More bites from Ontario’s power system (2)

Buzz buzz
Buzz buzz

More from Parker Gallant on the pesky goings-on in Ontario’s power system.
Oxymorons and the Ministries of the Environment and Climate Change & Natural Resources
Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) for wind turbine projects have been issued at a furious pace by the MoE&CC who declare:  “By law, you will need a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for most solar, wind or bio-energy projects in Ontario.”  The odd thing about this is, it is the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) that maintain the “species at risk” list!  It would appear the current Environment Minister, Glen Murray, outranks the Minister of MNR, Bill Mauro.
Murray’s Ministry gleefully handed our recent REA to encompass the full dimensions of the significant and Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Eastern Ontario by granting approvals to the White Pines Wind Project (29 bird and bat choppers) and another one to Windelectric’s Amherst Island Wind Energy Project (26 bird and bat choppers).   This completely covers most of the IBAs in Eastern Ontario: Prince Edward County’s South Shore, Amherst Island and Wolfe Island.  It seems completely at odds with both Ministries mandates: to save the environment and protect species at risk, all for the purpose of saving the world from “climate change”.
The Ontario answer is to sponsor the erection of bird and bat choppers producing intermittent power when its not needed and usually exported and backed-up with fossil fuel generation.
A oxymoronic event of crazed destruction with no benefit to the environment!
Nepotism? or just a happy coincidence?
As most Ontario taxpayers know MaRS Discovery District, a registered charity, was bailed out by the provincial government in respect to their Phase 2 building which failed to attract sufficient tenants. It was recently reported some of the space in the building is now being used by the resident tenants (public service employees) for them to unwind playing ping pong and foosball.  The bailout was estimated to cost taxpayers $400 million, even though MaRS annually receives grants from the Provincial Government.  Since the MaRS charity was activated by Premier Dalton McGuinty in September 2005 those grants have totaled approximately $240 million yet they still needed a bailout.
The bailout for the Phase 2 debacle was provided by another arm of the Provincial Government under the guidance of Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development Employment and Infrastructure via another entity: Infrastructure Ontario (IO), that received a $200 million repreive of its debt by the same ruling party back when David Livingston was the CEO and before he was appointed as Premier McGuinty’s “Chief of Staff”!   The new CEO of IO is Bert Clark who just happens to be the son of Ed Clark who in June 2015 was appointed as Premier Wynne’s “Business Advisor” and had previously chaired two panel reports for the Premier with the latest one recommending the partial sale of Hydro One.   Hmm, an interesting co-incidence!  IO was also examined by Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, who noted in the 2014 annual report:  “according to Infrastructure Ontario’s estimates, the tangible costs are still almost $8 billion higher than if the public sector had been able to contract out the projects to the private sector and oversee their successful delivery.”
MaRS Discovery District’s March 31, 2014 annual report under Note 7 states:  “The organization holds a 100% interest in Phase 2 Inc., at a cost of $1 dollar.”  That should give the taxpayers a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that the value of that building is not enough to even buy a small “Timmies” coffee!
Summing up the above we have, in my opinion, what appears to be nepotism, a “charity” dependent on grants from the province and who value their large expansion project at $1 dollar backstopped by a loan from a provincial entity managing PPP (public private partnerships) by handing out an extra $8 billion of taxpayer money.
Keep moving folks, nothing to see here!
OPG, now being paid to spill clean hydro 
OPG just released their 2nd Quarter financial results and profits (after PIL [payments in lieu of taxes]) were up 64% to $189 million even though they were forced to spill 1.2 terawatts (TWh) or enough to power 125,000 average Ontario households for a full year.   As noted in their report OPG now receive payment for those spilled TWh caused by SBG (surplus baseload generation) raising the final costs of their generation to ratepayers.  What that means for ratepayers is that we now pay for:
–all spilled hydro,
–all constrained wind generation
–all constrained solar-power generation
–all steamed-off nuclear and those
–idling gas plants
It would be a delightful act of “transparency” if IESO were to tell us ratepayers how much all of the foregoing cost ratepayers but they seem reluctant to do so (see above under IESO’s view of transparency).  A rough guess by this writer would suggest an annual cost north of $1 billion!
OPG also reported on Total Ontario Demand for the first six months and it reportedly was 69 TWh, down from 71.1 TWh in the comparable 2014 period.  Conservation must be working as the 2.1 TWh reduction would have been enough to power 219,000 average Ontario households.  Perhaps this should be a signal to IESO that they needn’t spend $400 million annually telling us to “conserve”!   With the prices rising ratepayers have done what they can to stop the incessant climbing of their hydro bills.
(C) Parker Gallant
Last installment tomorrow!

What's your reaction?


  • Bob Lyman
    Posted September 1, 2015 5:04 pm 0Likes

    The contradiction is striking between the genuine goals of protecting species at risk and the contrived goal of addressing climate change through emissions reductions that do not even measure on the global scale. It illustrates how so many in the environmental movement have either lost their way as to what environmental protection is all about or have been steamrolled by the radical climate change juggernaut and its beneficiaries in the wind and solar industries. Shame on them.

  • Sommer
    Posted September 1, 2015 5:32 pm 0Likes

    I agree 100% with you Bob!
    Thank you again for another astute assessment Parker.
    I hope this article gets the coverage it deserves.

  • Bert Zegers
    Posted September 1, 2015 6:30 pm 0Likes

    Ontario electricity generation is 88% emissions free today. The reason we have 12% natural gas is to adjust intermittent wind power.
    In July wind averaged 3% only. This 3% did not replace natural gas but another emissions free fuel.
    Because of natural gas backup for wind in Ontario, wind is actual generating emissions.
    Wind projects are destroying our environment and our economy .
    Thanks to Parker.

  • Andrew Watts
    Posted September 1, 2015 7:06 pm 0Likes

    For Parker! I think you are probably aware of the following but just in case you aren’t!
    Did you know that soon after Chiarelli took away the IESO’s ‘independence’ they chose to change the way they track wind energy output?
    They no longer even bother to track actual energy output but base their wind figures on wind speeds as forecasted by our weather stations.
    Andrew Watts

  • Barbara
    Posted September 1, 2015 10:45 pm 0Likes

    Energy Matters, Jan.23, 2015
    ‘Wind Blowing Nowhere’
    Energy policymakers assume that combining wind generation over large areas will flatten out the spikes and fill in the troughs and therefore produce a reliable supply of electricity.
    The article explains why this doesn’t work.
    There is too much money involved in the renewable energy situation to convince people that this won’t work.
    Maybe only the loss of businesses, jobs and energy poverty will wake people up.

  • Parker Gallant
    Posted September 1, 2015 11:13 pm 0Likes

    Tom Adams back in 2006 looked at this in Ontario when he was with Energy Probe and found exactly the same thing. The EP report he prepared can be found here:
    Things haven’t changed as the wind cannot be counted on.

    • Barbara
      Posted September 2, 2015 11:45 am 0Likes

      Energy Matter, Aug.27,2015
      ‘Inter- Connectors – who needs them?’
      “There’s only one thing that renewable energy advocates like more than plastering hillsides with turbines and that is building transmission lines and inter-connectors, deemed necessary to make it all work.”
      Ontarians are just beginning to get the “bills” for renewable energy.

  • Greg
    Posted September 2, 2015 2:35 am 0Likes

    Great article Parker. In my 54 years I have never seen the likes of such a provincial government that is so inept. The fact that they think that the astronomical cost of the Green Energy scam are warranted for negligible Co2 emission reduction, does not return any value to the Ontario Taxpayer. Any decline in CO2 is more of a direct result of the exodus of 400,000 manufacturing companies fleeing the province due to non-competitive energy cost couple with high taxes. The Wynne government economic policy has significantly harmed our province, With a debt of over 300Billion. there is no sign of the Wynne government easing up on spending or addressing the debt. I pray for this province, we may never recover ……

  • Brenda
    Posted September 2, 2015 7:45 am 0Likes

    When we see this all put out in black and white in confirms what we all know, and proves it. Yet what can be done? Nothing. We are to just hand over our money again and again to the most scandilous group of people. A mafia so to speak. And it seems we are to just sit back and watch our once booming province, go into the abyss of wynnes liberal debt, all for her rich little thugs.

  • Greg Latiak
    Posted September 2, 2015 7:49 am 0Likes

    If I ever had any doubts that we have fallen down a rabbit hole this removed them. The juxtaposition of falling demand, contracting ever more generation but spending money (over and above just soaring prices) to encourage even less use, the redefinition of generation as ‘what we could have produced’ (which I am sure drives payments vs actual production) and that wind farm development seems targeted at bird sanctuaries and migration routes. All for a source of GHG that is only 9% of Ontario’s output. It is beyond madness… and in the background, referring no doubt to migratory birds, I hear the Red Queen cackling… off with their heads.

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