Financial Post, October 6, 2015
F or the first time in Ontario’s electricity history the early morning hours of October 3 saw industrial wind turbines outproduce hydroelectricity. Hours 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. showed wind turbines generated 12,481 megawatts (MWh) versus 11,736 MWh of hydroelectricity. Generation from wind turbines represented over 21 per cent of Ontario’s total demand for those five hours.
The advocates of renewable energy will presumably tout this as proof of the wonders of industrial wind power but before they do they should consider the facts related to those five hours and the resulting costs!
Ontario’s total demand averaged 11,663 MW during the time frame, meaning base-load power supplied by nuclear and hydro could have easily coped with the province’s needs, making wind’s production surplus. During those five hours Ontario exported 11,718 MWh at an average price of $3.43 MWh, meaning revenue generated was about $43,000 (less than half a cent per kilowatt hour) whereas the cost for their production (if we attribute all exports to wind) was $1.5 million (at an average price of $123.50/MWh) or 12.4 cents/kWh!
Ontario was probably also spilling clean hydro and perhaps even curtailing wind generation and ratepayers were forced to pick up the cost for those manoeuvres.
Conclusion: Wind continues to whip Ontario’s ratepayers!
Parker Gallant is a retired banker