A November 16. 2020 article written by Robert Hornung, CEO of CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) makes the following claim: “Wind and solar energy have become the dominant choice for new electricity generation globally because they provide new electricity at the lowest cost. Keeping electricity costs low for Canadians will require adding a lot more solar and wind energy to the mix.”
Ratepayers and taxpayers in Ontario continue to experience the claim that wind and solar “provide new electricity at the lowest cost”! The past weekend was another example of the blatant misinformation we keep hearing from those determined to end our use of fossil fuels and drive us into “energy poverty”!
As most residents of the province are aware Ontario experiences lots of that “free fuel” that powers those IWT (industrial wind turbines). Over the past weekend it sure wasn’t free and to make matters worse it wasn’t needed.
Starting November 14th much of Ontario experienced heavy winds and even stronger gusts which continued through Monday November 16th. Those heavy winds channeled those IWT to generate lots of real and potential (curtailed) power. In one hour on IESO’s generation report wind could have generated as much as 92.6% of it’s rated capacity and at its lowest hour a miserly 6.9%.
Over the three days IESO reported grid accepted wind was 151,226 MWh and curtailed wind was approximately 68,200 MWh. Collectively with grid accepted wind developers receiving $135/MWh and $120/MWh for the curtailed generation the cost was approximately $28.6 million or $189.12/MWh (18.9 cents/kWh). Over those same three days we exported 167,856 MWh to our neighbours in NY, Michigan, Minnesota, etc. for an average price of $6.37/MWh or 3.4% of what Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers paid for the wind generation we didn’t need! As it turned out the combination of grid accepted and curtailed wind was almost 131 % of what we exported.
Ontario demand during the Saturday and Sunday were relatively low as they generally are in the Spring and Fall and were slightly higher on the Monday but over the three days the average was only 342,856 MWh.
What the foregoing suggests is IWT generation provided absolutely no value over the three days but cost Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers approximately $27 million (net of the $1 million we were paid for those exports). The $27 million doesn’t include the costs of the back-up gas plants for the unreliable and intermittent nature of both wind and solar to provide power when it’s actually needed!
The time has come for the CEO of CanREA, Robert Hornung to come clean and admit “adding a lot more solar and wind energy to the mix” will drive up our electricity costs even further.