Monday, February 28, 2011

Costly hydro towers sit idle | Canada | News | Toronto Sun

Costly hydro towers sit idle | Canada | News | Toronto Sun

The Toronto Sun reports on a stalled transmission line that explains a paragraph for the recent IESO 18-month outlook that had me puzzled.  It stated:

5.3.3 Niagara Zone
The completion date for transmission reinforcements from the Niagara region into the Hamilton-Burlington area continues to be delayed. This delay impacts the use of the available Ontario generation in the Niagara area, particularly during hot weather and high demand periods. The failed R76 voltage regulator and the BP76 circuit are expected to return to service by the end of 2012. This bypass will remain available for use if required until the R76 voltage regulator returns.

This leaves the opposite impression of the Sun article - but that doesn't mean the Independent Electricity System Operator is the more reliable source.  Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations is in Niagara, and it seems more likely the transmission line is to move power into the rest of Ontario than it is Niagara Falls is needing power from Hamilton.  With Surplus Baseload Generation continuing to grow as a problem as our supply mix becomes increasingly irrational, it also may be needed to get more excess power to market in New York State, but the expansion of the generating capacity in Niagara Falls (the Big Becky project) must be related to more transmission capacity.

The Sun article states a Caledonia aboriginal land claim.  It might be legally true - but the Six Nations know they aren't native to the area.

This is a property dispute.

Solar Outlook in Ontario

Right on time - here's one indication of the hand wringing going on in Ontario on uncertainty over the dependability of being gifted subsidies.
Ontario regulatory uncertainty clouds solar power market, report - POWER-GEN WorldWide

The latest IESO 18-Month Outlook predicts a winter peak of 22,391MW, and a summer peak of 23,574. The additional summer generation requirement, 1,183MW, could come from solar, as the summer peak time is in the middle of the afternoon. The first 22,391MW, for winter peak, must come from other sources, as winter peak is in the evening.

The linked article notes "2,450 MW of existing solar contracts." That's twice as much as a sane policy would dictate.

Looking for a Sugar Daddy

Reuters has an article today noting pending cutbacks to the solar subsidy level in England, "Solar ‘Gold Rush’ in U.K. May Die With Incentive Roll-Back.”
The article notes the impact of similar roll-backs in Spain and the Czech Republic – they could also have added Germany as it has struggled to contain solar growth to a level their grid can handle.
From Ontario, what is most striking is the hysterical final paragraphs mirror the apocalyptic tone of the overly incentivized here:

Lie, Lie, Lie

A article by Christopher Booker at the Daily Mail is titled, “Why the £250bn wind power industry could be the greatest scam of our age - and here are the three 'lies' that prove it

The 3 lies noted in the article are:

MPP Jim Wilson Writes on Electricity Policy

"It's time for families to take some power back" includes many complex points in a very brief article.

One question for the PC's I continue to have - why not introduce an option of real-time pricing (RPP) for the smart meters?  Mr. Wilson does cite the inequity of charging peak use rates when there is no peak use (spring and fall).  That begs the question, why not allow people of having the market dictate their price - instead of the clock?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ont. electricity rates expected to rise next week - Business - CBC News

Ont. electricity rates expected to rise next week - Business - CBC News

CAMECO's 2010 financials confirm a 2009 rate of $64/MWh was followed by only a $58/MWh rate in 2010 at Bruce Power - and it's projected to deline again in 2011 as wind continues to gut the market price - negatively impacting reliable suppliers.
The downward pressure on prices also impacts OPG's hydro assets, as a little under half of their production is unregulated hydro also cheapened by the market impact of unreliable wind supply guaranteed purchase priority.

TheStar Electricity prices to rise again as OPG seeks 6.2 per cent hike

TheStar Electricity prices to rise again as OPG seeks 6.2 per cent hike

OPG is getting a lot of resistance to this.
I've put together a graph to illustrate that they are the low cost producer - the blue bar is the average price in the wholesale market, and the maroon bar is OPG.
OPG is about 60% of market supply, and about another 20% is Bruce Power, a nuclear supplier that sells to the market at a little under the market rate.  The difference between the OPG rate and the Wholesale rate is therefore reflective of how much money is denied the public generation company to subsidize private wind/natural gas/ and solar suppliers.

There’s a real problem, a real issue, with hydro rates in Ontario

Mr. Howard Hampton: Recently, Cliffs Natural Resources, the mining company interested in developing the chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire region 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, released their study dealing with some of the mining issues, the transportation issues and the smelter refinery issues. What got people’s attention was Cliffs’s opinion that a smelter refinery located in Ontario would be unlikely because Ontario’s hydro electricity rates are too high. Since then, the McGuinty Liberals have issued press release after press release in an attempt to discredit Cliffs Natural Resources’ comments.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ontario is More Than Smart Meters ...

Ontario is more than smart meters: at the smart grid core, we thrive
Tyler Hamilton's entry, of a company building products to meet needs,  is good.

Combined with some of the recent activity at both his own blog,, and at the site that appears to me as both an excellent source of information, and a sales tool for the smart grid industry, it also illustrates why I feel Ontario's initial presentation of a smart grid is a failure.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Now CANwea's butt kissing is even annoying ....

The latest media release is titled "Ontario's commitment to wind energy strengthens investor confidence."  This latest addition to the fascist dance of the 'green' 'stakeholders' even annoyed Tyler Hamilton, who was quick to post a blog entry titled Is Canadian Wind Energy Association turning its back on offshore wind?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wind For Wind

CANwea’s latest news release deserves some additional information.
February 14th saw market prices driven down to as low as $21.81/MW, and only peaking at $34.61, as wind had one of those productive days that occasionally happens.  Exports climbed to average 1333MW per hour, as wind averaged 1058MW per hour during the weekday with the lowest Ontario demand  since January 3rd (the Monday taken as a long weekend by many - and treated as off-peak under TOU pricing).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

TheStar Provides a Soapbox for CANwea

TheStar Ontario wind energy advocates say they'll try harder to explain their projects to the public

Some counterpoints:
Whether or not “Europe” is turning away from wind energy, Germany's annual production hasn't changed much since 2006, and Denmark's since 2003. They do seem to manage to continue increasing capacity figures, which means capacity factors are dropping – as they are in Scotland and elsewhere now too.
Prices are not dropping, and the product is not getting more efficient. Economically, these are characteristics of a failed technology.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Fight the Big Wind Onslaught

Since the article How to Fight the Big Wind Onslaught, by Calvin Luther Martin, was posted nearly 2 years ago, Ontario has produced 5.1TWh of electricity with Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT's). At the times IWT output was higher, so were net exports. Wind production has not been utilized by the system operator to supply Ontario demand - exports were less than wind production only 2.3% of the time.
Estimating $110/MW paid for wind supply, sold at the average HOEP price of $33.41 over that time, this unnecessary production was sold forabout $400 million less that it was purchased for.

And those are the least serious consequences of the wind scam.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

TheStar Green Power: Big Becky nears the finish line

TheStar Green Power: Big Becky nears the finish line

Here's some interesting math on the costs of this project,  At a rate of $70/MWh, and an interest rate of 5%, it would take 25 years to get back to even if you were accounting for this like a private sector project.
That's before the water usage charges that the piratization gang insist the public generator should be paying for use of the public's water.


Smart Grid: 3 things public utility commissions are doing all wrong (and 3 they are getting right)

Smart Grid: 3 things public utility commissions are doing all wrong (and 3 they are getting right) is a very good site ... but calling out Ontario as exemplary just because we have thrown away the most money diminishes it into a sales tool for the latest trend.

It could be, and usually is, much more than that.

EIA - Today in Energy

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has a nice quick graphical overview of energy consumption in the United States since 1775.

EIA - Today in Energy

If that whets your appetite, the longer term (25 year) outlooks released in the last couple of months should interest you.
The summary page for the early release of 2011's overview of electricity generation is here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

ERCOT Isolated - Ergo, Texas Blackouts

Master Resource has an excellent article on the Texas blackouts last week.  Initial reports on these events blamed wind energy, the President, coal and natural gas - but in the end it looks like the main reason is the isolation of the Texas grid.

Environmental Attributes For Sale: Desperate Times Call for Poorly Conceived Measures

The Financial Post has a short note today on the latest whimsy at the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) - selling Environmental Attributes.

Shortly after the closing of North America's only carbon trading market, The Chicago Climate Exchange, the Financial Post cites a bulletin from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s (BLG) Climate Change Group, who seem perplexed as to why this would happen now - and what the 'this' is?

There shouldn't be a lot of surprise.  It's been almost 2 decades since Maurice Strong's Ontario Hydro tried to account for environment factors through implementation of a Full Cost Accounting process, and a couple of years since the OPA went from a small group of system planners to be 20-30 times larger as it became obsessed with the NEGAWATT while writing contracts that pay private electricity suppliers about $2 billion a year more than the market would (the GA-OPA component of the Global Adjustment).

TheStar Ontario to launch $1 million blitz to explain soaring energy costs

TheStar Ontario to launch $1 million blitz to explain soaring energy costs

Ontario's Liberal government has yet another pamphlet pleading their case on electricity costs.  If you read it, keep in mind that back in the winter of 2003, PC Premier Eves was noting nuclear capacity coming back online in the near future would restore capacity to acceptable levels in Ontario.

2500MW of nuclear capacity returned (2 units at Pickering and 2 at Bruce) by early in 2005, and that capacity meant nuclear provided 20TWh more in 2010 than it did in 2003.  Usage is down to - about 9TWh.   Coal use is only down 25TWh, but natural gas is up 9 too.

The main reason for the rapid escalation in price is a policy of expensive demand reduction programs (smart meters for installing TOU, and all these pamphlets!),  and expensive programs to procure unnecessary and inappropriate supply sources.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hey Kid, can you lend me $50 million for something Smart?

An article begins with "The Canadian Province of Ontario has announced plans to launch a $50 million smart grid initiative aimed at driving investment in research, capital and demonstration projects."They didn't do that on any Government of Ontario site I can locate.

If by announced you mean whisper it in a foreign jurisdiction through a City of Guelph employee aligned with yet another organization with yet another adorable name (Ontario Clean Technology Alliance) made up of yet another grouping of different local governments - well, maybe they did announce it.

Some things not in the news release.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

FITs with Tyler Hamilton - UnFIT with Aldyen Donnelly.

I found Tyler Hamilton's, Ontario needs to rethink role of “green” gas a good article with a very debatable conclusion.
Enbridge owns wind assets in Ontario and is buying up solar assets rapidly. They are voracious eaters at the FIT banquet.  I doubt they are concerned about the limitations of the FIT program - only the dollars they can extract with the next addition to it.

The problem is the FIT structure itself - as opposed to Renewable Energy Standards ... or simply standards as opposed to bureaucratic and/or financial trickery.  FITs limit the innovation potential of the market by design.
It isn't an oversight - it is a characteristic of the mechanism itself.

Aldyen Donnelly wrote about this today - the curious should browse all her work over at Energy Probe.

It Is Not Windy

Contrary to the everything balances out over time school of thought, the capacity factors for wind turbines dropped significantly in 2010.

Ontario Power Agencies Failing Consumers: Examining the IESO

Ontario Power Agencies Failing Consumers: Examining the IESO

Tom Adams provides important insight into the increased politicization of Ontario's IESO, and the negative impact that is having on Ontario consumers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

TWIE 49: New Fuel May Cause Tequila Shortage - This Week in Engineering - This week in engineering ::

TWIE 49: New Fuel May Cause Tequila Shortage - This Week in Engineering - This week in engineering ::

What could I possibly add to this ...

Why the need to export electricity subsidized by the Ontario consumer?

By: Donald Jones, P.Eng. - 2011 Feb. 2
Ontario exports large amounts of electricity to neighbouring jurisdictions day and night. Exports occur for technical and financial reasons. Ontario presently has an excess of baseload generation so it makes sense to export the surplus. In the immediate future there will be many thousands of megawatts of installed wind power on the grid and exporting will be the only way to maximize its accommodation on the grid while maintaining grid reliability. Since supply contracts with the non-utility gas generators apparently mean that consumers pay whether the generation is needed by Ontarians or not, it makes some sort of misguided sense to export at a subsidized price and get at least something for it. 

$50 million Smart Grid initiative Pending?

This article, Ontario Clean Technology Alliance attends EUEC 2011 to advance aggressive policy goals through increased trade on energy efficiency technologies,  claims another $50 million dollars will be burned through on the smart grid.

I'm reminded of a joke about a catscan being done, ... to test for claustrophobia.

Propose $50 million in a study to determine if there is another $50 million to be had.

Follow the wind power money

Follow the wind power money

Good question - here's another. How much cleaner is wind supported by simple cycle natural gas peaking, in the Holland Marsh, as opposed to scrubbed, cleaner, coal in Nanticoke?

TheSpec - Energy minister praises Burlington solar power firm’s...

TheSpec - Energy minister praises Burlington solar power firm’s...

Includes the give-away phrase "As the demand for electricity grows ..."
It doesn't
The writer of the article needs to visit my blog!