Where did the $50 billion go? Two days of wind, millions lost

From Parker Gallant’s Energy Perspectives, a view of how much wind power is costing Ontario.

Premier Wynne: just shifting the costs, not reducing them [PostMedia photo]
Almost a week after Premier Wynne announced her plan to reduce our electricity bills by 25%, the wind was blowing!  On March 8th, six days after the cost shifting  announcement (from ratepayer to taxpayer), potential power generation from wind was forecast by IESO to produce at levels of 80/95% of their capacity, for many hours of the day.  IESO was concerned about grid stability and as a consequence, curtailed much of the forecasted generation.
When the Premier made her announcement about reducing hydro bills, she also claimed “Decades of under-investment in the electricity system by governments of all stripes resulted in the need to invest more than $50 billion in generation, transmission and distribution assets to ensure the system is clean and reliable.”
It is worth noting that much of that $50 billion was spent acquiring wind and solar generation and its associated spending on transmission, plus gas plants (to back them because the power is intermittent), and distribution assets to hook them into the grid or embed them with the local distribution companies. It would have been informative if Premier Wynne had had Energy Minister Glen Thibeault provide an accounting of exactly what the $50 billion was spent on.
As it turned out the amount of curtailed wind generated on March 8th was 37,044 megawatt hours (MWh) was just short of the record of 38,018 MWh set almost a year ago on March 16, 2016 (estimated by my friend Scott Luft).  The curtailed wind on March 8, 2017 cost Ontario’s ratepayers $120/MWh or $4,445,280.
The cost on March 16, 2016 was $4,562,160.
What does it mean? Curtailing or restricting power output but paying for it anyway means a portion of the $50 billion spent was simply wasted money. It went to the corporate power developers that rushed to sign those above-market contracts for renewable power.

Millions here, millions there= a whole lot of wasted money

The other interesting aspect of the surplus power generation on March 16th, 2016 and March 8th, 2017 is revealed in IESO’s Daily Market Summaries: the hourly Ontario energy price (HOEP)  March 16th, 2016 was negative at -$1.25/MWh and on March 8th, 2017 was also negative at -.49 cents/MWh. This meant ratepayers paid for surplus exports sold to our neighbours in New York and Michigan, etc. Net exports (exports minus imports) on March 16, 2016 were 52,368 MWh, and on March 8, 2017 were 37,944 MWh. Total costs of their generation (HOEP + GA) fell to Ontario’s ratepayers along with the cost of any spilled hydro, steamed off nuclear and idling gas plants.
So, bear with me here, if we price the cost of the net exports at $110/MWh for those two days, ratepayer costs were approximately $9.8 million with $5.7 million for March 16, 2016 net exports and $4.1 million for March 8, 2017 net exports, not including the $84,000 we paid our neighbours to take our power.
How much did it cost you? Two days out of 729 (2016 was a leap year) cost Ontario ratepayers about $18.1 million for power not delivered (curtailed wind) or needed (net exports).
I hope this helps Minister Thibeault in his calculations for a long overdue accounting of where the other $49.982 billion went.
(C) Parker Gallant

What's your reaction?


  • Sommer
    Posted March 13, 2017 8:36 am 0Likes

    Is this why intelligent investors are using terms like ‘stranded debt’ and ‘stranded assets’?

  • Richard Mann
    Posted March 14, 2017 11:14 pm 0Likes

    Dear WCO and others,
    I have invited my colleague, Carmen Krogh, to speak at University of Waterloo on Mar 29, 2017 at 10am. All interested parties are welcome.
    Richard Mann
    Encl: talk announcement.
    DATE:   Wednesday, March 29, 2017
    TIME:  10:00 AM to 11:30 AM   
    LOCATION: DC 1302
    TITLE: Industrial wind turbines can harm humans
    PRESENTER: Carmen M Krogh
    The topic of the risk of harm to human health associated with wind energy facilities is controversial and debated worldwide. On May 7, 2014, Carmen Krogh presented a seminar at the University of Waterloo which considered some of the research dating back to the early 1980’s. A snapshot of some of the current research available in 2014 was provided. The research is challenged in part by the complexities and numerous variables and knowledge gaps associated with this subject. This presentation will explore some of these research challenges and provide an update on the growing body of evidence regarding human health risk factors. Included will be the emerging research indicating risks to those working in this field.
    Carmen M Krogh is a full time volunteer and published researcher regarding health effects and industrial wind energy facilities and shares information with communities; individuals; federal, provincial and public health authorities, wind energy developers; the industry; and others. She is an author and a co-author of peer reviewed articles and conference papers presented at wind turbine scientific noise conferences. Ms Krogh is a retired pharmacist whose career includes: senior executive positions at a teaching hospital (Director of Pharmacy); a drug information researcher at another teaching hospital; a Director of a professional organization; and a Director (A) at Health Canada (PMRA). She is the former Director of Publications and Editor in Chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the book used by physicians, nurses, and health professionals for prescribing information in Canada.

  • Stan Thayer
    Posted March 16, 2017 9:25 am 0Likes

    Wow wow wow! The promises have started! An ad this morning on the radio said Ontario will enjoy the lowest hydro rates possible guaranteed for at least four years. The Liberal government will continue with strong policies blah blah blah. Same old, same old. On track to a balanced budget. Previous governments fudged the numbers. Corporations are not paying their share. The weathly are using loopholes. I hope this time the Liberal spin machine comes up with some new rhetoric to alternate the truth while lining their entitled pockets.
    Remember, the first word in Liberal is Li.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted March 17, 2017 11:25 pm 0Likes

    Agreed Stan…. you can’t blame your X for your Feck ups 10 years after they’re gone… Again like a professional victim it’s because of the X…
    I couldn’t sleep last night like tonight because im too worried about our meeting on the 24th with inveridiots so i was very interested in seeing how many shells and how many peas were used this time in the Great Lieberal hydro scam……
    so I went to….
    In this site was the basic lieberal (Stan coined a new word) BULL SHIATT again… promises of reductions if you qualify…. most won’t qualify because you need to be homeless to qualify… and if you’re homeless then you don’t really need the money for hydro so Ole Katty Wynnde will piss it away for you cause were idiots and don’t know nothing…. anywho….. at the bottom was a comment section…. bad idea for the nut in DD.. I wrote a letter to the ministry of energy telling them of the impending doom in DD …. noted all the things the residents of DD have done to kindly…. and politely…. and democratically….. let our government know that… we’re not fooling around when we’re saying “NO THANKS”.. also let them know how hard working… tax paying… folks like us in DD don’t appreciate having the wool pulled over our eyes every 10 seconds….. we’re not stupid…. we know it’s OUR money you’re trying to bribe us with… (minus the 90% you pay to your buddies that hijacked our hydro grid)
    I’m sure premier Wynnde ….. Glen Thibeault… the ministry of Energy…. et al ….. will toss my email in the “$$$$ you file!!…. Again…..

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