Ontario consumers paid millions for wasted power in April, stats show

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While the Canadian Wind Energy Association, the trade association for the wind power industry and vested interests, continues to maintain that wind power cannot be contributing to Ontario’s rising and unsustainable electricity bills, the facts indicate otherwise. The figures for April 2017 show wind power produced out-of-phase with demand, causing power from other, clean sources to be wasted, and wind power producers paid not to add power to the Ontario grid.

Here is Parker Gallant’s analysis.

The Independent Electricity System Operator or IESO’s 18 month outlook report uses theirMethodology to Perform Long Term Assessments” to forecast what industrial wind turbines (IWT) are likely to generate as a percentage of their rated capacity.

The Methodology description follows.

“Monthly Wind Capacity Contribution (WCC) values are used to forecast the contribution from wind generators. WCC values in percentage of installed capacity are determined from actual historic median wind generator contribution over the last 10 years at the top 5 contiguous demand hours of the day for each winter and summer season, or shoulder period month. The top 5 contiguous demand hours are determined by the frequency of demand peak occurrences over the last 12 months.”

 The most recent 18-month outlook forecast wind production at an average (capacity 4,000 MW growing to 4,500 MW) over 12 months at 22.2%, which is well under the assumed 29-30 % capacity claimed by wind developers. For the month of April, IESO forecast wind generation at 33.2% of capacity.

April 2017 has now passed; my friend Scott Luft has posted the actual generation and estimated the curtailed generation produced by Ontario’s contracted IWT.   For April, IESO reported grid- and distribution-connected IWT generated almost 703,000 megawatt hours (MWh), or approximately 24% of their generation capacity. Scott also estimated they curtailed 521,000 MWh or 18 % of generation capacity.

So, actual generation could have been 42% of rated capacity as a result of Ontario’s very windy month of April 2017, but Ontario’s demand for power wasn’t sufficient to absorb it! April is typically a “shoulder” month with low demand, but at the same time it is a high generation month for wind turbines.

How badly did Ontario’s ratepayers get hit? In April, they paid the costs to pay wind developers – that doesn’t include the cost of back-up from gas plants or spilled or steamed off emissions-free hydro and nuclear or losses on exported surpluses.

Wind cost=22.9 cents per kWh

For the 703,000 MWh, the cost* of grid accepted generation at $140/MWh was $98.4 million and the cost of the “curtailed” generation at $120/MWh was $62.5 million making the total cost of wind for the month of April $160.9 million.   That translates to a cost per MWh of grid accepted wind of $229.50 or 22.9 cents per kWh.

Despite clear evidence that wind turbines fail to provide competitively priced electricity when it is actually needed, the Premier Wynne-led government continues to allow more capacity to be added instead of killing the Green Energy Act and cancelling contracts that have not commenced installation.

* Most wind contracts are priced at 13.5 cents/kilowatt (kWh) and the contracts include a cost of living (COL) annual increase to a maximum of 20% so the current cost is expected to be in the range of $140/MWh or 14cents/kWh.

Re-posted from Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives

CanWEA comments on wind power cost ‘incorrect and cannot stand’ says university professor

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“Assertions are complete nonsense … only wilful blindness would suggest that wind and solar are low cost”

UWaterloo Prof Natin Jathwani, Executive Director Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy: Big Wind guilty of wilful blindness on energy costs?

Recently, energy analyst and occasional columnist for The Financial Post Parker Gallant wrote that the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) was hitting back at allegations that wind power was contributing to Ontario’s rising electricity bills.

Ontario representative Brandy Gianetta said wind power was a low-cost energy source, and she referred to University of Waterloo professor Jatin Nathwani for support.

Trouble is, she was wrong.

Professor Nathwani took the time to correct CanWEA’s statements in an email to Parker Gallant, published on his Energy Perspectives blog today.

Here is Professor Nathwani’s email:

Dear Mr Gallant:

In your Blog, you have cited Ms. Giannetta’s post on CanWEA’s website on April 24, 2017 as quoted below:

Her article points to two articles that purportedly support the “myth” she is “busting,” but both require closer examination. She cites Waterloo professor Natin Nathwani’s, (PhD in chemical engineering and a 2016 “Sunshine list” salary of $184,550) article of March 6, 2017, posted on the TVO website, which supports Premier Wynne’s dubious claims of “a massive investment, on the order of $50 billion, for the renewal of Ontario’s aging electricity infrastructure.” Professor Nathwani offers no breakdown of the investment which suggests he simply took Premier Wynne’s assertion from her “Fair Hydro Plan” statement as a fact! It would be easy to tear apart Professor Nathwani’s math calculations — for example, “The total electricity bill for Ontario consumers has increased at 3.2 per cent per year on average” — but anyone reading that blatant claim knows his math is flawed!

First and foremost, the record needs to be corrected since Ms Giannetta’s assertions are simply incorrect and should not be allowed to stand.

If she has better information on the $50 billion investment provided in the Ministry of Energy’s Technical Briefing, she should make that available.

 The breakdown of the investment pattern in generation for the period 2008-2014 is as follows:

Wind Energy $6 Billion (Installed Capacity 2600 MW)

Solar Energy $5.8 Billion (Installed Capacity 1400 MW)

Bio-energy $1.3 Billion (Installed 325MW)

Natural Gas $5.8 Billion

Water Power $5 Billion (installed Capacity 1980 MW)

Nuclear $5.2 Billion

Total Installed Capacity Added to the Ontario Grid from 2008-2014 was 12,731 MW of which Renewable Power Capacity was 6298MW at a cost of $18.2 Billion.

For the complete investment pattern from 2005 to 2015, please see data available at the IESO Website.

In sum, generation additions (plus removal of coal costs) are in the order of $35 billion and additional investments relate to transmission and distribution assets.

I take strong exception to her last statement suggesting that the 3.2 percent per year (on average) increase in total electricity cost from 2006 to 2015 in real 2016$. The source for this information is a matter of public record and is available at the IESO website.

Ms Giannetta’s assertion is complete nonsense because she does not understand the difference between electricity bill and generation cost. Let Ms Gianetta identify the “blatant flaw.”

As for the electricity bill that the consumer sees, there is a wide variation across Ontario and this is primarily related to Distribution.

The Ontario Energy Board report on Electricity Rates in different cities provides a view across Ontario:

For example, the average bill for a for a typical 750kWh home Ontario comes is $130 per month.

In Toronto it is $142, Waterloo at $130 and Cornwall at $106. On the high side is Hydro One networks is $182 and this is primarily related to cost of service for low density, rural areas.

Your Table 2 Total Electricity Supply Cost is helpful and correctly highlights the cost differences of different generation supply.

Only wilful blindness on Ms Giannetta’s part would suggest that wind and solar are coming in at a low cost.

Warmest regards

Jatin Nathwani, PhD, P.Eng

Professor and Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy for Sustainable Energy

Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE)

Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Environment Fellow, Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA)

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON

Endangered turtles win wind farm appeal in Prince Edward County

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ENDANGERED TURTLES WIN PROTECTION FROM WIND FARM IN ONTARIO, CANADA

The Environmental Review Tribunal determined the Blandings Turtle was endangered by the wind farm

Landmark legal decision overturns government approval of large power project

WELLINGTON, ONTARIO, CANADA, April 27, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ —
A years-long legal battle over a wind power project by Germany-based wpd in Ontario, Canada, resulted in a ruling by the provincial government’s Environmental Review Tribunal yesterday, in favour of protecting an endangered species of turtle.

In the Tribunal ruling, government approval for 18 of 29 industrial-scale wind turbines in the “White Pines” project was reversed. With 60 percent of the project removed, it may be impossible for the power developer to meet its contractual obligation.

The citizens of Prince Edward County, about two hours east of Toronto, where the project was to be located, fought the wind turbines for almost 10 years, and spent almost $2 million CAD in legal fees.

“The County” as it is called, on the shores of Lake Ontario, is a stopping place for hundreds of thousands of birds migrating in eastern North America, and was identified as an Important Bird Area by conservation groups. The area is also a habitat for the endangered Blandings turtle, and home to the Little Brown Bat which is on the verge of extirpation.

“This [decision] is clearly a victory for the survival of the Blanding’s turtle and many other animal and plant species,” said Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County president Gordon Gibbins. “Although the Tribunal decision was specifically concerned with protecting the turtles and their habitat, we are very pleased that indirectly as a result of this decision there will be no turbines in the Prince Edward County Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.”

“The Tribunal decision has made it clear that this wind power project was never about protecting the environment,” said Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, the coalition of community groups concerned about wind power projects.

“The wind power project was always about money. The citizens of Prince Edward County fought hard to protect the environment and wildlife against our own Ministry of the Environment.”

Citizen evidence was crucial in bringing forward evidence of harm to the environment in the various appeals of the power project, Wilson says. “The government did little or no oversight on how wildlife is to be protected, and it was the people of Prince Edward County who brought the information to the Tribunal. As a result, in Ontario now, wind power does not automatically override environmental concerns.”

Economic impacts were also a concern for the community. The County is a tourist destination with dozens of wineries and cheese establishments; winery owners were concerned about the negative impact of the huge power-generating turbines on the County with its quaint villages and pastoral views as a tourist attraction.

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff said, “Our community has been fighting this project for quite some time. I’m glad to see that the Environmental Review Tribunal has recognized and given credence to our concerns.”

For more information, visit Wind Concerns Ontario at www.windconcernsontario.ca
905-362-9334

Jane Wilson
Wind Concerns Ontario
905-362-9334
email us here

New wind turbine noise guidelines fail to address problems

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New Ontario wind turbine noise compliance protocol falls short

Way short.

As in, little or no understanding of the problems with wind turbine noise emissions.

New noise protocol misses all the problems

 

On Friday, April 21, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change released a new protocol document intended for “assessing noise from wind turbines that have already been built. It is used by industry and ministry staff to monitor compliance.”

While in the absence of guidance for staff, and the complete lack of compliance audit information from wind power developers and operators, this is a step forward, the truth is, the protocol doesn’t change much.

Here’s why:

  • the protocol still relies on audible noise only, when many of the complaints registered with the MOECC concern effects that are clearly linked to other forms of noise
  • the protocol does not take into account lower wind speeds, which is where problems are being experienced, particularly with newer, more powerful turbines
  • there is no comment on any sort of transition between the protocol that existed before and this one

Improvements:

  • the Ministry’s action in producing this protocol is an indication that they know they have a problem
  • the description of Ministry response is a good step forward
  • requiring wind power companies to actually have, and to publish, compliance audit documents could be a sign of expectations of greater accountability among the power developers/wind power project operators.

This table outlines the critical gaps in the new protocol document.

 

Issue     Protocol Requirements Actual Experiences
Wind Speeds Assessment of noise at wind speeds between 4 m/s and 7 m/s MOECC testing indicates problem noise starts below 3 m/s which is outside of wind speeds involved in the protocol.
Ambient Noise Narrow time period assessed Wide seasonal variations while wind turbine noise constant
Location Only test outside of home Very different inside noise conditions
Tonal Assessments Uses criticized techniques Narrow band analysis shows tonal noise present.
Resident Input None Resident concerns drive other MOECC procedures
Frequencies Excludes Infrasound Elevated levels of infrasound in homes

 The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change needs to acknowledge that there is a problem with wind turbine noise, and accept that it must play a role as a government agency charged with protecting the environment and people in it — preparing an industry-led document may look like a positive step, but this document does not meet the needs of the people of Ontario forced to live with wind turbines, and their noise emissions.

Wind Concerns Ontario

Wind power developer uses threat to influence environmental agency

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Power developer announcement it is about to clear land which is habitat for an endangered species is an attempt to force the Environmental Review Tribunal to issue a decision on the Prince Edward County wind power project, and proposed “remedies” for species at risk

The Environmental Review Tribunal determined the Blandings Turtle was endangered by the wind farm; the company is proceeding with construction in the absence of a final decision

April 15, 2017

Minutes before 4 PM on the Thursday of the Easter weekend, Germany-based wind power developer WPD issued notice to the Environmental Review Tribunal that the company intends to start clearing land in advance of building the White Pines power project.

Land clearing is to begin on Wednesday, the corporate power developer said, which meant there is only one day after the Easter weekend to file any documents against the action.

The White Pines project has been contested in an appeal before the Tribunal; the original decision found that the power project would cause harm to endangered species of turtles and bats. A hearing was held in late January to hear possible “remedy” actions to prevent loss of life, but a decision accepting or rejecting the remedies has not yet been rendered.

WPD is in danger of being in breach of its contract with the Ontario government if it does not begin supplying power by the critical Commercial Operation Date.

The Blandings Turtle, one of the endangered species at risk from the wind power project construction, has already been seen in the County by residents, so has emerged from hibernation.

The rush to construction shows how willing the wind power developer is to risk environmental damage, a spokesperson for the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County told news media Quinte News.

At an earlier phase of the White Pines project WPD began unauthorized land clearing but was halted by an order from the Environmental Review Tribunal. WPD is also the power developer behind the contentious Fairview Wind project near Collingwood. It threatened to sue the Ontario government if a contract was not issued for the power project.

Previous attempt by WPD to clear land for unauthorized construction of the Prince Edward County wind power project

 

 

Wind turbines found to exceed legal noise levels

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Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to conduct more tests on homes near Goderich; wind corporation says it is confident the power project is operating legally

April 11, 2017

CTV News London is reporting that several residents living near the K2 wind power project have received notification from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) that the turbines near their homes, and causing them to report excessive noise, are in fact out of compliance with provincial noise regulations for the power generating machines.

In the conclusion of the “Acoustic Recording Quantitative Screening Measurement Report” of testing performed by the MOECC recently, the MOECC states

… it is acknowledged that sound from the wind turbines was audible during the measuring campaign at levels that appear to exceed the applicable sound level limits, and based on C3 measurements conducted at a nearby receptor (the distance is about 1250 m from R876; where the same turbine(s) within 1500 m distance impact both receptors) it was further concluded that there is a possibility that sound from the nearby turbines could be tonal.

The use of the word “tonal” is key as the MOECC–and the wind power industry–have up to now refused to admit that the noise emissions from turbines are tonal, or producing vibration.

The complaints voiced by people living near turbines, however, seem to indicate that pressure or vibration is a key feature of the emissions being experienced.

See the CTV London video here:

http://london.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1098781&binId=1.1137796&playlistPageNum=1

K2 wind is located in Huron County and is operated by a consortium of Capital Power, Pattern Energy, Manulife, and the Alberta Teachers pension fund.

Residents near the South Branch project are reminded that they should report any adverse effects from wind turbine noise to the MOECC Spills Action Centre by calling 1-800-268-6060. Callers should provide their name and telephone number, location, location relative to the nearest wind turbines, direction of the wind and wind speed if available (this can be noted from weather data on your cellphone), and a rating of the noise/vibration on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most severe.

Callers should be sure to get an INCIDENT REPORT reference number at the time of their call, and keep a record of their call(s) together with the reference numbers.

 

Picton barge incident highlights wind developer attitude to environment

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The recent sinking of a commercial barge near Picton, Ontario, in Prince Edward County, has resulted in a spotlight on the activities by wind power developer Algonquin Power, and its controversial Windlectric project on Amherst Island.

The project will virtually subsume the little island, which is home to 34 at-risk or endangered species of wildlife, and change life for its residents dramatically. However, that wasn’t enough to sway the Environmental Review Tribunal, which dismissed a citizen group appeal. The project is still before the courts, with a new phase beginning in Toronto this week, before Divisional Court.

One of the requirements in a power developer’s Renewable Energy Approval or REA is a marine logistics plan, which documents how marine safety will be managed as construction proceeds, and equipment and material such as gravel are transported over water.

Windlectric had no Marine Logistics Plan in place.

Until the day after the barge sank.

The barge was to transport gravel from Prince Edward County across the water to the Windlectric site but encountered ice which “sandpapered” a two-foot by two-foot hole in the hull, and partially sank.

Windlectric hastily issued a Marine Logistics Plan which, interestingly, made no mention whatsoever of the use of Picton Bay, and how the barge traffic was going to work with the Glenora Ferry trips every 15 minutes. Picton elected officials also expressed surprise at the use of the Picton Terminal: they had no idea that Algonquin Power was getting gravel from Prince Edward County, and there had been no agreements for road use.

Use of the Picton facility has now been halted, and Prince Edward County remains under a Boil Water advisory due to the spill of diesel fuel, although the state of emergency has been revised from earlier this week.

This weekend, the power developer issued a statement saying the barge sinking was “unfortunate” but “outside the project’s boundary at the time of the event.” So, not our concern.

Algonquin Power is also seeking the use of a stretch of parkland near Millhaven and Bath to use as a construction staging area; the company claims it will return the parkland to its original state after it is finished.

Barge carrying construction equipment and material: no plan in place at the time of accident [Photo Jay Pickerel/Facebook]

The fact remains that the construction of wind “farms” is actually construction of huge power plants, no matter what bucolic photos of benign “windmills” are used.

Questions should be raised about the environmental impact of these construction activities not only of the developers but also the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, which citizens have a right to expect is overseeing events and confirming that mandated conditions for environmental protection and safety are being met.

Prince Edward County in state of emergency following pollution incident

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Barge carrying construction equipment and material: no plan in place at the time of accident [Photo Jay Pickerel/Facebook]

A barge carrying construction materials to the Windlectric wind farm site on nearby Amherst Island sank this past weekend, polluting Picton Bay with diesel fuel. The bay is the source of drinking water for Picton; at the time of the incident, the wind power company had not yet filed a mandatory Marine Logistic Plan to document safety measures.

The Amherst Island group says in light of violations of terms of the power developer’s agreement with the government, the project –which will cost Ontario electricity customers $500 million over 20 years–should be cancelled.

A news story from CTV is here:

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/picton-water-treatment-plant-reopens-but-water-emergency-remains-in-place-1.3345517

The Association to Protect Amherst Island issued this statement today.

Dear Premier Wynne

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff has declared a water emergency as a result of contaminants approaching the Picton-Bloomfield water intake due to a partially sunken barge in Picton Harbour under contract to McNeil Marine and ultimately under contract to Algonquin Power/Windlectric for the proposed Amherst Island Wind Project.
The silence from Algonquin Power/Windlectric is deafening.
Indeed Algonquin/Windlectric had the audacity to attempt to continue aggregate delivery from Picton Terminals to Amherst Island yesterday (Tuesday March 28 2017) but was thwarted either because either the water was too low or the dock too high, yet another example of the comedy of errors associated with this ill-conceived project.
The Association to Protect Amherst Island reiterates its request for MOECC to issue an immediate stop work order for the Amherst Island Wind Project until such time as a comprehensive report is available for the Picton Harbour incident and a preventative action plan is is place to address the high risk to public and environmental safety of all aspects of the project. and to address the need for a Major Design Modification to address the changed project location to include Picton Terminals.
 
At the same time, the Association reaffirms its request to reject the proposed amendment to the Certificate of Property Use for the contaminated  Invista Lands on Bath Road (EBR 012-9749) designated as parkland.  Similar to the Picton Harbour situation, a water intake exists in proximity to the proposed mainland dock for the Amherst Island Wind Project and serves a local industrial park.  Algonquin/Windlectric in its Marine Safety Plan now advises that fuelling of barges is proposed at the mainland dock location.  Not only is the land contaminated with the possibility of pollution of Lake Ontario, the company plans to fuel in proximity to a water intake.

The same “Marine Safety Plan” fails to address any aspect of transport of materials from Picton terminals except for a vague reference that “The bulk barge and the ATV (Aggregate Transfer Vessel)  will approach and leave the island dock area from the west, . . . ” as if from the Land of Oz.  The Association is in the process of reviewing this “too little, too late” document and will have further comments about use of barges in ice conditions, the lack of traffic volume, lack of simulation of barges crossing the ferry path, incomplete information about the installation of the high voltage transmission line from the mainland to the Island and the total lack of risk assessment, failure to mention Picton Terminals,among other matters.

The use of an “Aggregate Transfer Vessel” was not identified in the REA submission and no stockpiling of aggregate was proposed other than in immediate proximity to the proposed cement batching plant by the Island school.
The Association has emphasized the importance of marine safety since this project was proposed and has pleaded with politicians, MOECC, Ontario’s Chief Drinking Water Official and the Chief Fire Marshall and Head of Emergency Preparedness.
Please take immediate action to stop the Amherst Island Wind Project before a tragedy occurs.
Thank you.
Sincerely
Michèle Le Lay
President
Association to Protect Amherst Island

MPP Lisa MacLeod says Ontario farmers in dire straits over hydro bills

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Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod addressed Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault in an evening session of the Ontario Legislature, to express concern about the plight of Ontario farmers and growers whose livelihoods are suffering due to high electricity bills.

She used the examples of the Manotick-based greenhouse operation SunTech, Osgoode Mushroom, and North Gower Grains to show how different growers are being affected by unrelenting increases in electricity bills, much of which is due to the government’s push for wind and solar power.

See MPP MacLeod’s speech and the Energy Minister’s response here.

Even though her riding will soon split, MacLeod said, she will “always” stand up for Ontario farmers.

Site plan for North Stormont wind power project shows 34 turbines planned

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The 100-megawatt project will cost more than $400 million, while Ontario already has a surplus of power

EDP Renewables, headquartered in Madrid, has posted the site plan for its 100-megawatt “Nation Rise” wind power project, in North Stormont, about 40 minutes south and east of Ottawa.

Details posted:

Project Name: Nation Rise Wind Farm

IESO Reference Number: L-006351-WIN-001-100

Project Location: The proposed Nation Rise Wind Farm will be located on private and public lands in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry in the western portion of the Township of North Stormont, Ontario, and bounded to the south by the Township of South Stormont and to the west by the boundary of the Township of North Dundas. The north portion of the site is delimited by the municipality boundaries of Russell and the Nation. Courville Road and MacMillan Road are the east boundaries of the project.

Dated at: the Township of North Stormont this 17th day of March 2017.

Other project documents including the draft noise impact assessment are available on the Nation Rise wind “farm” website here.

Residents interested in learning more about the impact of the power project on the area’s homes, environment and wildlife, and in supporting the group’s activities and legal fund, should contact the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont*, whose website is here.

The 20-year contract with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) will cost Ontario electricity ratepayers about $436 million.

The Minister of Energy, Glenn Thibeault, has stated, meanwhile, that Ontario currently has a surplus of power (which is being sold off at prices below what power developers are paid). The Nation Rise contract could be cancelled under a pre-construction liability clause for $600,000, according to IESO documents.

Minister Thibeault told a business audience in Toronto last year that the government’s “arbitrary” selection of wind power led to “sub-optimal siting” and “heightened community concerns.”

North Stormont is a Not A Willing Host community.

Concerned Citizens of North Stormont leader Margaret Benke, at a recent information event in Finch, Ontario

*Concerned Citizens of North Stormont is a chapter of Wind Concerns Ontario, as is Ottawa Wind Concerns.