WCO reports energy concerns

Section: 
Letter

I would like to communicate to my community what happened earlier this month with respect to electricity and pricing. The WCO (Wind Concerns Ontario) reported on May 13 that Ontario’s electricity ratepayers had a $10-million hangover caused by first-to-the-grid rights for wind power under the Green Energy and Economy Act.

There media release included figures from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) recording wind power generation in Ontario from 7 p.m. on Friday May 10 (off-peak rates kick in for the weekend) through to midnight Sunday, May 12 show that wind produced 58,165 megawatt hours (MWh) and beat their old hourly production record several times.

The news might seem good for those interested in renewable power but it comes at a very stiff price. That 58,165 MWh at $135 per MWh cost Ontario ratepayers $7,852,276. At the same time, because wind power has priority over cheaper forms of electricity production in this province, we had to export 127,361 MWh at $20.40 per MWh. Worse, Ontario Power Generation actually “spilled” or wasted clean renewable hydro power- probably as much as wind produced. We could have generated the same amount of power from hydro as wind at a cost of just $1,186,500.

Ontario’s Auditor-General commented that wind power is produced out of phase with demand, and that the government never did a business case study for its renewable energy program.

That weekend was quite the party for wind power. Unfortunately, Ontario electricity customers are stuck with a very large bill for power we didn’t really need.

I live in here in the Municipality of  Kincardine, where Bruce Power employs thousands of people with good jobs that stimulate our local economy. Why are we spilling water at Sir Adam Beck, not running gas plants and powering down nuclear? Why are we paying less to export our energy than we, in this province, are paying for it? We have clean nuclear, clean hydro water and gas, so why does wind get priority? Who is behind this unfair and costly mistake?

I would encourage people to engage and understand what is happening with provincial energy process and policy.

Patt Hutton

RR3, Tiverton