The Ontario PC party put out some tweets that tweeked my interest yesterday, on payments due to a court ruling.
The parties in the case included those in a ruling I wrote about in May’s Ontario appeals court upholds sentence of higher costs for ratepayers – but the hit on ratepayers in the case I wrote about IS estimated at over half a billion dollars.
After watching an exchange between Premier Kathleen Wynne and Leader of the Official Opposition Brown, I decided to see what they were on about.
It turns out I knew most of what they were on about, it was just hard to be certain as neither of them did.
Two new pieces of information since I wrote on the court case in May:
- the case was appealed to the Supreme Court
- additional payments/penalties were paid to compensate for more months of generation. 
The Ontario PC party seems totally unaware what the nature of the case is, and it seems blissfully oblivious to the fact the latest $94.7 million payout was not the first payment, nor will it be the last if the court case fails – and Northland is only one supplier getting the payouts as a result of the court case against the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (OEFC).
The exchange in the legislature doesn’t reveal:
- the payment is less than 20% of the cost impact of the court judgement
- the OEFC is a shell corporation
- the control of the OEFC is essentially under the Minister of Finance 
- the contracts involved in the court case originate prior to 1995, under Premiers Peterson (Liberal) and Rae (New Democratic Party) 
- the court case is due to changes in payments due to calculations changed with the introduction, for 2011, of the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI – or Class A global adjustment mechanism)
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October 1st is here, so the third quarter of 2016 is now history. Seems like a good time to review some things – like Ontario’s move towards world leader status in the curtailment of potential supply from wind turbines – mostly paid whether or not their output can be handled by the grid.
Over the first 3 quarters, I estimate curtailment of supply from industrial wind turbines is three and a half times greater than the same period in 2015 – and 14 times higher than in 2014.
The kicker here is that the greatest period for curtailment in the past has been the fourth quarter.
Curtailment data is difficult to find (which is why I produce it), but increasingly of interest across the world. China is often noted for high curtailment – one report shows 21% of all potential generation in that country curtailed in the first half of 2016.
It’s difficult to compare jurisdictions, but Ontario seems to be chasing China for lowest utilization of potential wind output. Depending on whether or not calculations included estimated distribution-connected turbines (which we have little reporting on in Ontario, but expect can’t be curtailed), I have the 12-month running average curtailment levels at 16-18.3%, and I expect that to rise rapidly until cold sets in.
A warm December and Ontario could set a record for annual wind curtailment levels.Read More »
Tom Adams has a very good post following a discussion on Zoomer radio with the current Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.
Dr. Dianne Saxe Environmental Commissioner…
On Wednesday last week, you and I were guests on the radio show “Fight Back with Libby Znaimer” on the AM radio station CFZM Toronto. A podcast of that interview is available here. You made the following six major points:
- Climate change means that Ontario has much higher temperatures and longer heat waves. Ontario’s infrastructure was built for the climate that we used to have but unfortunately that is over and won’t come back…If we look at the data, there is a very significant difference that we’re seeing in the last couple of decades from the average temperature of the 20th century, which is what most of our infrastructure was built to.
- If you look at what is driving Ontario rates up, conservation contributed only 4% of Global Adjustment in 2015.
- Residential rates in Ontario are average for North America.
- Ontario’s eliminating coal-fired power is one of the big reasons why last year, for the first year since records began, that we didn’t have any smog days.
- When the Ontario Liberals formed government after the Conservatives, Ontario’s whole power system was running at the very edge of its capacity with shreds and patches.
- Ontario’s publicly-backed electricity debt is being paid down.
Read the rebuttals to these points at Open Letter to Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario — Tom Adams Energy – ideas for a smarter grid
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