(November 16, 2013) While Premier Wynne was out jogging in the countryside – sans any turbines in the background – for the recently released Liberal promo, many of us ratepayers were having our pockets picked.
Looking only at the weekend of November 9 and 10, it appears that we ratepayers were supplying many wind developers with lots of cash that will allow them to make their maximum contributions to the Ontario Liberal Party.
Ontario exported over 115,000 megawatt hours in those two days and earned about $34,000, which will be billed out to customers at close to 10 cents a kilowatt hour while generating revenue of one quarter of 1 cent per kWh from our neighbours. At the same time we were paying gas plants to sit idle (as backup for wind turbines) and, presumably, Bruce Power to steam off nuclear and several wind developers for curtailed production. The all-in costs of those exports for the two days was in the range of $20 million, all of which will come from Ontario’s ratepayers. I also expect that OPG spilled some nice clean hydro without any compensation over those two days, which is a big part of their recent request to the OEB for payments on unregulated hydro to jump to $50. per MWh (5 cents per kWh) in the future rather than relying on the hourly Ontario energy price (averaging 2.6 cents per kWh so far in 2013 and 1 cent a kWh as I write this).
Now, on those two November days, wind produced 56,747 MWh or about half of what Ontario exported. Additionally, it appears they had 6,720 MWh curtailed and for the latter received a slight reduction in their contracted payment amount. Putting the two together (actual plus curtailed production) and estimating an average price of say $120 per MWh, would mean wind developers received $7.6 million for producing and for not producing electricity that Ontario didn’t need in the first place.
Ratepayers in just two days had their pockets picked by the Wynne Liberals of $20 million. If it wasn’t wasted we could have bought 10 new MRI machines, built one new school, hired 10 doctors at $200,000 per year for ten years or paved 10 kilometers of highway. Now our neighbours in Michigan and New York will have those savings and can use their spare cash to attract Canadian industry, possibly including some of our food processors like Heinz from Leamington, who just announced they are closing their operation after 104 years in business. This will result in 740 lost jobs.
Seems like just another waste brought to us by the Green Energy and Green Economy Act! Let’s hope we don’t have many more of those weekends.
Parker Gallant is a retired bank executive and a former director of Energy Probe Research Foundation. As with all independent bloggers on this site, Parker’s views do not necessarily reflect those of Energy Probe