Some numbers I’ve compiled for the most recent periods of Ontario electricity consumption.
IESO weekly reports run from Wednesday to Tuesday – presumably because the market opened on Wednesday May 1st, 2002.
1 The week beginning on the 20th Wednesday of 2017, May 17-23, 2017, is the first one where the average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP), weighted to the system operator’s “Ontario Demand”, was negative.
On average, it cost money to give away electricity
“This” involved something about the value of wind, and what could be done to contain it.
I’ve written a lot on this in the past, and won’t do so again here except to explain the graph that accompanies this post – which explains what can be done to increase the value of the 20-year contracts Ontario’s thug Premier claims will have ongoing value.
It also explains why wind won’t, in the near future, be part of a near-zero emission electricity system anywhere not blessed with large hydro reservoirs.
The amount is about 2.4 times the production from the 40 megawatt (MW) “Northland Power Solar Facilities” over the past 12 months, according to the hourly generator output and capability reporting of Ontario’s system operator. Those facilities are located in the area of Cochrane, Ontario. While very north from the perspective of most Ontarians, Cochrane is only slightly north of the 49th parallel which forms Alberta’s southern border.
I’ve pulled data for the Northland facilities and the Grand Renewable Energy Park near Cayuga Ontario, roughly 650 km south of Cochrane. July is usually the peak month for total solar generation, and January can be the least productive. I’ve compared by hour using capacity factor due to the different sizes of the facilities, and will also note Ontario systems can be overbuilt – for instance, Grand Renewable has about 140 megawatts (MW) of DC panel capacity behind a 100 MW (AC) connection point. For my measurement the contracted (connection point) capacity is used in calculating the capacity factor.Read More »
A new post at the Energy Institute at Hass blog, Is the Duck Sinking?, discusses the growing appearance of negative pricing in California:
What do the negative prices tell us? At a fundamental level, they tell us that we have too much of a good and suppliers need to pay people to take it off their hands. Right now, California has too much renewable electricity. Emphasizing this point, a recent briefing from the California Independent System Operator [CAISO] noted that renewable “curtailments” were at record levels in March 2017, amounting to over 80 GWh, which is more than a typical day’s worth of solar production that month.
Is there anything to do about the negative prices? Negative prices certainly highlight the value of storage, where the basic idea is to buy low and sell high. Buying when prices are negative is especially lucrative…
Another solution is to expose more retail consumers to wholesale prices, or find other ways to encourage customers to respond to real-time prices. Economists have bemoaned the disconnect between wholesale and retail pricing for years…
If Catherine Wolfram’s post represents a significant concern for curtailments and negative pricing, it’s worth noting the situation in Ontario with Ontario’s system operator, the IESO.
It’s worth noting both because CAISO is noting the curtailment, and negative pricing, and it is acting on it.
This graphic, from the CAISO presentation noted above, shows monthly curtailment in their system:
I am lucky to have Parker Gallant to push data summaries to – it is saving me a lot of writing lately!
One thing I’ll add: last Wednesday the Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) hit its 3rd highest level ever ($1711.03/MWh, or $1.71/kWh). The records may be altered as the IESO often reviews, and sometimes reduces, these price events – this one may explain their recent inability to produce daily reports.
The Ontario Energy Board has a Market Surveillance Panel which investigates price spikes above $200/MWh.
With a nuclear reactor shut down during the weekend of surplus still offline, hour 22 yesterday saw the HOEP spike to $281.25.
Despite April having plenty of supply, and very low demand, last night’s was the 5th $200+/MWh hour of the month, which is a record for April since market opening.
The inability to produce reports may not be the system operator’s most significant challenge.
Count the eggs! $50 million plus, lost in just 3 days!
The nice weather on Easter weekend in Ontario disguised the fact that April 14th, 15th and 16th were really bad days for electricity customers.
Scott Luft’s daily reports detailed the bad news, even before the Independent Electricity System Operator or IESO got out their daily summary for April 12th. Some of the information in Scott’s reports are estimates, but they have always proven to be on the conservative side. These three reports paint a disturbing picture of what’s going on, and how badly the Ontario government is mismanaging the electricity file.
Here are a few of the events that our Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault and Premier Wynne should find embarrassing. They also confirm what many of us have been telling them for several years.
I thought, presumably as most do when seeing a graphic such as this, I should reproduce this work, and extend it to the present time. Not being overly ambitious, I simply use Consumer Price Index data (from CANSIM Table 326-0020), so my graphics will omit data from industrial entities; not being without curiousity I also grabbed data for average annual residential electricity prices (from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) site).
A little math to reset the base years that will equal 100% and:
It’s not been a good 3 decades for Ontario electricity consumers.