Staggering Cost of Ontario’s Disastrous Wind Power Experiment

Like South Australia, Ontario is another place where ideologues destroyed a perfectly reliable and thoroughly affordable electricity supply. In both cases the economic consequences have been a disaster.

Its Liberal Government under Kathleen Wynne took the insanity to new levels, and Ontario will be paying the price, for generations to come.

Wynne and her band of acolytes were shown the door, after an electoral drubbing at the hand of Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives back in June.

Ford reduced the Liberals to a sullen rump, after running on a platform that made no secret of his hostility to heavily subsidised and completely chaotic wind power.

Ford promised to scrap the Green Energy Act, put in place by Wynne’s Liberals, that was primary source of a raft of unnecessary economic and social damage.

Here’s a couple of pieces detailing the staggering costs attached Wynne’s wind power obsession.

Green Energy Act axed
Sootoday
Village Media
7 December 2018

The Green Energy Act is no more, having received Royal Assent.

That means local municipalities will have the power to block unwanted wind and solar farms, says a government news release.

“The Liberal’s Green Energy Act took powers away from municipalities to stop expensive and unneeded energy projects and led to skyrocketing electricity rates for Ontario families,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli. “Under the previous government, energy rates tripled, driving manufacturing jobs out of Ontario and hurting hardworking families.”

Fedeli says the repeal gives the government the authority to stop approvals for energy projects where the need for electricity has not been demonstrated.

“The Green Energy Act represents the largest transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the rich in Ontario’s history,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.  “Well-connected energy insiders made fortunes putting up wind-farms and solar panels that gouge hydro consumers in order to generate electricity that Ontario doesn’t need.

“One of the first actions your government took was to cancel 758 expensive and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for the people of Ontario, saving $790 million for electricity customers,” said Rickford. “The days of sweetheart deals for energy insiders and unpopular projects forced on local municipalities are over.”
Sootoday

Ontario without wind
Energy Pespectives Blog
Parker Gallant
21 November 2018

If the then Liberal Ontario government had decided not to proceed with the GEA (Green Energy Act) which focused on wind and solar sources, one could justififably wonder how the cost of electricity might have been affected.   If we had instead focused on reliability and reasonable costs, Lennox coupled with our other sources, could have easily replaced the intermittent and unreliable generation from wind turbines.

The math: Taking the wind power generation of 53.1 TWh over the nine years out of the picture would have meant those 18.7 TWh of spilled hydro and the 2 TWh of steamed-off nuclear could have reduced the net contribution of wind to 32.4 TWh. That would have saved ratepayers $1.8 billion i.e., (cost of 20.7 TWh of IWT generation @ $135 million/TWh = $2.8 billion, less the cost of 18.7 TWh of spilled hydro @ $46 million/TWh [$875 million] and less the cost of 2 TWh steamed off nuclear @ $70 million/TWh [$140 million])

The remaining 32.4 TWh of wind power generation could have been provided by generation from the OPG Lennox plant (capacity of 2,100 MW). It would have eliminated the $800 million cost of the 6.9 TWh of curtailed wind as it would have produced power only when needed.  Now if it ran at only 20 percent of its capacity (gas or oil,) it could have easily generated the remaining 32.4 TWh generated by IWY and accepted into the grid.

Note: No doubt much of that 32.4 TWh wind power generation was presented at times IESO were forced to export it at a substantial loss. For the sake of this calculation we will assume Ontario demand would have required it.

More math: As noted in the earlier article “idling” ** costs for Lennox are fixed at $4.200 per MW per month, making the annual idling costs about $106 million or $8.8 million per month. Running at 20 percent of capacity would result in idling costs per MWh of generation of about $30/MWh.

Adding fuel costs*** of about $40/MWh would result in total costs (on average) of approximately $70/MWh or 7 cents/kWh.  Generation at 300,000 MWh per month on average would have generated 32.4 TWh over those nine years (2009–2017).  The cost of that generation would be approximately $2.3 billion whereas the 32.4 TWh generated by IWT in those same nine years cost ratepayers about $4.4 billion.

So, without any wind power generation at a cost of $8 billion over the nine years, Ontario ratepayers would have saved almost $4.9 billion:

  • $1.8 billion using spilled hydro
  • $200 million using steamed-off nuclear
  • $800 million paying for curtailed IWT generation and
  • $2.1 billion by utilizing Lennox

Beyond the dollar savings, the lack of subsidized wind power would also have other effects like:

zero (0) noise complaints, instead of the thousands reported,
elimination of the slaughter of thousands of birds, bats and butterflies
prevented the possible disturbance/contamination of well water
Again, that cost-benefit study might have proved useful!

*1 TWh is about the amount of energy 110,000 average households in Ontario consume annually.

**Idling costs of the TransCanada gas plant next door to Lennox is $15,200 per month per MW or 3.7 times more costly than Lennox.

***Lennox has the ability to generate electricity using either natural gas or oil meaning if a fuel priced spikes, as natural gas did during the “polar vortex” in 2014, Lennox can shift to the cheaper fuel.
Energy Perspectives Blog

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Richard Mann says:

    Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) have written about the difficulty incorporating intermittent wind and solar energy into the electrical grid. Our government failed to listen. Please read the both the report and the comments following.
    https://blog.ospe.on.ca/featured/ontario-wasted-more-than-1-billion-worth-of-clean-energy-in-2016-enough-to-power-760000-homes/

  2. The next thing that needs to happen in Ontario is the cancellation of all contracts, so that the rural communities can begin the process of recovery from the harm, the disruption and the damage to relationships. It may take a ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ type of approach.
    According to Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira, the cumulative harm from LFN and infrasound radiation is “irreversible”. Having these projects run their 20 year course is a ridiculous proposal because has publicly stated that knowing what she knows about LFN and infrasound damage from turbines to both the neurological and the vestibular systems, she would not live within 20 km from wind turbines. In Ontario we have people living within one km and in some cases, surrounded by arrays/clusters of turbines.

  3. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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