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April 2015: surplus wind power costs Ontario millions

Energy Minister hiding his head over consumer losses due to surplus power, lots of it windEnergy Minister hiding his head over consumer losses due to surplus power, lots of it wind

Electricity exports cost heading for $2 billion in 2015

The continued costs to Ontario’s ratepayers for the oversupply of electricity generation in Ontario continued in April 2015; we exported another 2 terawatts (TWh) of power to our neighbours.  April’s exported TWh brings exports for the first four months of 2015 to 8.65 TWh — that’s enough to supply 900,000 average Ontario ratepayers with power for a full year.

Surplus exports represented over 19% of Ontario’s total demand for the month; that figure doesn’t include curtailed wind, steamed-off nuclear or spilled hydro.

The cost (Hourly Ontario Electricity Price + Global Adjustment) to ratepayers for exported power in April was $223 million. We sold it for 1.57 cents per kilowatt hour, thereby generating only $32 million. Ontario’s electricity ratepayers had to eat $191 million in losses that will find their way to the Global Adjustment pot and the “electricity” line on our bills.

As noted in a prior article, the first quarter of the current year generated losses (costs to ratepayers) of $437 million. So now, with the April figures, those costs to date are $608 million or $135 per ratepayer.

We still have eight months left in the year: at the current pace, our bill to support surplus exports will amount to over $400 for the average ratepayer.

Wind power generation for April represented 39% of the exported volume as it produced about 850,000 MWh (megawatt hours) at an average of $123.50 per/MWh, meaning its cost of $104 million represented almost 50% of total export costs.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli doesn’t seem to notice our growing surplus*; however, he has directed the IESO to acquire another 500 MW of renewable energy from wind and solar in 2015, and mandated conservation of another 7 TWh by 2020.

Time to stop digging the hole.

© Parker Gallant

May 27, 2015

The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.

 Editor’s note: speaking at a wind power information evening in Finch, Ontario, on May 6th, Ontario Federation of Agriculture president Don McCabe said there is no surplus of power in Ontario. This is a lot of lost power and a lot of losses to electricity consumers—including farmers—to deny.

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