’m on a SMART meter, I’m very rural. I know all about Global adjustment fees and all that, There’s no gas within five miles of me, but there is a huge solar plant 2 miles from me (no, I’m not connected to them). May usage was : 950.0196 kWh , 2014 usage was: May 2014 to May 2015: 11506.4442 kWh, total electricity cost for that period: $1,075.68.
        I grant electric heat raises the bill. However, we’re talking electricty costs here, not wood nor any other combustible. My only combustible is oil in the furnace.
        We don’t make any special effort to save electricity, we have the a dishwasher and clothes drier and we don’t use a wash board to wash the cloths with either. My shop lights are on all day for most times, and as, I said, I have machinary constantly off and on throughout the day, and I’m not commercial.
        So I ask again, why the big difference in billings? What are others doing I’m not , or visa versa?

        • John Vincent
          Posted June 16, 2015 11:25 am 0Likes

          I might also add, as I said, i’m on a farm with about 20 head of cattle. They can consume up to 20 gallons of water a day, and I have to supply that, and the house, from my well pump. That’s not cheap either, but is on the same bill and consumption numbers as posted above.

          • Scott Luft
            Posted June 16, 2015 12:15 pm 0Likes

            I’m costing by total bill, not just the electricity consumption portion.
            My most recent 12 months of billing is $2533 for 13,257 kWh (no cows – but 2 sons at home), which works out to $6.94/day.
            Not sure how I’m paying 120% more a day when I’m only using 15% more per year, unless we aren’t comparing apples to oranges.
            Anyway, I’m not complaining about my own bill: having once lived clean on electricity, I do see the assault on affordability as unnecessary and therefore wickedly cruel to those still trying to do so.

      • John Vincent
        Posted June 16, 2015 2:17 pm 0Likes

        Scott: yes, I agree the Global adjustment fees , Hst and Debt Retirement, are not included in my costs, just electricity only. Is that what Haines is quoting in his figures? If you just look at the cost of electricity, he’s right. However, the add ons put the cost into a different snack racket. Maybe we should be seperating the cost ideas to seperate out the Global Adjustment, Debt Retirement etc out from the actual cost of electricity. i know they are locked into percentages for charging purposes. But if we’re talking apples and oranges here, we shoud be looking at actual costs in each section. That’s something that’s not normally done. The more green we have, the more Global fee, the more green we have the more delivery fee to pay for all the new transmission lines (some thng, by the way, toronto hydro isn’t saddled with that Hydro One is). If we insist on putting all these extra costs into one package as “cost of electricity” we are nver going to get people convinced there is a bigger problem, and what that problem is, beyond the cost of electricty, and how to tackle that problem.
        All the conservation in the world isn’t going to help on little bit if those add on fees keep climbing. People have to be made aware of why they are climbing and address that problem, not xlull them into a sense that conservation will solve your financial problem. It would make a better attack on Chiarelli and Haines rather than just saying the cost of electricity is high.

        • Scott Luft
          Posted June 16, 2015 5:01 pm 0Likes

          John, thanks for the response.
          Haines definately talks about all-in cost of electricity.
          I’m not certain what the best way to approach the issues are, but I think one point along the way is total bill divided by actual metered use.
          I think you have a point on transmission but I’d need to study more on it. It seems to me Ontario is distinct from U.S. jurisdictions in that its largest cities have lower costs than elsewhere, so I think you’re on to something.

          • John Vincent
            Posted June 16, 2015 7:09 pm 0Likes

            Scott: If you look at the transmission line costs, I think you’ll find all new transmission lines from green energy (and there are hundreds, dare I say thousands, of miles of new line being built to accommadate green energy) are all carried by Hydro One to the line switch at the facility. Urban utilities don’t have to carry the costs because there are no significant green projects with in the boundary of urban areas, therefore, they don’t have to string new and upgraded transmission. Consequently urban utility transmission cost will tend to be lower than Hydro One.

    • Wind Concerns Ontario
      Posted June 16, 2015 11:08 am 0Likes

      People are doing NOTHING to “get such high bills.” Typically, post-installation of the “smart” meters, bills doubled, with no appreciable increase in power use. Add to that the distribution charges, which are applied to a bill even if the power is shut off at the main, and you have a situation where rural residents are paying 30% more than urban customers on average. Then you have the unfortunate people who must rely on electricity for heat as they have no access to other sources of energy due to remote locations, etc.; we are hearing of people paying $800 a month and more for small residences.

  • Barbara
    Posted June 16, 2015 12:10 pm 0Likes

    Have a retired friend on Hydro One with now $500/month budget with electric heat (small house) which is about 20% of income. Has done all that can be done to conserve electricity and rates will continue to rise.
    My heat is from gas and use passive solar heat. Yet my Hydro One bills have tripled. House insulated for electric heat rating.

    • John Vincent
      Posted June 16, 2015 12:19 pm 0Likes

      Barbara I still ask the question why is mine so much lower than everyone elses. Its all very nice about what you’ve done to conserve, I’m not conserving and I’m paying as much as you lot. WHY?
      I might also add, that 20 gallons fo water for cattle should be 20 gallons of water per cattle beast.

      • Parker Gallant
        Posted June 16, 2015 3:40 pm 0Likes

        John, You appear to have a retail contract with Bullfrog or Direct Energy who bill you for the GA as a separate item. The GA picks up the costs of the contracted generation from wind, solar, natural gas etc etc. over the wholesale cost (HOEP) not to mention curtailed power, spilled hydro and conservation costs and now represents over 70% of the actual billed costs. for electricity. I do not have a retail contract and to my knowledge neither does Scott so those costs are simply included in the cost of electricity. Your $1,075.68 cost for electricity works out to 9.3 cents a kWh and with the DRC and the HST would bring it to11.3 cents. I would guess your actual bill is closer to $2,200. (or higher) annually.

        • John Vincent
          Posted June 16, 2015 6:30 pm 0Likes

          Parker: Hydro One is my supplier and the only one I purchase electricty from. I went to their web site and found my costs per hour/per day/ per month etc. for the exact cost of electricity.I consume.(posted above)
          I’m aware of the price captures of the Global adjustment fee, and their additional costs to the over all bill. I know the general public is not aware of this and how it influences their over all bill. I’m suggesting perhaps it would be a good move to see it broken down and let the public know, up front, what they are paying for.

          • Parker Gallant
            Posted June 16, 2015 8:37 pm 0Likes

            John, The average cost of “electricity” alone based on the OEB’s May 31, 2014 “Historical Electricity Prices” page: shows the cost at 9.25 cents per kWh versus your 9.3 cents per kWh all-in cost. That would mean you are getting for FREE the Delivery and Regulatory costs which typically add a minimum of 30% to our bills before the HST. That seems very strange but perhaps you may be one of the few beneficiaries of the Hydro One billing mess.

        • John Vincent
          Posted June 16, 2015 10:05 pm 0Likes


          • Barbara
            Posted June 17, 2015 2:40 pm 0Likes

            Don’t let Hydro One know what your bill is or they may look at your meter?

  • Barbara
    Posted June 16, 2015 7:44 pm 0Likes

    Hasn’t Parker been trying to explain this situation for about a year now?
    It’s the total bill that puts people into energy poverty and not just the cost of electricity by itself.

    • John Vincent
      Posted June 16, 2015 8:15 pm 0Likes

      Barbara. I’ve been trying to explain the make up for years now and people still don’t get it. Im suggesting the bill should reflect the make up of the costing and not one lump sum which is not refelctive of where the true cost increases are. you can’t fight high costs if you don’t know the key sources. the public is confused enough as it is.
      Here’s a letter, one of many, i wrote in 2010. It’s certainly dated now, but the gist is the same as the arguments now. nothing has changed:
      August 15, 2010
      Re : “Go live in a cave” by Mr Keith W. Strata, Thursday August 12, 2010
      I can appreciate where Mr. Strata is coming from. It can be frustrating in this day and age listening to the “not me’s” when a contribution is called for. However, I feel Mr. Strata and the individual to whom his letter responded about “Stop Whining” don’t have a full grasp of the windmill (turbine?) issue. Indeed, not many people, even those directly involved, have an appreciation of the meaning and effect of the large influx of windmills occurring as of late. This isn’t near the end either. I have downloaded up to six pages of further wind farm and solar panel developments on the books for the province.
      Most groups fight wind mill projects ( I refuse to call them the euphemistic term “farm”) based on health issues. Not an unreasonable argument, but not one that will carry the day in a debate…’s too subjective. The real issue is money; money that will come from every taxpayer in the province. Money that is used to build projects to line owners pockets who can’t deliver what they advertise. That money comes from Mr. Strata’s pocket as well as mine.
      Windmills are rated for a certain maximum output. The current crop runs in the 1.5 megawatt category. There are larger, but that’s seems to be the chosen size here, for the moment. The developers (owners) advertise these facilities as being able to supply this amount of power. That looks pretty impressive coming from wind. However, the truth is, these machines only put out about 14 % of that figure on a good day (don’t forget, wind is extremely variable and cannot be planned on). The IESO, who dispatch the electrical grid power and make the whole thing work, only factor these machines to reliably output 10% of their rated maximum output. From my observations even that is pretty optimistic. I’m sure if Mr. Strata bought himself a pickup truck, for big money, that was rated to carry ½ ton (1000 pounds) and he found he could only carry 100 pounds, he would have some words to say to the vendor.
      It goes beyond the machines themselves. A comprehensive electrical grid network is needed to get the power from these machines to the load centers. That system has to be built to the maximum rated power output of the machines, 1.5 MW. It’s quite a waste of money, OUR MONEY, when you find the system will only be used to 10% of its capacity.
      This problem affects all Ontarian s, not those with the machines in their back yards. It comes out of our pockets with no payback. We should all be looking into them to be sure we are getting our money’s worth because …WE AREN”T !!
      John Vincent
      RR#1 Woodville

      • Scott Luft
        Posted June 16, 2015 10:32 pm 0Likes

        Too much here for me to jump into tonight, but I understand John’s frustration here – and it reminds me of the work co-written by Parker and Professor Fox, where they listed additional costs beyond generation.
        I also wrote about some of these issues back in the day (2011), and people like John maybe had some impact as the OEB did ignore some Ontario Hydro spending requests (sort of) re: transmission spending to enable unbridled spending on wind (and solar).
        What I meant to claim a need to study was the spreading of transmission costs – and particularly of spending within local distributuion company territories. If, as I suspect, the Wynne government looks to close Pickering and Darlington, that’s nearly 8000 megawatts that need to be moved to Toronto from very far away, so the issue will only be growing.
        I think this might be one benefit of a private Hydro One, which could demand an LDC pay for the wires if they wires are needed just to service that LDC.

        • Barbara
          Posted June 17, 2015 2:53 pm 0Likes

          How can a guaranteed supply of electric power be sold to the U.S. under long term contracts without base-load of nuclear and hydro to back up the supply contracts?

          • Scott Luft
            Posted June 17, 2015 4:52 pm 0Likes

            I don’t believe such contracts are imminent, however…
            net revenue requirement contracts force Ontario’s ratepayers to pay the full cost of natural gas capacity, so the output is sold for only the cost of the natural gas fuel.
            A con where wind is contracted for export and propped up by this subsidy for gas when it’s not windy is possible.
            I doubt it’s possible, politically, for OPG to sell it’s legacy power from the Niagara and St. Lawrence plants into the U.S.
            Nuclear will probably be too pricey, and New York’s governor is a kook who fights everything he doesn’t understand, so unless the U.S. bungles cutting coal, I don’t see exports ever being profitable – but scams are profitable for some entities (export traders).

        • Barbara
          Posted June 17, 2015 6:05 pm 0Likes

          Agree this won’t happen right away. But given the number of coal-fired plants that will be closed without U.S. replacement, power will have to be obtained elsewhere.
          Canada is the nearest place to obtain power. Why is the Lake Erie Connector being built? Western Pennsylvania has already shut down power plants without replacement.
          Most of the U.S. population lives east of the Mississippi River where most of the power plant closings are or will be.
          California already gets most its power from outside of the state and then claims to be “green”.

        • Barbara
          Posted June 17, 2015 8:21 pm 0Likes

          WIKIPEDIA: Energy use in California
          Due to the high electricity demand, California imports more electricity than any other state.
          Hydroelectric from the Pacific Northwest and coal & natural gas electric power from the desert Southwest.
          Diablo Canyon Nuclear is now the only nuclear power plant still operating in California.

  • Greg Latiak
    Posted June 17, 2015 11:05 am 0Likes

    It is a worthwhile exercise to look at the conversion efficiencies for different energy sources and think in terms of dollars per delivered btu into the living space. And if the house was designed for electric heat, with insulation to match and NO ductwork, retrofitting the house to move to another source of heat is not inexpensive. Contractors has suggested 10,000 or more — that buys a lot of power, even here. We have electric baseboards, a heatpump and are passively solar heated in the winter. Computer thermostats heat the spaces we use for the time we use them — the rest of the house stays 14C. Being rural, we also pump our own water – the heater is on a timer. Every identifiable parasitic load is on a switchable powerbar. We cook with propane, which is primarily for the critical standby generator (gets more use than we would like). We looked at solar panels, but at our age a 20 year breakeven is unaffordable. The $4/day cost is not that far off for daily consumption, excluding heat, but that is per person, not per household. So an average bill of $240/month plus taxes is what we see. But our winter bills are roughly double this — so it is doable but not without constant vigilance and a few extra sweaters.
    As far as I can tell, not one privatization scheme has realized the improved availability and lower costs promised. Why should this be any better? Following the Enron model we can all look forward to ever higher costs and less reliability and the interconnection complexity grows.

  • John Vincent
    Posted June 17, 2015 11:49 am 0Likes

    I see no reason why privatisation should be cheaper than “owned by the people” . Private companies are there to make money for the share holder, and they will make as much as they can or the share holders will be on the backs of the board members. Its a fools folly to think “private” is cheap. however, the canadian (ontario public hasn’t learned that yet.

  • Greg Latiak
    Posted June 17, 2015 12:17 pm 0Likes

    One other thought crosses my mind. This whole business seems to have turned into a ‘when you are up to your … in alligators it is sometimes hard to remember that the objective was to drain the swamp’. In this case, lest we forget, the point of green, sustainable energy was to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses and fight global warming. Instead, between the gas plants backfilling for the big pinwheels (wind farms) and people converting to wood or other combustion process for heat — the cure is advancing the disease faster than ever.

    • John Vincent
      Posted June 17, 2015 12:35 pm 0Likes

      Gee, Haven’t I heard that from my lips and pen before? As I’ve always mainteained from the start of this whole debacle, the only green in “Green Energy” is the colour of the money going into the pockets of the producers. Always has been the case, always will be. There was never any intention to make any planet green……..just to make money. A thing they are doing quite successfully, along with a few land owners.
      SInce I’m dragging out old letters I’ve written to the papaers, here’s another one that’s close to your point, date 2010, five years ago:
      To The Editor : Kawartha Lakes This Week
      Date: April 14, 2010
      According to the lead article in “Kawartha Lakes This Week” paper our area is to be “blessed with a massive influx of new “green” electrical generation (read: windmills and solar panels).
      Much has been written, in this and other paper’s pages, about the controversy of new windmill installations in areas of Kawartha Lakes. The most recent of those to make the press was Manvers. In all that has been written in the public press little has been said about the real cost and the effectiveness of wind farms (a euphemistic term), and now solar panels. Rather the arguments against wind mill installations have been centered toward health issues as a result of their installation. I find it strange the financial side, and efficiency side hasn’t been covered. If it was I’m sure many would see we are being sold a “pig in a poke”.
      Currently there is about 1100 MW’s of installed wind mill capacity in Ontario. Most of that is in south western Ontario and Bruce and Huron Counties. These are feeding into the Ontario electrical system. According to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (System Control Center in the old Ontario Hydro), these wind mills seldom reach anywhere near that rated capacity. As per their web site, in April 2009 ( a windy month) the total output was only 41 percent of the installed capacity. A typical summer month for the same year, the output was only 14 percent of installed capacity. Not a very efficient installation. This appears to be consistent with the world wide average of 20 percent capacity factor. Europeans have found offshore installations tend to get in the region of 27 percent capacity factor. What is consistent is the more wind turbines in service reduces the capacity factor. That is, the more wind turbines installed means they reach their capacity less because the earliest turbines are installed in the best wind areas, those installed later are in less desirable, therefore less producing areas.
      In short your return on investment is very poor.
      Add to that, since the turbines only put out 14 percent of their capacity, the difference must be made up somewhere. After all, the wind doesn’t always blow. So when the output is zero, or close to it, some other form of generation has to make up the difference. Nuclear plants can’t change load rapidly to meet changing wind conditions. Hydraulic generating stations make power too cheaply to spill water. That load swing has to be made up by coal fired stations. The can adjust load reasonably quickly, and are always there to back any load loss from other generating sources.
      Since Mr. McGuinty wants to scrap all coal fired stations by 2014, and wants to increase windmill capacity during that time, what will offset power output swings from wind generation after coal plants are gone? Arguments have been offered that with more windmills, the difference will be made up by windmills in other areas of the province. Not likely so. The wind blows across a swath of the province more or less equally. Therefore all windmills will follow a trend of max output for the conditions, to minimum output for the conditions at the same time leaving total power out put swings sometimes down to zero. Since the least wind is found in the heaviest load season, the summer, what makes up the difference with the coal fired stations gone.
      The only big coal fired stations left are Nanticoke GS on Lake Erie, and Lambton GS on the St. Claire River. Atikoken and Thunder Bay GS’s are in north western Ontario and much smaller plants. Lambton GS puts out 1920 MW’s and Nanticoke GS puts out 3640 MW’s any time we want it. If we assume that a windmill can put out two megawatts, that would mean we would need 2,780 wind mills to match the capacity of the two coal fired stations to be done away with. Since our current crop of windmills has only a 14 percent capacity factor, that equates to a lot of wind mills we need.
      So what’s driving this massive push to “green energy” Yes, I know, the environment argument. If that is the case, why can windmills and solar panels bypass most of the environmental criteria? After all, they are an industrial installation and should be in an industrial park; however, as long as they are 550 meters (a little more than ¼ mile, or ½ a kilometer) from your house they can be installed and you can’t do anything about it. Just let some other factory try that. Also bear in mind, these installations have reached sizes up to 7 MW and upwards of 400 feet high (roughly 133 meters).
      What’s driving this is not the environment, but money. Money from your pocket to the pockets of the windmill producers, windmill owners (power producers) and to a certain extent, land owners on whose property the wind mill sits. Don’t be misled; the big driving force behind “green” is money. Wether the final result makes any difference to “green’ is of little consequence, money making is the key function. Windmill companies are given significant amounts of money to put these machines up, they are also guaranteed upwards of 80 cents/kw hr for power. This subsidy is given for a period of twenty years. The life expectancy of a windmill is twenty years. Anybody would put up a project like this with no environmental hassels, put it where you want, get money from the public purse to build it and get a guaranteed income for the life of the machine.
      Where does the Ontario money come from? …….Our pockets. The HST is coming into play at the same time this program is beginning. Think there might be a connection?
      Public………….wake up!!…………we are being scammed big time!
      John Vincent
      RR#1 Woodville

  • Gary
    Posted June 17, 2015 4:34 pm 0Likes

    About 6 years ago seismic testing was done at Bruce Power for a “C” build…..the purpose of C was to supply the U.S..

    • John Vincent
      Posted June 17, 2015 10:35 pm 0Likes

      If they were planning a Bruce ‘C’ build, seismic tesst would be normal. Tests were done in the 70’s and seismic restraints were installed in Bruce A on various critical peices of equipment. Bruce B would have been treated like wise as the plant was constructed.

  • Greg Latiak
    Posted June 17, 2015 6:39 pm 0Likes

    We have all been saying that. Even the provincial auditor has observed that the lack of business case analysis makes the whole enterprise dubious. One suspects that if the head of the Provincial party had not been head of a wind company we might have done something very different. Anyhow it all summons up visions of Alice in Wonderland. Rationality and common sense have very little to do with what our dear leaders are doing. Now where was that little bottle labeled ‘drink me’…

  • John Vincent
    Posted June 18, 2015 5:44 am 0Likes

    Peter: unless the coal plants are life expired, they can be converted to gas firing without the capital expenditure of new plants.

  • Greg Latiak
    Posted June 18, 2015 7:36 am 0Likes

    We are watching the construction of the new Mississauga/Oakville gas plant out our window — it is sited right next to the idle Lennox gas/oil power plant. Somehow I don’t think capital expenditure moderation is on their minds. Also, long distance transmission of power is not lossless — have seen a variety of numbers between 9% and 30%, depending on where the measurement endpoints and the agenda for the calculation. And there are already winter natural gas availability issues , so fueling the thing will be ‘interesting’. No, very little of the entire program makes sense in either economic or engineering terms that I understand. Sometimes it seems like building an expressway in the middle of nowhere — an impressive piece of work… but what was the point?

    • John Vincent
      Posted June 18, 2015 8:22 am 0Likes

      Greg. You are quite right in your observations. Line losses can be signiifcant over long distances, and they do cost. With line losses come reduced voltages at the receiving terminal because of those losses through resistance in the wires and mutual induction from one phase to another. Quebec Hydro, on their James Project, had to install mid circuit capacitor units to correct the inductive losses and boost voltage.
      This is why the generators should be located nearest the major load source. Putting small generators a long way from the intended load can result in little power getting to the load from the generator. Liken it to a water hose, the longer the hose, the less pressure out the end, and ultimately, the less water out the end.
      Its unfortunate Lennox wasn’t reactivated on gas, but then again that wouldn’t help the money makers of Green Energy would it. There has been much said about the Oakville gas plants, but don’t forget, they are only two in about thirty in the province you never hear about.
      As an aside note, I’m sure you and others are aware the first four units at the Hearn plant were on gas from the 80’s. The plant is nothing more than a shell now, with a brand new gas plant along side it.

      • Barbara
        Posted June 18, 2015 5:46 pm 0Likes

        Isn’t there an issue with the age of the boilers in steam power generation? Age range about 50 years.
        These boilers wear-out just like home furnace boilers wear-out. Gas conversion possible with newer boilers.
        The U.S has many old plants where it would be too costly to refurbish them.
        New power plants were not built in the States due to environmental pressures and too costly to resolve these issues in court. Decision was made to run the old plants as long as possible and then close them down without replacement.
        Learned this from a person who worked in the power plant sector.

        • John Vincent
          Posted June 18, 2015 6:35 pm 0Likes

          Barbara: i worked in the coal fired power plants, nuclear power plants and transmission. I’m a licensed stationary engineer.. I’ve never seen any written rule that a boiler can only last 50 years. i’ve worked boilers older than that.
          Power plant boilers are water tube boilers and kept in very good condition, at least under Ontario hydro auspices they were. Tubes blew from time to time and they were preplaced, and the boiler kept on going.
          Lennox GS in Kingston wouldn’t have had 50 years of serive on it yet anyway. Its had too much down tme for political reasons.
          when the rotating equipment is worn and costs to much to maintain any more, that will certainly put an end to a power plant when its efficency has dropped below a certain point.

          • Barbara
            Posted June 18, 2015 7:20 pm 0Likes

            And it is information such as this that the public doesn’t know about.
            Then plants can’t be replaced due to environmental objections, the power source is gone.

          • Barbara
            Posted June 21, 2015 12:35 pm 0Likes

            A hard-rock boring machine was purchased for the Falls hydro project when a soft-rock boring machine was needed.
            Engineering smarts?

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