OPG’s 2017 results grate

Yesterday Ontario Power Generation released their 2017 Financial Results:

Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG or Company) today reported net income attributable to the Shareholder of $860 million for 2017, compared to $436 million in 2016.

That must be considered a great number in the context of the income history at OPG as it’s the highest they’ve ever accomplished. The apparently excellent results may leave some wondering what critics commenting on the sector have been braying on about. I, a critic, have reviewed the results and found some things to bray about.

OPG annual financial results

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Worthless and worse wind

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.

NovYTD_CFs

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Ontario Wind: Worst value getting worser

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:

  1. “The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.”
  2. “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:

WebValuations

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Industrial wind turbine industry found dead in Ontario

North American Windpower has Mark Del Franco Eulogizing Ontario’s Wind Industry

Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to pay our respects to Ontario’s utility-scale wind industry, which has passed away from unnatural causes (a lack of government support).
Those of you knew who knew Ontario will recall it was a place of great passion for renewable energy. In just a short time, Ontario grew to become Canada’s leading wind province. And with the passage of its Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009 – which introduced North America’s first feed-in tariff – the province became a leader on the global stage. Those were good times. Soon after the act’s unveiling, global energy players, such as Samsung Renewable Energy and turbine manufacturer REpower Systems (now Senvion), as well as U.S. developers, such as Invenergy and Pattern Energy Group, set up shop north of the border. And Ontario was also an early pioneer of climate change. In 2014, the place rid itself of coal-fired generation.

You could continue reading at the wind site, but at this point let me remind you the industry did remarkably well considering it was born with neither a brain nor a heart.

It’s survivors seem to be similarly lacking in intelligence and empathy.
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a poor Connecticut: Ontario Electricity Pricing

I found myself in front of some U.S. Energy Information Administration data today, and, as anybody would, thought that with a little summarizing and some formatting it might make for a pretty enthralling scatter plot.

How right I was!

I looked up the data after seeing some comments on a recent article by Parker Gallant (And the winner is : Hydro One! Most expensive residential power rates in North America).

I know I paid about 20 cents/kWh in 2015 (up to ~23 in 2016), so I wanted to check U.S. EIA data to see how that compared – and when I want to check data, I want to check base data. This I found in the form EIA-826 data for Sales and revenue. The data is by utility and state, and it includes revenues, sales and the count for consumer groups – including residential.

Forgetting Ontario temporarily, I summarized data by state and created the posted scatter plot to test for a connection between consumption, and pricing. It seems to exist and that seems pertinent beyond a rant – as well as important within a rant.

The one state where rates are higher than mine (ignoring currency valuations) is Hawaii – which also has the lowest average consumption.Read More »

OPG’s strong 2014 results: aka how I made OPG $243 million

This was first posted on my coldaircurrents site  – which I use for posting found items of interest. This post went beyond pointing out OPG’s 2014 results, with enough of an edge I’m double posting it here.

OPG’s final 2014 results have been released and the net income they are reporting is, if my records are correct, the highest since 1998

[Toronto]: – Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG or Company) today reported income of $568 million, before extraordinary gain, for 2014 compared to $135 million for 2013. Net income, after extraordinary gain, for 2014 was $811 million, compared to $135 million in 2013.

Let me tell you about extraordinary items.

but first…

There are new business segments for contracted generation (biomass, hydro and gas partnerships) and eliminated business segments (thermal, or fossil fuels, and non-regulated hydro).

I’ve flipped through OPG’s 2014 MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS and spotted some things of interest to me, relevant to many things I’ve written.

There’s news in OPG’s reporting that, I’ll just put out there, maybe I should get a nice cheque for.

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Greenwashing benefits Environmental Defence

Following is a post written by Parker Gallant.
I have not researched the topic personally and can’t be certain the green “belt” is referencing a geographic location and not the other “belt” possibilities, including; a mental location, a serving of an intoxicant, or a clothing accessory utilized as a disciplinary tool

Greenwashing1 benefits Environmental Defence

When the Ontario Liberal Government create “not-for-profits” strange things happen! One example is an entity called “Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation” (FGF) created in 2005. Their website states their purpose as: “to coordinate and fund activities that bolster the richness of life in the Greenbelt.”

FGF was launched with $25 million in funding by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and went about handing out grants when the opportunity presented itself.

By 2012 FGF managed to get rid of most of their start-up cash so the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing gave them another $20 million of taxpayer dollars. According to the March 31, 2012 and 2013 year-end annual report the Greenbelt Foundation utilized about 40% of their annual spending on grants with the rest spent on salaries, public awareness, research and other activities. If they were an actual charity that would be a truly dismal record.

Despite so much of the money supplied by the Ministry going to pay”administrative” related expenses, Environmental Defence, with Rick Smith in the position of Executive Director, managed to secure grants of $2.2 million from FGF by March 31, 2012-  as noted in an article published in 2012.

Reviewing the list of grants on the FGF website you find MaRS Discovery District, a charity recently bailed out by the Liberals (via another Liberal creation-Infrastructure Ontario) in their most recent scandal. One can also find a grant ($200,000) to the Toronto Environmental Alliance and another to the Sierra Club Foundation ($185,000).Read More »