Reviewing a 2005 plan for Ontario’s electricity supply in 2015

In December 2005 the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) produced Supply Mix Advice for the province’s Minister of Energy. With 2015 reporting now significantly complete, and threats of a new Long Term Energy Plan being developed, it’s worth reviewing the 2005 plan to the 2015 actuals.

Figure 1.1.1 of that report contains both capacity and generation figures for 2015.

OPA2005

There are some quirks about these figures that require exploring before comparing to actual figures for 2015. The OPA’s guidance “with respect to new renewables” recommended “3,000 MW by 2015, 5,000 MW by 2020, and 6,700 MW by 2025” (page 48), which could be comprise(d of:

  • …up to 5,000 MW of wind-powered generation by 2025…This will be about 15% of Ontario’s supply mix.
  • …up to 1,500 MW of additional waterpower
  • up to 1,250 MW of hydro imports in the supply mix
  • … up to 500 MW of biomass-powered generation
  • …up to 40 MW of solar-powered generation

I emphasized the hydro imports because the grid connection/intertie between Ontario and Quebec was subsequently increased by 1,250 megawatts (MW), so it’s clear this increase was considered as renewable supply.

The following graphic uses the OPA’s 2005 plan for 2015 as pictured above and compares to my best estimate of actual generation for 2015

opa2005to2015actComp
Spreadsheet comparing OPA Supply Mix Advice from 2005 to estimated actual 2015 data

Figures for 2015 capacity come directly from the Ontario Energy Report Q4 2015, including both “Grid-connected Generation Capacity and “Embedded Generation Capacity in Commercial Operation” (Dx), plus the 1,250 MW capacity added to the Ontario-Quebec grid connection.

Figures for 2015 generation come from the IESO’s reporting on “Grid-Connected Electricity Production”, their reported imports from Quebec, and my own estimates of 2.87 terawatt-hours of generation from embedded (Dx) solar generators and 1.2 TWh from embedded wind generators.

I note that although “renewables capacity” is 4,600 MW (nearly 40%) above the 2015 level suggested by the OPA in 2005, the output is 9 terawatt-hours (TWh) less. This is partially due to curtailment of supply: I recently summarized 4 TWh of reported curtailment of renewable suppliers in 2015, and imports could likely have been much higher if necessary.

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