Colder Air

Ontario electricity powers 2.5 million homes in Michigan and New York

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During the past decade’s green dumbing down of electricity communication the standard unit of output became the “home”. The unit is derived from dividing the annual output of a generator (usually one with unpredictably sporadic production) by the average annual consumption of a residential consumer. I updated my databases with the latest (2015) US EIA data, grabbed what the IESO admits to importing and exporting, and graphed out Ontario’s net exports to New York and Michigan in the trendy “homes” unit.

The unit isn’t perfect, and neither is the data.

The biggest shortcoming is the failure to report how much water on the Niagara river OPG is failing to utilize in its plants , allowing New York to pass it through theirs. I last wrote about the issue in April in Spilling on OPG’s wasted hydro – here I’ll just post an update of the graphic using the most recent data (12-months ending October 2016).

The production I estimate from all OPG’s “Niagara Plant” generators (from the IESO’s hourly output and capability reporting) is the lowest it has been in my 5 years of tracking – including the period prior to the completion of the $1.5 billion tunnel intended to allow the full utilization of water OPG has rights to.

The U.S. side hasn’t seen the same fall-off in generation, so some of Ontario’s inability to utilize this water in generating power for the province benefits New York state consumers.

The net exports of 2.5 million homes would mean for every 2 homes Ontario’s electricity generation powers in Ontario, one is powered elsewhere.

This does not include the 7 billion kilowatt-hours – or 750,000+ homes – I estimate Ontario paid for, but curtailed.

“Homes” isn’t everybody’s choice as a unit of measurement.

Some readers may be more curious about the share of industrial electricity consumption in New York and Michigan that might be attributed to net exports out of Ontario – so I’ll finish assuming no homes, or commercial, consumption of our exports, and allocate all to the states’ industrial consumption (since 2008 – when both states became net importers from Ontario).

 

spreadsheet for post
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