chuck Farmer, and other procurement suggestions

Ontario’s IESO ineptitude in managing Ontario’s electricity supply is displayed in an article from the Lucknow Sentinel, IESO’s designation of Huron-Kinloss as potential host for green energy projects forces township to reaffirm its no wind turbine stance.

The local council noted a change in the IESO’s classification of the area’s transmission capability in determining where to force more industrial wind turbines (the same change I posted on April 14th)

“We can say that we are not a willing host, but what does that mean at the end of the day? Nothing because the contracts are let out by the IESO,” Twolan said, following the council meeting. “We’ve always said we’re not a willing host. We passed that a long, long time ago, but the new map that came out, it changes all the time and we had no input into that. And it doesn’t matter that we passed that we’re a non-willing host, they can still put that in there.”

Of 5 recent, and totally needless, industrial wind contracts awarded by the IESO, 3 went to communities that had actively announced themselves opposed.

So why the change in status?

Chuck Farmer, the IESO director of stakeholder and public affairs, said…

“I do understand their concern and I do want to stress that this is an assessment of transmission capabilities — so an assessment of the system ability and not a statement of any community stance,” Farmer said in a phone interview on April 27.

He said the redesignation occurred because previous projects slated for the area are now no longer moving forward, which freed up space on the system.

“That creates an indication there maybe room on the transmission system to connect some more projects in the area,” he said.

Farmer said he couldn’t elaborate on the disbanded wind projects previously set for the area.

This doesn’t suggest Farmer is capable of elaborating on any subject.

He uses the same logic as what my friend Parker Gallant calls Lucy math – you plan on spending what you don’t have on something you don’t need, decide you don’t need it after-all, and spend the fictitious savings from the decision on something else you don’t need.

The area is a stupid place for more industrial wind, and, unlike a well-paid IESO drone, I can support my claim.

Read More »


Murray’s spark and the knowledge gap

Ontario’s Minister of the environment and Climate Change delivered a speech at the Economic Cub today which followed a report in the Globe and Mail on a leaked draft document featuring his government’s plan to create a new body with a sweeping mandate to overhaul energy use in the province.

The writer of the article in the Globe, Adrian Morrow, tweeted live from the speech, including:

  • “Please stop buying internal combustion engine cars,” Murray exhorts his audience. “Next time you buy a car, go electric.”

  • [Minister] says auto execs tell him switch to electric cars “isn’t going to work. But they have no alternative”

Somebody should remind the Minister about a number of things, but particularly that his government just recently incentivized Toyota to move off of electricity from Ontario’s relatively clean grid to produce it’s own electricity, from natural gas.

Read More »

The $113 bill “for nothing” in Ontario

I’ve seen many references to a $113 hydro bill “for nothing” today. With anger high over electricity costs in the province, this seems to be a rallying point for some.

Not for me.


Before I get to the specific bill…

I saw tweets from the official opposition this morning showing the bill, and tonight Christina Blizzard has a report on events that followed; Sousa claims hydro bills going down.

To me, Sousa is an appalling man, but that’s not exactly what he’s shown as saying. This is:Read More »

bad wiring: renewables in Ontario

I do often write about the limitations of variable renewable energy sources (vRES). Wind and solar in Ontario seem to have an additional problem: wiring.

A tweet alerted me to news from Manitoulin Island and “the most expensive wind electricity captive ratepayers are forced to buy”:

McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm will be laying a new submarine cable across the floor of the North Channel this summer due to issues with the existing cable.

“When we first put it (the submarine cable) in (in 2013), we had some issues, a short to ground,” explained McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm Manager Rick Martin. “We made the repair, but now we have decided to lay a new one, leaving the old cable as back up.

I suspect they’ll be leaving it there as garbage.

I wrote McLean’s Mountain Wind Joke isn’t funny in August 2015. A comment attached to that article, from LSARC, discussed the transmission issues. In that article I noted the performance of the generator trailed the performance of other projects built in the same period.

I’ve extracted current data summarized by month, and while McLean’s Mountain has been the worst site to enter service since 2012, perhaps due to the transmission issues, the Grand Wind Farm is not too far behind.

Samsung’s Grand Renewable project also has transmission issues.Read More »

The world’s worst electricity market

Forbes opens an article titled Ontario’s High Electricity Prices Are Bad For Business with this quote from Pierre-Olivier Pineau, Chair of Energy Sector Management at the University of Montreal:

“Ontario is probably the worst electricity market in the world”

Friday, April 8th, Ontario’s market provided more evidence supporting that premise.

This tale doesn’t involve surplus “baseload” or huge wind output or even particularly low demand. This tale involves the price of natural gas and the Ontario market’s inability to recover even that small fuel cost.



The closing price of natural gas on the Dawn hub (in Ontario) on April 8 was $2.68/mcf. My quick estimation just multiplies that by 7.5 to calculate fuel cost of producing one megawatt-hour of electricity: about $20/MWh.

April 8th, like all days, saw most natural gas fueled electricity produced by non-utility generators, with 3 exceptions: Halton Hills, St. Clair and Thorld generating stations also operated, and until hour 19 (7-8 pm), they all generated electricity well below the fuel cost of generating electricity.Read More »

Spilling on OPG’s wasted hydro

Ontario continues to waste its water rights on the Niagara river.

I revisited some posts I’ve written on this topic today, and updated data to bring the graphics up to the end of 2015


A very quick refresher to explain this first graphic.

  1. The U.S. and Canada share water rights on the Niagara river. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) runs the Niagara river power plants in Ontario, and there are similar plants on the U.S side (R. Moses Niagara). When I first encountered the issue in 2011, the U.S. side had additional generation because OPG could not get enough water through its turbines to utilize the full allocation.
  2. In March 2013 OPG completed the Niagara tunnel, which was to get more water to it’s turbines. OPG claimed output would increase by 1.6 million megawatt-hours (MWh).
  3. I’ve collected Ontario generation data back to 2010, and compared monthly summaries to the U.S. Energy Information Administration data for the U.S. sites.

The opposite of what should have happened is what has happened, as the gap that had disappeared about the time the tunnel entered service re-emerged, and continues to grow.Read More »

Kafkaesque: Opposing an industrial wind turbine project in Ontario

I found this a necessary read all the way through the penultimate paragraph.
If there is a way to conclude that the government, and courts, intend to allow intelligent opposition legally, I hope somebody notes it.
In the absence of that, this is a pretty good motivator for outlaw strategies of opposition.



Take a look at what happens when Ontarians try to oppose an industrial wind turbine project.

Laws, regulations, and processes seem to have eliminated every conceivable obstacle for the mad rush of the (economically useless, environmentally destructive) wind industrialization of rural Ontario. At the same time they effectively, undemocratically block wind project opponents at every turn. The Ontario Green Energy Act (GEA) and its quasi-judicial complaints department, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) pitch opponents headlong into a Kafkaesque nightmare.

An example:

  1. The government gives the Proponent permission to undertake an industrial wind turbine construction project, which includes granting a special environmental permit that allows the Proponent to kill, harm, and harass a Victim or two.
  2. Locals launch an appeal on the grounds that the project would, amongst other troublesome consequences, cause serious and irreversible harm to the Victims.
  3. The appeal is heard by a Tribunal, which issues a very rare decision favouring the Victims, finding that the Proponent’s project will indeed…

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