Records in Ontario’s Electricity Market Mark the New Year

by Scott Luft 

The media tends to run all sorts of lists to mark the transition in the calendar year.  Here’s a pair of records that just occurred – for all the reasons I’ve noted elsewhere on my blog.

  • Monthly Net Exports hit an all-time high in December 2010.
  • January 1st was the lowest daily average for the HOEP (hourly Ontario Energy Price) since records began.
  • January 1st, hour 21, wind output was recorded at 1186MW – a new record.
December 2010 saw Ontario export 1.6 TWh more electricity than it imported, which was a third more than the previous high from August 2008.  This would be a much greater accomplishment if the IESO HOEP price wasn’t approximately $35/MWh in December, and we didn’t contract supply at around $70/MWh. This net export accomplishment cost us about $60 million.

January 1st brought a new record that, if it became a trend, could lead to us wishing for the good old days where we paid suppliers $70 for a product to export at $35.

The IESO daily summary for January 1st, 2011, shows an average Hourly Ontario Energy price at a record low of negative $20.29/MWh. With exports averaging close to 3000MW each hour, we paid external markets about $1.5 million to take off our hands production we paid our suppliers about $5 million dollars for.

Happy New Year … the bill will be in the global adjustment,/provincial benefit portion of your wholesale bill, or in your electricity rate, and, starting January 1st, also part of your provincial tax bill (the part that services the rapidly expanding debt).

Hopefully there are people resolving to take things more seriously this year.

6 thoughts on “Records in Ontario’s Electricity Market Mark the New Year

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that 1,186 MW of Wind Power that was generated on hour 21 of Jan 1 effectively get exported – because it’s surplus ?

    If so, we gave away (or paid someone to take) something that cost us $160,000:
    $13.5 cents per KWh x 1,000 (convert KW to MW) x 1,186 MW = $160,110… for one hour of wind.

    Regarding the article below this one (Hudak promises change on wind), let’s hope Mr. Hudak does the math and makes a rational decision !

  2. There is more to this story. Bruce Power throttled back three nuclear units to roughly the 60% level for several hours. That is a drop of about 945 MW. Hydroelectric plants were also held back, but of course wind ran full throttle collecting the big prices. In the ninth hour the price was at the minimum
    -$138.43/MWh or about -14 cents/kwh.

    The value of the market demand that day was -$6,822,017. Millions of dollars flushed down the toilet and we have to pay for it.

  3. To make it more clear the value of market demand was negative $6,822,017. That is what the IESO paid the customers to take the power away.

  4. Here’s the reason I said I’d be careful about stating straight out that all wind is exported. I’d had an e-mail after I made that statement months back, that any source you could make the same argument.

    Well, the most preposterous possibility was just realized, and that’s the one the Canadian Press, and the Toronto Star, put in articles summarizing the IESO release of 2010 summary data.

    “However, the Clean Air Alliance says even though the province doesn’t need the coal power, Ontario Power Generation operates its Nanticoke Generating Station to export electricity to the United States.

    Alliance chair Jack Gibbons says Premier Dalton McGuinty should tell OPG to stop exporting coal-fired electricity south of the border”


  5. Scott:

    My project to make an inexpensive LFN noise detection system looks like it was successful. To the point where it picks up earthquakes… which are just another low frequency noise generator.


    I am well aware that LFN detectors exist btw — this was about high quality for relatively low cost! …and it looks like it works. If there is LFN from turbines this unit should detect it. The higher sensitivity unit in the works will do so for sure.


    I sent Files to BBW and Scott so they can see preliminary results.

    I will try to post up something on the other bog and point people to it.

    It also looks like Barry Bridgeford was spot on. The receptor (The House) is the key. I only wired one wall to see if I picked up noise traveling only in one direction. That’s what happened. I will do additional testing for final proof — but it looks like you need to wire a receptor so that noise is picked up in three dimensions to get a full analysis of LFN in a house.

    I will do at least an article in the next few weeks — maybe a paper on detection and mitigation of noise.

    Writing an article on something like this takes as much time as designing the unit, the electronics and the software. So it will be done when I get the urge — and not before. Unlike the wind industry I do not have investors.

    If we add this to the work Scott is doing maybe we can drive a nail in a few coffins!

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