Wind farms may need storage capacity to qualify for government contracts, Chiarelli tells CanWEA

Renews, October 6, 2015

Ontario still backing wind

Ontario still backing wind image

The Ontario government remains committed to wind energy, but it is looking to shake up procurement, provincial energy minister Bob Chiarelli told delegates at the Canadian Wind Energy Association conference in Toronto.
Canada’s largest wind energy market now has 4GW of installed capacity, another 2GW due online in the next few years and two 300MW calls for tender in the works. The province has yet to spell out further wind energy targets.
“Wind will continue to play an important role in ensuring the viability and strength of Ontario’s energy supply,” said Chiarelli. However, “the years ahead will include yet more change and evolution for procurement”.
Adding more intermittent generation resources to the grid creates reliability issues and so Ontario is considering bundling generation projects with storage technologies or other adaptations in upcoming calls for energy.
“This innovation could be an important step to more competitive and dynamic capacity procurement structures,” said Chiarelli.
“In the future, instead of dedicated wind or solar or renewable procurements the Independent Electricity System Operator may simply be tasked with procuring zero emission generation and have specific capacity requirements that need to be met,” said Chiarelli.
“To be very clear, these are changes that our ministry and agencies foresee as likely coming but we appreciate that this sort of change to procurements needs to be thoughtful and methodical and it won’t happen overnight.”
The IESO expects to start stakeholder consultation in 2016.
CanWEA president Robert Hornung said the wind industry has been “phenomenally successful” and now must figure out how to carve out a bigger role as Ontario’s energy system evolves.
As appetite wanes for coal, nuclear and natural gas generation “now’s the time to start thinking about a vision for an electricity system that is built around renewables like wind and to work with utilities and system operators to implement it,” he said.
Image: McLean’s Mountain wind farm in Ontario (GE)
What's your reaction?


  • Gord Schneider
    Posted October 6, 2015 10:44 am 0Likes

    God help us all.

  • Roy Merkley
    Posted October 6, 2015 11:02 am 0Likes

    Gord Schneider — You could not have said it better. Deliver us from these ‘hair brained’ ideas.

  • Barbara
    Posted October 6, 2015 12:17 pm 0Likes

    It doesn’t matter if wind is a free fuel if it’s not there. There is no way to predict what the wind resources will be in the future.
    To put this in a simple manner, electrons can be compared to storing ping-pong balls in a box/container. Only so many can be stored in one container, So how many containers of electrons will be needed and what will these containers cost?
    Energy storage may be needed for more than just a few hours.
    The MOE is a lawyer and not power plant engineer.
    This has gotten way out of hand in Ontario and manufacturing businesses know this. Manufacturing businesses are not going to bother trying to cope with this situation. They will say yes-yes and move.

    • Barbara
      Posted October 6, 2015 1:04 pm 0Likes

      And what source of fuel are those pushing renewable energy, including MPPs, use for their own heating, cooking, hot-water and laundry ?
      What does Wynne heat with, cook with and etc.?

  • Bert Zegers
    Posted October 6, 2015 6:05 pm 0Likes

    Ontario electricity generation is 99.7 % clean. Clean energy is replaced by wind energy that is not so clean and is destroying our environment.
    Ontario has a surplus of energy, we don’t need more energy. Storage of wind energy will make wind energy even more expensive.
    It is time to find a way to go off grid.

  • Bert Zegers
    Posted October 7, 2015 8:09 am 0Likes

    Will this Wynne government do a cost benefit analysis before procuring electricity storage? I bet you they will not, and why?
    They know the outcome already. Electricity rates will double again.

  • Barbara
    Posted October 7, 2015 11:53 am 0Likes

    In the above article CanWEA president said that the industry needs to figure out how to carve a bigger chunk of business in Ontario.
    This very well means that many more rural Ontarians will become involved in this situation. It’s unfortunate but many wait until the “wolf” is at their door.
    Then you have some local councils that are willing to sign onto vibrancy funds which then puts them in the pockets of big wind. If something is wrong you don’t sign on to it period.

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