8 days ago I posted on the Henvey Inlet fire that continues to burn with an unchanged status of “Not Under Control”, as indicated on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s GIS application (shown below)- but following my post the “Cause” status was changed, from “HUMAN” to nothing at all.
I was alerted that the MNR’s GIS tool also has an “Out” option, and that reveals a fire identified as Parry Sound 7, started May 17, 2018. As I post this, that fire remains identified as having a “HUMAN” cause.
Parry Sound 7 is listed as only 0.2 hectares in size (Parry Sound 33 is nearing 9000 ha), but it was reported and that begs the questions about the Ministry’s, and the wind farm developer’s, investigation and response. This is particularly true as fire intensity codes for industrial operations exist.
Were fire intensity codes applicable to Pattern’s wind project, and were the “several small fires” the CBC was told, by “a number of workers”, preceded Parry Sound 33 reported to the appropriate authority – presumably the MNR?
1 last question: will the MNR scrub the “HUMAN” from the Cause field of Parry Sound 7 too?Read More »
The official news release includes:
TORONTO — Ontario ratepayers will benefit from $790 million in savings thanks to the Government of Ontario’s decision to cancel and wind down 758 renewable energy contracts, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford announced today…
All of the cancelled projects have not reached project development milestones. Terminating the projects at this early stage will maximize benefits for ratepayers.
Rickford also confirmed that the government intends to introduce a legislative amendment that, if passed, will protect hydro consumers from any costs incurred from the cancellation. Even after all costs are accounted for, ratepayers can expect to benefit from $790 million in savings from this one decision.
I thought a short post is in order as the incoming mainstream media reports are not informative or in any way helpful.
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A short post to debunk some belligerently dishonest claims regarding Ontario’s most inane electricity/social science project, Henvey Inlet Wind.
Background: Clement/Thibeault $billion negligence: Henvey Inlet Wind
The contract, according to the IESO’s contract list, was signed in June 2011 under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program that paid $135/MWh, plus up to another $15/MWh as an “Aboriginal Price Adder.” While those contracts were expected to be operational 3-years after the project data, apparently this one is exceptional in ways other than costing $150/MWh (roughly 5 times what new 2019 wind in Alberta will cost).
Here are the claims I’ll rebuke (emphasis added):
Development of wind energy will help Ontario in meeting its goal of phasing out coal-fired power generation.
The windfarm is expected to displace 851,000t of carbon dioxide emissions a year, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide released by 200,000 cars. It will also offset 4,100t of sulphur dioxide, 1,200t of nitrogen oxide, and 13.4kg of Mercury emissions per year.
Unlike coal-fired power plants, the project will not use water leading to the conservation, which normally uses approximately two billion litres of water a year.
The project, of course, missed the coal era in Ontario’s electricity sector. The “goal of phasing out coal-fired power generation” is long since met.Read More »
My friend Parker Gallant has written on my updated estimates of annual curtailment in Wind waste should worry Ontario ratepayers. Producing the estimates doesn’t take me nearly the effort Parker puts into writing on them, so I felt compelled to add a new view of the data just to make our contributions a little more equitable.
The French language Radio-Canada has posted AU PAYS DE L’EAU NOIRE
Des résidents en Ontario vivent un cauchemar depuis l’installation d’éoliennes proches de leur domicile. I assume it’s best read in French, but the Google translation to English sufficed for me. As the journalism at Radio-Canada is more focused on the impacts to people of turbine construction of the North Kent wind farm, I decided today’s show of data will be on the performance of individual industrial wind turbine facilities.
Capacity Factor is the output of a generator divided by the theoretical maximum (full output in all hours). To estimate costs I need to estimate curtailment, but just viewing the history of capacity factors has the benefit of allowing the cynical reader (ie. the good ones) to verify my claims just by adding up columns from the IESO’s wind file. I won’t make it easy to do though, because for fairness I limit results to years where a facility was in commercial operation throughout, and to compare 2017 results I’ve made all years’ data the total as of the end of November.
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The Globe and Mail published an article by its Ontario legislative reporter Justin Giovannetti, In Ontario, hydro’s future gets murkier as costs of leaving the grid decline. The article posits, “a future where Ontarians produce their own power and cut the cord to the wider grid appears to be approaching.”
It’s a very bizarre assortment of factoids that supports the proposition.
Often stories are planted. I mean no disrespect to Mr. Giovannitti when I say this little fact is planted by somebody promoting a story:
…Feb. 18 could be seen as the start of the province’s electrical transformation. On that Saturday, with the sun blazing and a strong wind powering turbines, demand for electricity from the province’s traditional generating stations was actually lower in the busy middle of the day than it had been when most people were sleeping hours earlier.
That is a possible description of what happened that February Saturday. It was the first day since 2003’s blackout where mid-day “Ontario demand”, as defined by the system operator, was the day’s lowest – which is not a fact many would know how to locate. It’s only happened once since – on Friday April 14th, 2017, which the pious among us will recognize was Good Friday. The situation signalling the start of a transformation has occurred twice as often as the event that occurred on the third day following Good Friday – and the claim is the reprecussions of this event will be of similar significance.
On February 18th my daily estimates show 64.7 gigawatt-hours dumped on export markets, 32.5 GWh curtailed altogether, and 337 GWh consumed in Ontario – so over 23% of supply was worthless.
My estimates for Good Friday also show nearly 25% of supply was unusable in Ontario and worthless outside of it.
These are not days I want to preview the future.
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A spreadsheet I regularly update with data on industrial wind turbine (IWT) generation in Ontario is cited in Parker Gallant’s recent, Wind: worst value for Ontario consumers. The same post cites the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) commentary on Ontario’s recently released Long Term-Energy Plan 2017, which included:
New wind energy provides the best value for consumers to meet growing demand for affordable non-emitting electricity.
Let’s examine the “value” as electricity – as there is no market in Ontario for any subset of that commodity, including “affordable non-emitting”.
Two definitions of “value” from the Oxford dictionary are pertinent:
- “The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.”
- “The worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for it.”
By the first definition wind is clearly the least valued generation type in Ontario. Using only very basic hourly data sets of Hourly summary totals of grid-connected (Tx) generation by type, valued at the Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP), value factor can be calculated. A value factor above 1 means more valuable than average, below 1 means less valuable, and the lowest number consistently means wind.
This graphic is captured from a page I created to view summaries of basic IESO data sources:
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I noted Sunday morning curtailment of potential generation was around record levels – a claim repeated Sunday afternoon at a rally against a facility in Prince Edward County. My friend Parker Gallant subsequently wrote on the wasted wind that day. I thought a post comparing the past Sunday to other days might be instructive.
I developed a single page daily report some time ago – something Parker felt useful. The report for Sunday October 15th estimates the cost to a Class B consumer of consuming one megawatt-hour of electricity at $145/MWh.
$145/MWh was up steeply from the $108/MWh I estimated as the average cost for Class B consumers on the previous day. That $37 difference is greater than the difference estimated for exporters: on Saturday their price averaged $27/MWh; on Sunday it was free. The difference in cost for exporters is due to the change in the Hourly Ontario Energy Price, which dropped from $135/MWh in hour 9 on Saturday, when wind was forecast to produce 149 megawatts, to negative prices overnight and back up to $0/MWh in hour 9 on Sunday when wind was forecast to produce 3,876 megawatts. The correlation is not difficult to spot:
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Bayshore broadcasting reports:
Approval for wind turbines in Clearview Township has been revoked.
The Environmental Review Tribunal released its decision today (Wednesday) to revoke the previous Renewable Energy Approval.
Although the article notes the proponent has 15 days to appeal, I’ve switched the status to “Cancelled” on my map of industrial turbines in Ontario.
The Environmental Review Tribunal’s action might prove contagious. It’s unclear why the IESO is not exercising contract clause’s to revoke other feed-in tariff (FIT) contracts. I reviewed FIT 1 contracts and found this:
TERMINATION AND DEFAULT…
9.1 Events of Default by the Supplier
(j) The Commercial Operation Date has not occurred on or before the date which is 18 months after the Milestone Date for Commercial Operation, or otherwise as may be set out in Exhibit A.
So I checked my import of data from an IESO contract data listing (should match this
). Aside from the Fairview site just cancelled, the off-shore contract persists despite a ban on offshore. The Amherst Island project has advanced to the stage of barge sinking in harbour
– but not far beyond that, while White Pines was greatly reduced by the ERT yet ponders a future despite having run out the clock.
What’s in Exhibit A of these deals preventing the IESO from terminating?
On July 26th Alberta’s electricity market hit its regulated peak price of $1000 per megawatt-hour (MWh) and stayed there for hours 17, 18 and 19. The price soon dropped back down but the commentary continues.
Upon seeing there had been a price spike, I checked to how industrial wind turbines had performed and saw they’d performed exactly as I’d expected, with output dropping from hour 14 to hour 18.
I expected that as I’d seen it in 2014 and in 2012. I didn’t think this was a particularly big event. Prices have been very low in Alberta and this spike will do little to change the yearly average. Alberta is examining a capacity market, and the intent of those is to prevent high price hours – but Texas is an example of a jurisdiction thus far avoiding capacity markets/costs by upping the maximum peak market price. Theoretically, peak pricing can be healthy in encouraging new market entrants with peaking generation, or demand reduction, products. While seeing the one event as not particularly problematic, I did put some short thoughts up on twitter:
Capacity credit is an awkward term I’ll return to.
A response to my tweet tagged Andrew Leach who later put some other suspects for the cost spike up on Twitter, including:
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There’s an Ontario Energy Report (OER) that drips out quarterly.
It’s often got a mistake on the first page. Half of that page is static graphics. The other half is some simple data presented in big fonts.
The report could be useful as it contains data that is difficult to find elsewhere. The intent when it started, as I understood it, was to bring data from multiple sources together in a coherent fashion. I suspect it was supposed to be definitive – to avoid people getting information from rogue sources such as Parker Gallant and I. The official data would be a good thing if it were credible – but the first page often reveals it is not.
This quarter the very first data set – the “Transmission Grid-Connected Generation Output (Q1)” – has errors.
Ontario’s use of gas in generation electricity during the first quarter was very low. It was lower than it’s been in over 50 years. But it wasn’t this low.
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