Wynne laying eggs in the Chatham-Kent Pot

The IESO, operator of Ontario’s electricity system, recently launched the first major contracting initiative for new industrial wind turbine (IWT) capacity in years, and the municipality of Chatham-Kent was quick to show support for projects within its borders. There are all sorts of messy issues involved in the Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) beyond those of concentrating IWT’s in one area, but they are relevant issues only if one is concerned about value; there’s no evidence that the IESO is, but this post will review the value proposition of the projects proposed in Chatham-Kent.

The proposed projects, as described by renews in Thumbs-up for 200MW North Kent:

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has agreed to support the construction and operation of the two-phase North Kent proposal.

The 40 to 50-turbine 100MW first phase will fulfill Samsung’s deal to build 1169MW of wind projects under the Korean company’s Green Energy Investment Agreement [GEIA] with the province,..

The developer plans to submit the 20 to 40-turbine North Kent 2 scheme to the upcoming 300MW call for wind power in Ontario’s large renewable procurement program.

These are two quite separate programs. The GEIA is a long-standing contracting of wind and solar electricity intended, in January 2010, to kick-start an industry with a rapid build-out. The current agreement is downscaled because it didn’t do that (for background see my Not Honouring Ontarians: Wynne’s Green Energy Contracts – in which I show my contribution to saving $3.1 billion) . Currently of note is that renew’s “1169MW of wind projects” does coincide with the revised GEIA’s “Targeted Generation Capacity of 1,369 MW overall”, but that target included 300 MW of solar capacity. This may not be bad for ratepayers, as the GEIA shows pricing likely to be $105/MWh for wind and $295 for solar, but it, again, is not what was intended in the GEIA version that was revised because the initial agreement’s intent was not being realized.

The second project in renews’ article will be bid into the IESO LRP (large renewable procurement).

I find the LRP offensive in terms of what is clearly intended to be a false community consultation – but I find the same is true of every “conversation” the duly elected Premier claims to desire, so I won’t hover over the point except to say that the industry had far more meetings in the development of their LRP than the single public meeting demanded of project proponents under the LRP.Read More »