Ontario to review energy contracts
“a particular focus on larger gas, wind and solar…”
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:
- The review referred to in paragraph 1 shall:
- identify measures or adjustments that could result in reduced costs for Ontario consumers;
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.”