|I don’t need a calculator, I can do it all in my head.|
Another month, another $162 million hit to Ontario’s ratepayers
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) posted its November Market Summary on December 18 but so far, Energy Minister Chiarelli hasn’t claimed a profit. He did just that on TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin earlier this month, when he claimed Ontario generated a $6 billion profit on exporting electricity.
A look through the IESO market summary shows that Ontario exported an average of 2,243 megawatts (MW) each and every hour of November—that means a total of 1,614,960 MWh left Ontario destined for New York, Michigan and Quebec. The average hourly energy price during the month was a paltry $14.93 per MW (or 1.5 cents per kWh), meaning revenue generated from those exports contributed just over $24 million to production and ancillary costs.
The average cost to Ontario ratepayers is also revealed in the market summary; that was considerably more, at $115.26 per MWh (or 11.5 cents per kWh). In other words, Ontario’s loss on the exported power was $162 million for the month.
It is obvious that much of the wind power generated throughout
November wound up either exported or
caused other generation to be exported or wasted
What that means to every one of the 4.9 million ratepayers in Ontario is a payment of an average of $33.00 each to subsidize those exports for November. The exact role wind and solar played in those exports is not disclosed in the market summary, but wind production during November was high and totaled 721,000 MWh or 1,000 MW per hour. The cost of that power production to the ratepayers is estimated to be almost $100 million, without including the costs of the gas plants backing wind up, spilled hydro, or steamed off nuclear at Bruce Power. It is obvious that much of the wind power generated throughout November wound up either exported or caused other generation to be exported or wasted.
The total amount picked up by the average ratepayer in Ontario to support those exports so far in 2013 is approximately $280.00 each. In announcing the new Long term Energy Plan, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s forecast a rate increase of 42% increase over the next five years—it looks like that may come true much sooner than he forecast.
It is time to pull the plug on the 3,700 MW of uninstalled but contracted wind and the 1,400 MW of solar before the cost to subsidize electricity exports is more than the average ratepayer’s electricity bill!
The $6-billion dollar man, as energy analyst Tom Adams calls Minister Chiarelli, should seriously consider taking a math lesson or two before embarking on any more forecasts.
December 18, 2013
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.