Ontario to review energy contracts

“a particular focus on larger gas, wind and solar…”

More than money: communities have had genuine concerns about the impact on the environment, health, and the economy from grid-scale wind [Photo: DDOWT]
November 8, 2019
Ontario energy minister Greg Rickford and associate energy minister Bill Walker have announced a Minister’s Directive to retain an “independent party” to conduct a review of the province’s power generation contracts, to reveal cost-saving opportunities.
The Order-In-Council specifically says [emphasis ours]:

Therefore, in accordance with my authority under subsection 25.32(5) of the Act, I hereby direct (IESO) as follows:

      1. To retain the services of an independent third party with relevant qualifications, experience and expertise to undertake a targeted review of existing generation contracts to identify opportunities to lower electricity costs within such generation contracts.
      2. The review referred to in paragraph 1 shall:
        1. identify measures or adjustments that could result in reduced costs for Ontario consumers;
        2. place a particular focus on larger gas, wind and solar contracts that expire in the next ten years, including portfolios of contracts held by the same proponent and any other areas where IESO or the third party determine that there is the potential for cost savings; and
        3. take into consideration system reliability and potential impacts to Indigenous, municipal, and local partnerships.
      3. The review shall not consider the Bruce Power Refurbishment Agreement or contracts related to conservation and demand-management initiatives.
      4. IESO shall provide the third-party report containing its key findings and recommendations, along with IESO’s assessment of the findings, to the Ministry by no later than February 28, 2020.

The statement that “impacts to … municipal and local partnerships” is interesting: it may mean that citizen reports of excessive noise/vibration and water well disturbance (to name a few negative impacts of grid-scale wind power development) may also be considered in the review.
It is also a positive move in that the review will include “system reliability”: many analysts and stakeholder groups such as Ontario’s professional engineers have repeatedly demonstrated that wind power is variable, unreliable, and produces power out-of-phase with demand, which means much of it is constrained (operators are paid not to have power added to the grid) or sold on the open electricity market at a loss.
“Wind Concerns Ontario welcomes this review,” says president Jane Wilson. “For too long wind power has skated by common sense and basic economic principles on the ideology that it is ‘good’ for the environment. We know from multiple environmental impacts such as the thousands of citizen reports of excessive noise and vibration from wind turbines, with accompanying adverse health effects, that wind power is high impact on the environment for little or no benefit.
We look forward to a comprehensive review that takes all these factors into account.”

What's your reaction?


  • Andre Lauzon
    Posted November 8, 2019 9:41 am 0Likes

    An “independent third party”? Let’s hope it will be so.

  • Bonnie Rowe
    Posted November 8, 2019 9:51 am 0Likes

    A very promising step. Especially given that electricity costs have continued to rise, despite PC government promise that they would drop.

    • Wind Concerns Ontario
      Posted November 8, 2019 12:53 pm 0Likes

      Over $700 million more will be added to our electricity bills because of two new (and unnecessary) wind power projects: Nation Rise and Romney Wind.

  • Wind Wraith
    Posted November 8, 2019 1:28 pm 0Likes

    “impacts to municipal and local partnerships” could, sadly, also mean that so called “co-operative” projects (Talbot Wind leaseholders get a portion of project revenue) and municipalities like Chatham-Kent that has partnered in ownership of wind projects may have contracts renewed despite the negative impacts on the communities and the province.

  • Richard Mann
    Posted November 8, 2019 2:03 pm 0Likes

    It is well past time to turn off all turbines, due to known and documented health harm.
    Please ask anyone who denies health harm of Industrial Wind Turbines to watch the following presentation:
    Title: “Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise: Physics & Cells, History & Health”
    Speaker: Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira
    Location: University of Waterloo
    Date: September 12, 2019
    Video archive of presentation:
    Dr. Alves-Pereira’s research profile is at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mariana_Alves-pereira
    Note; there is approx 2 mins of dead air at the beginning. The talk is ~50 minutes, followed by a long Q&A

  • Richard Mann
    Posted November 8, 2019 3:53 pm 0Likes
  • Richard Mann
    Posted November 8, 2019 3:54 pm 0Likes

    Dr. Alves-Pereira’s research profile is at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mariana_Alves-pereira
    Note; there is approx 2 mins of dead air at the beginning. The talk is ~50 minutes, followed by a long Q&A

  • Sommer
    Posted November 8, 2019 8:25 pm 0Likes

    Will they consider cancelling all contracts using ‘force majeure’.
    Surely anyone who is well informed realizes that these contracts have not fulfilled their original intentions.

  • Helen Kszan
    Posted November 8, 2019 10:39 pm 0Likes

    1. To undertake a targeted review of existing generation contracts to identify
    opportunities to lower costs? Why the particular focus on contracts that expire in the next 10 years and not all contracts?
    Why has the Nation Rise Project and the Romney Project not been cancelled if the financial saving would be 700 million? Save thousands and waste millions. It makes perfect sense.
    Water wells are already impacted before commissioning of the projects. Why is our government willing to allow further destruction of wells such as in Chatham Kent and Niagara and inflict more harm to residents within the inadequate setback areas?
    No Multi National Corporation should be allowed to destroy our precious water resources for their own financial gains.
    This directive will barely address the needs of the people that are being harmed with destroyed wells and the continuation of ruined health.

  • Richard Mann
    Posted November 10, 2019 4:57 pm 0Likes

    I am attaching a letter from Dr Bokhout, acting medical officer of health, Huron County Health Unit on Sept 16, 2019. The letter is to a citizen in Huron County. I am publishing with the permission of the recipient.
    Encl: Dr Bokhout letter.
    From: Maarten Bokhout
    To: Carla Stachura ; Erica Clark
    Sent: Monday, September 16, 2019, 11:14:02 PM EDT
    Subject: possible adverse health effects from wind turbines
    Dear Ms. Stachura,
    I am responding to your email addressed to Dr. Erica Clark, dated August 29, 2019. I have reviewed your correspondence of August 14 and Rick Chappell’s May 15, 2018 response to the article “Altered Cortical and Subcortical…(etc)”.
    I offer the following:
    Your concern is that the wind turbines in your vicinity are noncompliant with MOE noise regulations. The noise is tonal. This is significant, as the foregoing article suggests that “infrasound near the hearing threshold may induce changes of neural activity across several brain regions,some of which…are regarded as key players in emotional and autonomic control “.
    I am sympathetic to your ongoing concerns suggesting that there is a link between wind turbine noise and your (and your partner’s) health and wellbeing. In part, it was your persistence in notifying us at the health unit of your concerns that led me to seek approval for a study to try to determine whether or not there were particular health issues which could be linked to wind turbine activity. The study was approved but we were unable to attract enough participants to do a quantitative analysis of the data gathered. We will complete a descriptive analysis in the next month or so, but this will, unfortunately, not give us enough information to be able to state whether or not not the presence of wind turbines have an adverse effect on the PUBLIC health.
    There is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that some INDIVIDUALS have trouble coping with the effects of active wind turbines (flicker, infrasound, possible stray electric currents). I note that the Madison county Board of Public Health recommends changes to the setbacks of FUTURE wind turbine projects.
    Your best bet may be to seek redress in the courts. It is unfortunate that our study was not supported by enough residents of Huron County, some of which allegedly encouraged non participation in the study…
    Maarten Bokhout, MD, etc. a/MOH

  • Stan Thayer
    Posted November 10, 2019 7:25 pm 0Likes

    At 5 pm today, November 10th 2019 the entire input to the Ontario power grid from the multiple thousands of Ontario industrial wind turbines was just over 5% of demand.
    Soooo, I attempted a very low cost technical study and told the wife we are cutting back power usage by 95%.
    All she said was have fun and reminded me that her favorite tv shows come on at 7 so do it quickly.
    Hey, It was my first attempt and these studies take time!
    Oh by the way, my residential power demand at 5 pm was 7.2 kw.
    So I had about .36 of a kilowatt to work with. That’s 4 light bulbs and no tv.
    I said it was an attempt!

  • Rural101
    Posted November 10, 2019 9:03 pm 0Likes

    So am I reading this right that the IESO is only going to review contracts pre 2009 Green Energy Act implementation (those that would be expiring in the next 10 years?)
    Don’t the GEA contracts have a lifespan of 20 years? and thus any agreements signed from 2009 onwards would not be captured in this review?

    • Barbara
      Posted November 10, 2019 11:09 pm 0Likes

      Contracts don’t always have be enforced if a party to contracts doesn’t want to for a variety of reasons?

      • Sommer
        Posted November 23, 2019 3:33 pm 0Likes

        Is it possible for this government to invoke ‘force majeure’ to cancel all contracts…or at the very least the contracts where clearly people are bing harmed?
        Federal Statutes have been put in place to protect Canadians from harmful emissions from equipment.
        397 force majeure in canadian law i. introduction – Alberta …
        https://albertalawreview.com › index.php › ALR › article › download

  • Stan Thayer
    Posted November 13, 2019 10:20 pm 0Likes

    You want to talk about environmental impacts—READ-ON!
    Total of all industrial wind turbines synced to the Ontario grid so far today, Wednesday, November 13th 2019
    Lowest IWT’S 573MW with 4474MW Natural gas back-up generation.
    Highest IWT’S 2196MW with 1726MW Natural gas back-up generation.
    This is the recipe for an environmental catastrophe!
    Simple fix, shut them all off and ramp up the nukes and hydro stations.
    My compliments go out to the men and woman at the Ontario Grid Control Centers who compensate hourly with this legislated nonsense.
    Stan the power man

    • Wind Concerns Ontario
      Posted November 14, 2019 10:21 am 0Likes

      Ontario needs to hear more about grid stability/reliability.
      It will be a factor in the IESO review

  • Sommer
    Posted November 15, 2019 11:31 am 0Likes

    Ontario also needs a Professor of Engineering like this man to create an educational video, so that the people of Ontario will realize why turning these turbines off makes sense even at a practical level.
    2019 Annual GWPF Lecture – Prof Michael Kelly – Energy Utopias and Engineering Reality
    Nov 14, 2019
    Could it not be shown that this was a failed experiment on the people of Ontario even from an environmental engineering energy reality perspective?

  • Stan Thayer
    Posted November 18, 2019 7:15 am 0Likes

    This planned review is another high priced dog and pony show!
    Why is anyone still discussing industrial wind turbines in an electrical context?
    This morning, Monday November 18th 2019 at 5 AM the total contribution of all industrial wind turbines in Ontario to the electrical power grid was 375MW with Gas back-up generation at 2020MW into a grid demand of 15,048MW.
    Do the math people, that is roughly 2.5%.
    10 years ago the propaganda said 20% by 2020, wind generation has barely touched 10% for brief periods and that was when the power wasn’t needed. A lower demand shows higher percentage.
    Now the CANWEA site shows 90% by 2030 that means going from 3000 turbines to at least 9 times more which would be 27 to 30 thousand windmills in th next few years.
    B.S. not going to happen.
    Industrial Wind Turbines are the same as the New Mustang Mach-E. They are a marketing tool relevant to what is trending.
    Great for those investing with a taxpayer subsidized guaranteed return.
    Just follow the money trail!
    Brainteaser for today—,
    Why are electric vehicles being sold to the masses without charging stations for the masses?
    Why did one fast food chain remove all their EV charging units?
    Hint—don’t look for the answer on the CANWEA website!

  • Stan Thayer
    Posted November 19, 2019 7:18 pm 0Likes

    Something has gone seriously wrong with the Ontario wind turbines or their control systems!
    This afternoon November 19th 2019 total wind compliments to the Ontario power grid was the lowest recorded.
    At 2pm, 8mw
    At 3pm, 5mw
    At 4pm, 4mw
    At 5pm, 7mw
    Grid demand at 5pm was *18,807mw.
    Back-up gas generation was an all time high.
    Are there separate contracts for low output?
    Only two operating out of 3000, seems impossible!
    I can’t wait to hear the explanation for this debacle.
    Stay tuned!
    Stan the power man

  • Stan Thayer
    Posted December 1, 2019 10:12 am 0Likes

    Hey, where is everybody?
    Today’s brainteaser— do windmills suck or blow?
    No, it’s not a joke, I’m serious.
    Keep smiling

  • Stan Thayer
    Posted December 1, 2019 3:43 pm 0Likes

    Great news but not really new.
    Fossil fuel natural gas back-up generating stations are outperforming their parent counterpart windmills again today.
    The recent B——–d Energy portfolio projection for 2020 makes me wonder why anyone bothers to supply the electrical data. It seems so insignificant compared to the investment subsidies percentages data which is the main aspect of IWT’S.
    Profit is the only good side effect of IWT’S, unlike nuclear power stations which supply reliable power, isotopes for cancer detection, radiation units for sterilization, recycled pellet slices for Smal Modular Reactors, etc, etc,.
    Sometimes I get so nostalgic when I realize that I have made it to retirement.
    Old and proud of it!
    Stan the power man

  • Stan Thayer
    Posted December 1, 2019 10:00 pm 0Likes

    Sheesh, the worst ice storm of the season happening around southwestern Ontario and the local wind farm at Port Burwell has provided extremely low to no output for most of the hours today, December 1st 2019. Just adding to the gridload.
    Good thing we only need them for taxpayer subsidies to top up our pensions!
    Sweet dreams

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