Turbines at the 100-megawatt Samsung Belle River power plant–power when we don’t need it
Friday October 6th, 2017 was a work day just before the Thanksgiving weekend. At 10 AM that morning, Ontario’s electricity ratepayers had much to be thankful for. Power generation from wind amounted to just 27 MWh, but that 27 MWh wasn’t really needed as nuclear, hydro and a little gas were providing all the power we needed. And, both hydro and gas were capable of producing lots more if Ontario demand required it.
The hourly Ontario energy price (HOEP) during that hour was $13.50/MWh (megawatt hour) so the value of the 27 MWh that wind produced in that hour cost ratepayers about $365.
Two days later, Thanksgiving Sunday was a different story: at 3 AM wind power was working in the night, generating 1,145 MWh with another 2,797 MWh curtailed (wasted, held back, not added to the grid). Ontario’s ratepayers were paying $135/MWh for the grid-accepted wind and $120/MWh for the curtailed wind.
The HOEP was a negative $3/MWh so the grid-delivered wind was costing ratepayers $415.95/MWh or 41.6 cents/kWh! In total, that one hour cost ratepayers $476,274 for unneeded generation. On top of that, because Ontario demand for power was low (most of us were fast asleep so the LED lights were out), Bruce nuclear was steaming off excess generation (we pay for that), OPG was probably spilling water (we also pay for that), and we were exporting 2,802 MWh to Michigan, New York and Quebec and picking up the $3/MWh cost.
So, comparing the two hours suggests we didn’t need wind generation on October 6th during a business day and we didn’t need it on October 8th in the middle of the night!
This is more proof that wind power is produced out of sync with demand.
The time has come to stop all contracting for additional wind generation and to cancel any that are not under construction.
Community concerns about giant wind power project in quiet rural area remain unanswered
Concerned Citizens of North Stormont leader Margaret Benke, in Finch, Ontario
Last evening marked the final public engagement session in the lead-up to power developer EDP applying for Renewable Energy Approval for its 100-megawatt “Nation Rise” power project.
The local population has made it clear they are not in favour of the giant wind power project, which will cost the people $3.3 million over the 20-year contract with the IESO, and add more to everyone’s electricity bill.
For power that Ontario doesn’t need.
People attending had some questions for the developer that may have been tough to answer. Some examples:
The Draft Project Description Report, under Wind Turbines states that the hub height will be anywhere from 100 to 140m. This is significantly higher than the 100m towers at your South Branch Wind Project in Brinston, where residents have filed complaints.
How will the proposed 132m height affect the transmission of noise across our flat, relatively non-forested terrain and how will it differ when there is a hard ice/snow covering on the frozen ground and no leaves on the trees, a condition often found between late November and early April in North Stormont?
In your noise report, you use a global ground absorption factor” of 0.7. This number is supposed to reflect the worst-case scenario, in our case when surfaces are hard/non-absorptive, like those we see repeatedly in winter, when the ground is frozen and following ice rain events (6 or more this past winter). Why have you not included a more accurate “0” absorption factor, which is our “worst case” scenario, or something closer to it, which reflects local conditions in North Stormont?
Who are the engineers referred to in Section 3.2.6 of your “Site Considerations” Review? Will they sign, without “qualifying” their report, and assume professional responsibility for all information provided?
Given that over 3,200 noise complaints were officially documented in Ontario from 2006-2014, (just as EDP’s South Branch was brought on-line) and from your prior experience internationally, how have you addressed noise and health complaints?
Community members were particularly concerned that EDP, even though this was the last community event, still could not provide information on the exact equipment to be used, and how many turbines there would actually be in the project that could have as many as 34 50-storey structures.
For more information or to provide support and donations for possible legal action, contact the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont here.
With the Ontario government introducing a new program severing the link between the cost of power and the price of power so it can shift 25 per cent of household power bills today to future generation by way massive new debts, it seems like a good idea to know why Ontario’s power rate crisis developed.
Ontario’s power rates were relatively stable until 2008, when they started steep yearly increases. With the fastest rising rates in North America since then, Ontario’s rates surpassed the U.S. average years ago. The largest single factor driving this increase has been new generating capacity from wind and solar renewable generation.
The Ontario government and its supporters commonly report the costs of different types of generation counting only payments made directly to particular forms of generation.
But, when renewable energy costs trickle down to consumers, those costs are much more than just payments to renewable generators. While it is true that the payments to generators for wind power – 14 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – is cheaper than for gas power — 17 cents/kWh – not all electricity has equal value. (For context, the average rate households pay for the commodity portion of their bill is about 11 cents/kWh.)
Why don’t we replace wind power with gas power, save money and cut emissions?
Where gas power is delivered on demand, wind is fickle. Eighty per cent of Ontario’s wind generation occurs at times and seasons so far out of phase with usage patterns that the entire output is surplus and is exported at a substantial loss or squandered with payments to generators to not generate. Gas power in Ontario backs up unreliable wind and solar, a necessary function if the lights are to stay on, but we pay twice for the same service.
Direct payments to solar generators average 48 cents/kWh, but the output is similarly low value. Except for a few days per year, Ontario’s peak usage of power is just as solar panels shut down – in the evening.
Massive losses through exports
Not only is Ontario’s renewable energy production driving massive losses to subsidize exports and payments to generators to not generate under the terms of contracts that obligate consumers to buy even useless power, but it is also driving costly but low-value “smart grid” projects required to accommodate renewables.
Rising power rates have driven down usage. Spreading rising costs over declining sales has amplified the pace of rate increases.
Again, government and its supporters have pumped their claim that using less will save us money. What has actually happened is that conservation in Ontario is indeed saving money but mostly for utilities and their customers in Michigan and New York State on the receiving end of our subsidized exports.
But didn’t renewables enable Ontario to get off coal, saving us from smog days, and slash health-care costs? Although endlessly repeated by the government and its supporters, none of these claims bear scrutiny.
Coal’s replacement in Ontario was achieved with increased output from nuclear and gas generators. Improvement in air quality in recent years has been the result of a massive conversion to gas power in the mid-western states upwind of Ontario as well as improvements in transportation fleets and industry. Most of the coal power Ontario produced in its last years came from plants with good new scrubbers, delivering effectively smog-free energy. Predicted health-care savings from the coal phaseout never materialized.
But isn’t the cost of renewable energy plunging?
Ten years ago, the average payment to Ontario wind generators was around 8.3 cents/kWh. Taking into account inflation, the average today is up 50 per cent.
Wind and solar aren’t the only renewable energy ripoff. Recent additions to Ontario’s hydro-electric capacity have added billions in new costs but no additional production. Ontario’s most costly generator is a converted coal-fired station in Thunder Bay, now fueled with a wood product imported from Norway.
Punishing contracts in place for 20 years
A bad smell emanates from renewable politics at Queen’s Park. Renewables developers who made the biggest donations to the provincial Liberals have tended to win the biggest contracts.
Ontario’s renewable energy program is not the only disaster on consumers’ bills. Excessive payroll costs and wasteful conservation programs also lurk, but no single factor has contributed more to the compounding semi-annual increases in rates since 2008 than renewables.
Most of the punishing cost consequences of Ontario’s radical renewables program are locked in with 20-year contracts. Children today will be paying these irresponsible contracts long into the future, along with current costs that the Wynne government has now decided will be added to this future burden.
Tom Adams is an independent energy and environmental advisor and researcher focused on energy consumer concerns, mostly in Eastern Canada. He has worked for several environmental organizations and served on the Ontario Independent Electricity Market Operator Board of Directors and the Ontario Centre for Excellence for Energy Board of Management.
Wind power contracts should be cancelled to control electricity costs: Mike Baggott of Ottawa Wind Concerns
Ottawa Wind Concerns was an invited guest speaker this week at a pre-budget consultation event held by Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod, at the Alfred Taylor Centre in North Gower.
Executive member with the group and North Gower resident Mike Baggott told the audience that while Ontario’s electricity bills are among the highest in North America, more costs, specifically expensive wind power contracts awarded to power developers, were yet to come.
“Everyone wants to do the right thing for the environment,” Baggott explained, “but has the Ontario government done the right thing?” Two Auditors General said there was never any cost-benefit or impact analysis for the province’s green energy plan, and the Wynne government pays twice as much for renewable energy as other jurisdictions do. The expensive wind contracts are among the factors pushing electricity bills up.
“As high as our bills are now,” Baggott said, “they will get worse if projects in Ontario recently awarded contracts are allowed to proceed.”
He noted the power projects in La Nation, east of Ottawa, and North Stormont –both opposed by the local communities — will cost Ontario ratepayers over $600 million for the 20-year contracts.
In all, Ontario is facing $5 billion in new wind power contracts, at a time when the province has a surplus of power. Wind power also cannot demonstrate any benefits to the environment, Baggott said.
“It’s time to stop digging the hole,” Baggott concluded.
The main speaker at the event was Parker Gallant, a former banker whose energy sector analysis is frequently published in The Financial Post, who explained line by line, “What’s in Your Hydro Bill.”
MPP MacLeod outlined steps that can be taken to control electricity costs, and answered questions from the audience.
“It’s hard not to get depressed when you hear, line by line, how we got here with our electricity bills,” commented Rideau-Goulbourn councilor Scott Moffatt.
Parker Gallant: what’s in your hydro bill? A lot of government mistakes
WCO vice-president Parker Gallant and president Jane Wilson speak on Ontario’s mismanaged electricity sector, energy poverty, wind turbine noise regulation, and what’s ahead for 2017
(C) Wind Concerns Ontario
Q:You’ve been telling people about the impact of renewables, specifically wind power, on Ontario’s electricity or hydro bills. How much of our electricity bills is due to the wind power/renewables program in Ontario?
Parker Gallant: I recently reviewed the cost of wind and solar generation relative to its contribution to Ontario’s demand for electricity and its impact on our electricity costs is shocking. Wind and solar in the first six months of 2016 delivered 8% of our generated power and represented 35% of the Global Adjustment which appears set to average over $1 billion per month. That represents a cost of over 36 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh), including the hourly Ontario energy price (HOEP).
Q: Parker, you’ve also been telling people about the Global Adjustment or GA, which is where a lot of charges are hidden. Do you think these charges should be detailed on our bills, or is that even possible?Parker Gallant: While I believe in principle the GA should be revealed on our monthly bills, in practice, that would require reams of paper. How will the local distribution company explain how much you are billed for curtailed wind generation or the meteorological stations that measure the amount of curtailed wind that might have been generated? How to explain, say, the cost of spilled hydro or steamed off nuclear or the water fuel fee, or how to tell the ratepayer how much they are subsidizing the rates for large industrial clients, or what it is costing under the rural and remote rate plan (RRRP) that transports diesel fuel to remote First Nations, among dozens of other items included in our monthly bills?
Q: The Premier and Energy Minister are now saying that parts of their policies have been a “mistake” and that they need to get bills down. Wind Concerns is saying that canceling wind power contracts is necessary for that to happen. Can you explain? How much are the 2016 contracts worth?
Parker Gallant: Interesting they are now admitting a “mistake,” but when George Smitherman was Energy Minister he was provided with a long-term energy plan that had been carefully developed by “experts” within the crown agencies. He chose to cancel the plan and instead, impose one developed in conjunction with outsiders who were NOT experts. Previous Energy Ministers (Dwight Duncan comes to mind for his “smart meter” for every ratepayer) made mistakes, as did those who followed such as Brad Duguid and were roundly criticized by both the media and by ratepayers. The canceling of wind power projects not yet built or even contracted is only “step one” and will slow the climb in our bills. The current Minister, Glenn Thibeault has only suspended Large Renewable Procurement or LRP ll, and needs to cancel it, as well as LRP I and any of those contracts now past their agreed-to start date. There are ways to reduce costs almost immediately.
Jane Wilson: Wind Concerns Ontario prepared a detailed document for the IESO on the Long-Term Energy Plan, suggesting ways they could save $1.7 billion annually. That would have an immediate cost reduction impact.
Q: The Energy Minister says that now, Ontario is a “net exporter” of electricity like that’s a good thing. He claims we’re making money: is that true?
Parker Gallant: Being a “net exporter” of 16.8 terawatts (TWh) in 2015 is simply a demonstration of being a bad planner and manager of the system. If one adds the spilled hydro and curtailed wind to the net exports, the 21.2 TWh could have provided over half of all average Ontario households with power for a full year, yet we sold it 2.36 cents/kWh while we paid 10.14 cents/kWh for its generation. Ontario contracted for far too much intermittent and unreliable wind and solar power creating a domino effect the increased our costs of generation. Paradoxically, if Ontario ratepayers consumed more of the annual excess power (15.5% in 2015) it would help reduce our per kWh cost.
Q: What is WCO’s stance on climate change?
Jane Wilson: Our position is that everyone wants to do the right thing for the environment, whether that is preventing air pollution or using the most efficient forms of power generation — but that isn’t industrial-scale wind. For example, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers or OSPE says that the proliferation of large-scale wind will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions, therefore not achieving the government’s stated goals. In the OSPE’s most recent report, they say “Wind generation offers less GHG reduction value in Ontario because base-load generation is already carbon-free and wind generation often displaces hydroelectric and nuclear base-load generation.”
Q: Why does the Ontario government continue to force wind turbines on communities that don’t want them?
Jane Wilson: The government is acting on an ideology that is not supported by fact and to do that, it erased communities’ right to local land-use planning with the Green Energy Act. We think that’s wrong, and are supporting the now 116 municipal governments that have demanded a return of that control and also that community support be mandatory for wind power contracts. There is a concern too about communities in the North where there may not be elected municipal governments, where contracts can be awarded for wind power projects that have a significant negative impact on the natural environment, for little or no benefit.
WCO worked with Ontario municipalities on the mandatory support resolution.
Q:Can the government really cancel wind power contracts? Can a new government cancel the subsidy programs?
Jane Wilson: Yes. There are clauses in the contracts under LRP I that are “off-ramps” in the case of cancellation, and which set out the financial steps needed to do that. For example, the contract with EDP for the “Nation Rise” project south of Ottawa in North Stormont, worth $430 million over 20 years, would cost $250,000 plus reimbursement for development costs that must be justified, to a maximum of $600,000. And yes, government can cancel subsidy programs. The LRP II, now “suspended”, should be cancelled outright.
The other opportunity is to cancel wind power projects that do not have a “Notice-to-Proceed”: this is straightforward. WCO has also suggested to the IESO that the government look seriously at all contracts and review them for opportunities to cancel. Even costly negotiated buy-outs will reduce hydro costs significantly, due to the high cost of disposing of surplus power.
Q: What is WCO doing to help people already living with wind turbines, and the noise they produce?
Jane Wilson: We support the public health investigation being done by the Huron County Health Unit, and hope that other municipalities will take similar action. We are also looking at how research can be done to help change the Ontario regulations on noise –which are not based on current science and in fact, are completely inadequate to protect health. We prepared a detailed document on how to revise noise enforcement regulations, another on how the approval process must be changed to protect health, and we submitted a document to the World Health Organization which is preparing global noise regulations for wind turbines. In short, we take every opportunity possible to explain the situation for people living in communities where wind turbines and their noise emissions have been forced, without consent, on the people of Ontario, with the goal of having regulations and processes changed.
Q: What’s ahead in 2017?Jane Wilson: It’s a very different world for wind power now, than in 2009 when the Green Energy Act was passed. People are genuinely questioning the benefit of high-impact, large-scale wind power development, especially when there seem to be few, if any, benefits, and we are seeing the shocking results of the government’s complete mismanagement of the electricity sector such as lost jobs and rising energy poverty. We believe the government will have to take dramatic action if it is serious about getting electricity bills down. The fact that Ontario municipalities are speaking out on this issue and taking action will also have results, we believe. We are hoping for a complete halt to the ongoing damage of the government’s policies, and that there will be help for people already living with the noise and other impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines.
As for Wind Concerns Ontario, we are not stopping our work.
Wind gets first-to-the-grid (which we pay for) meaning spilled or wasted hydro (which we also pay for). [Photo: OPG]
OPG spills hydro and $150 million goes “down the drain”
OPG released their 2015 annual report Friday March 4, 2016; it confirms that 3.2 terawatts (TWh) of water that could have been used for power was spilled last year. (This is similar to the spilled amount in 2014 year.)
How much is 3.2 TWh? Enough to supply about 350,000 average Ontario households with electricity for a full year … but it didn’t!
Here is what OPG’s annual report had to say:
“Baseload generation supply surplus to Ontario demand continued to be prevalent in 2015. The surplus to the Ontario market is managed by the IESO, mainly through generation reductions at hydroelectric and nuclear stations and grid connected renewable resources. Reducing hydroelectric production, which often results in spilling of water, is the first measure that the IESO uses to manage surplus baseload generation (SBG) conditions. During each of 2015 and 2014, OPG lost 3.2 TWh of hydroelectric generation due to SBG conditions.”
The principal reason we have surplus baseload is due to wind and solar being granted “first to the grid” rights. And, because wind and solar are intermittent (and unreliable) OPG is forced to spill clean renewable hydro power.
While spilling hydro in itself is disturbing in Ontario, especially considering our hydro-electric history, the fact we are now obliged to pay for the spilled hydro at the same time we are paying wind developers 13.5 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) and solar generators as much as 80 cents a kWh simply adds more costs to our monthly hydro bills.
OPG received $47 million per TWh (4.7 cents/kWh) for the spilled hydro. That means electricity ratepayers’ pockets were picked for over $150 million, or about $31.00 per ratepayer. Our reward for absorbing that cost was zero.
This month, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, will likely announce that Ontario will add even more intermittent, unreliable wind and solar generation. Your pockets are not safe yet.
Communities may have “more say” in the wind power project selection process but they still can’t “say” NO. Meanwhile, Ontario is set to dole out contracts for 300 more megawatts of wind power generation, despite a surplus and the fact the Auditor General says we’re paying way too much
Ontario will press ahead with more wind farms despite calls from critics for a halt to the multi-billion dollar projects in the face of energy surpluses.
A spokesperson for the Independent Electricity System Operator said Wednesday that Ontario will award contracts within weeks for another 300 megawatts of wind power after receiving proposals for more than 100 projects.
“Originally, we said we would award contracts by the end of the year, but that wasn’t possible given the number that we received so that was pushed back to March. We are on track to announce it this month,” said IESO spokesperson Mary Bernard.
No specific date for announcing the contracts has been released.
After facing an intense backlash from many communities opposed to wind farm development, especially in Southwestern Ontario that’s home to the province’s largest wind farms and its largest number of turbines, Ontario overhauled the process, requiring companies submitting bids to consult with municipalities.
Many communities bristled when the province, in its plunge into green energy, took away their zoning control over where the giant highrise-sized turbines can be built.
This time, companies also stand to be given preference if they can win backing of municipalities, local landowners or First Nations communities.
The 300 megawatts of power — equivalent to about what four large-scale industrial wind farms would produce — to be awarded this month is a relatively modest amount compared to earlier procurements that pushed installed wind energy capacity in Ontario to more than 3,200 megawatts in 2015.
It’s estimated one megawatt of wind power can supply enough electricity to power about 270 Ontario homes. Besides contracting for additional wind power, Ontario is set to award contracts for 140 megawatts of solar energy, 75 megawatts of waterpower and 50 megawatts of bioenergy.
Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of groups opposed to wind energy, said the 300 megawatts Ontario plans to contract through IESO will be intermittent and unreliable power that isn’t needed. …
EDITOR’S NOTE: There are seven wind power projects proposed for Eastern and East-Central Ontario, from Nation Township through to Addington Highlands and North Frontenac. Almost every single wind power project approved in Ontario has been appealed by communities.
Ontario premiers have a weak spot for pithy little slogans they can use to brush away troublesome matters.
“There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing,” Dalton McGuinty loved to say whenever stuck for an explanation for some horrific mistake. Why did his government spend $1.2 billion to not build two power plants after repeatedly insisting the projects would go ahead come hell or high water? Well, “there’s never the wrong time to do the right thing.” Smile. Next question.
His successor, Kathleen Wynne, has adopted a catchphrase of her own. “The cost of doing nothing is much, much higher than the cost of going forward ,” she’ll say when confronted with questions about some expenditure that has heads exploding across the province.
She deployed it Wednesday while seeking to justify the new tax on Ontarians that will accompany her cap and trade plan. Gasoline prices are expected to rise 4.3 cents a litre, while natural gas bills will increase about $5 a month.
Just in case the increases annoy Ontarians, Wynne came prepared: “The cost of doing nothing is much, much higher than the cost of going forward and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions,” she declared.
That’s debatable, and it raised an obvious question: Wynne’s Liberals have been in power since 2003. If the province has been “doing nothing,” who, precisely is to blame? And why are motorists and homeowners expected to pay the price now?
The reality is that the Liberals have been doing a great deal — much of it expensive, wasteful, ill-considered and counterproductive. Windmills now pockmark vast stretches of the countryside, producing excess power at marked-up prices supported by heavy subsidies. An Ontario Chamber of Commerce report indicated demand for power has fallen 8% since the Liberals came to power, due to a stagnating economy, but generation has increased 13%, producing a surplus of unneeded electricity. Twenty percent of businesses say the soaring costs could force them to shut down within five years. Rates rose in October, and again in January.
100-MW North Kent wind farm posted despite surplus power in Ontario
Ontario electricity customers pick up the tab for unneeded power development, again
The huge, 100-megawatt North Kent 1 wind power project proposed by the Samsung-Pattern Energy consortium was posted yesterday on the Ontario Environmental Registry. The announcement comes despite the Ontario Auditor General’s report in 2015 that Ontario has a significant oversupply of electrical power, and that Ontario ratepayers are paying too much for “renewables.”
In just the first eight hours today, the day after the announcement for North Kent 1, the Independent Electricity System Operator or IESO curtailed about 11,000 MWh of wind generation alone. It could have provided power for 1200 average households; instead it has cost Ontario electricity ratepayers $1.5 million … for nothing.
The power developers claim the power produced from this project during its 20-year agreement with the province will generate “electricity equivalent to the annual electricity needs of 35,000 homes.”
Their use of the wording “equivalent to” is interesting because with Ontario’s current and significant surplus of power, the electricity generated from this project will almost certainly NOT go to Ontario electricity customers, but instead will be sold at a discount to neighbouring jurisdictions like Michigan and New York State.
As an example, Samsung-Pattern’s Armow wind project just began operation this week, and energy analyst and blogger Scott Luft commented: “the only drivers of price in Ontario are excess supply and supply rate increases (primarily at OPG). Samsung’s announcement states ‘Armow Wind is expected to generate enough clean energy to power approximately 70,000 Ontario homes each year’, but … it’s unlikely it will have the opportunity to power a single one — it will power American homes or nothing at all.”
Energy commentator Parker Gallant also remarked: “The power [from the Armow project] delivered to Ontario will be charged to all average ratepayers at 13.5 cents/kWh whereas the power (probably about 50% of production) will be charged out to those NY & Michigan ratepayers at about 2.5 cents/kWh. Ontario ratepayers will pick up the difference between the 2.5 cents the surplus is sold for and the 13.5 cents/kWh the Armow owners will be paid.”
Although the project may be appealed (almost every wind power project in Ontario has been) Samsung-Pattern confidently announce that construction on the project will begin later this year, and operations will begin early in 2017.
Comments on the project are accepted by the EBR in writing or online until March 18. Comments must relate to environmental impact.
It’s official! The cost of exporting Ontario’s surplus electricity paid for by electricity ratepayers actually exceeded the prize up for grabs in the U.S.-based “Powerball” lottery. In this case, prize winners were neighbouring states, New York and Michigan and a few other lucky Ontario neighbours. The other big winners were the wind and solar developers in Ontario who were busy generating surplus unreliable and intermittent electricity.
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) released the “2015 Ontario Electricity Data”, and buttered it up with verbiage that made it sound like everyone in the province won — but they didn’t. Everyone who uses electricity for their daily needs actually lost a lot of money; the current year will simply make it worse.
Let’s have a look at some of the data. IESO told us Ontario demand fell by 2% to 137 terawatts (TWh) The press release tells us the drop in demand “can be attributed to conservation initiatives, increases in embedded generation, mild weather and broader economic shifts”. They don’t say what those “broader economic shifts” were, but they do sort of comment in respect to “embedded” generation. They tell us that embedded generation grew by 20% last year to 3,000 megawatts (MW,) but they don’t tell us what they produced meaning we are not being told if demand actually fell by the 2% claimed. If it didn’t fall the claim about those “conservation initiatives” would be false. We will never know because IESO won’t disclose what embedded generation produced. That doesn’t sound very “transparent” despite IESO first “Mission Statement” which is to operate the “electricity system and market in an effective and transparent manner.”
Other data released indicates Ontario exported 22.618 TWh (enough to power about 2.4 million1. average Ontario households for a full year) and those exported 22,618,000 MWh generated average revenue of $23.60/MWh each, meaning Minister Chiarelli would claim we made a profit of $534 million. Well, we didn’t make a profit! The data in the IESO release indicates the average hourly Ontario energy price (HOEP) for 2015 was $23.60/MWh (2.36 cents per kilowatt hour) and the GA or Global Adjustment added another $77.80/MWh to the costs of producing that exported surplus power bringing the all-in cost to $101.40/MWh. Our U.S. neighbours don’t pay the GA!
The total cost of producing those 22,618,000 exported MWh was therefore $2,293 million. Now, if we deduct Minister Chiarelli’s “profit” of $534 million, the “Powerball” number picked up by Ontario’s benevolent ratepayers was $1.759 billion.
The press release also told us that power generation from wind reached a record 9.0 TWh in 2015 (without accounting for constrained generation). The average cost of those 9 TWh was approximately $125/MWh or $125 million per TWh, so if we had had no wind turbines in the province producing electricity intermittently and out of phase with demand, we could have reduced the “Powerball” number by $1.1 billion. That would have saved the average ratepayer $223.
To many Ontario ratepayers, saving $223 in electricity costs would have been a “win” but instead, we all lose.