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 »