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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
My analysis indicates for each the final 2 months of 2015 the U.S. side produced over 400,000 MWh more than OPG’s Beck units. In the units of the mainstream media, that is enough to power 500,000 homes.
The November and December waste was worse than usual, but for the year OPG reported 3.2 million MWh curtailed – enough to power 333,000 homes for a year – so it was not that great a change from usual.
OPG doesn’t say anything about where curtailment occurs, but looking to the other end of Lake Ontario there’s an indication much of it is significantly on the Niagara system. The level of Lake Ontario is regulated and again U.S. and OPG power dams share the benefits. The Moses (U.S.) and Saunders (OPG) dams east of Lake Ontario have had similar outputs, which is quite distinct from the divergence at Niagara, where the 1.6 million megawatts to come from OPG’s tunnel projects seems to have strangely appeared on the U.S. side.
- Tunnel will increase Canada’s power generation capacity, June 2011 (by Maryellen Tighe)
- wasted on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, June 2014
- Wynne government approval of Niagara Region Wind worst energy decision in years, November 2014
- A line and the race for expensive Electricity, November 2015