IESO approves new data obligations for renewable facilities

by Andrew Sullivan, Stikeman Elliott LLP  Canadian Energy Law

Beginning November 1, 2011, many wind and solar PV generators will be required to submit real-time meteorological and output data to the IESO.  The market rule amendment is part of IESO plans for renewable integration. As part of this integration, the IESO is seeking to implement centralized forecasting. Instead of providing energy forecasts, renewable facilities will be required to submit real-time, site specific data (“dynamic data”) to the IESO that will be used to produce variable generation forecasts provided by a third-party.

The requirements will apply to all wind and solar facilities connected to the IESO-controlled grid in addition to embedded non-market participants with an installed capacity over 5MW.

Starting November 1, 2011 these facilities will be required to submit both site-specific data in addition to their own forecasts. Once the IESO has implemented its central forecasting approach, renewable generators will no longer be required to submit their own forecasts. However, there is no indication from the IESO of an exact date centralized forecasting will be implemented.          

Of particular note, the market rule amendment specifies reporting standards. 

In addition to dynamic data, both wind and solar facilities will be required to provide information concerning the physical layout and details of the facility (“static data”) at the time of connection assessment and/or registration. A summary of these collection requirements are found below.


For wind facilities, the following static and dynamic data will be required:

 Static Data  Description
 Turbine Hub location  Turbine Hub location (latitude and longitude), height, and elevation from sea level.
 Meteorological (MET) Tower location  Physical location (latitude and longitude), height, and elevation from sea level.
 Type of turbine  Whether the turbine is a horizontal or vertical axis type.
 Manufacturer’s power curve  Power curve maps containing expected output for a turbine at varying wind speeds.
 Cut in speed  The lowest wind speed (metres per second [m/s]) at which the turbine will generate power.
 Cut out temperature  The maximum and minimum ambient temperature (in °C) at which the wind turbine will be shut down to prevent physical damage.
Dynamic Data Unit of Measure Height of Measurement Precision (to the nearest…)
Wind Speed Metres per Second (m/s) Hub height 0.1 m/s
Wind Direction   Degrees from True North Hub height 1 degree
Ambient Air Temperature Degrees Celsius (°C) Hub height or 2m 0.1 °C
Barometric Pressure Hectopascals (HPa) Hub height or 2m 60 Pa
Relative Humidity Percentage (%) Hub height or 2m 1.0%
MW outputs (per facility) Megawatt (MW) N/A 0.1 MW
Available Megawatts Megawatt (MW) N/A 0.1 MW

Additionally, the IESO had mandated collection standards for dynamic data listed above. At minimum, each facility will be required to provide this data from nacelle mounted data collection points. Every turbine is required to be within 5km from the nearest data collection point. Furthermore, each facility over 10MW will be required to provide data from at least one standalone meteorological tower. The number of towers required will correspond to the facility size (MW). Towers will be required located on the prevailing upstream side of the wind facility in areas that have representative microclimates and winds at hub height. Data is to be reported to the IESO in real-time every 30 seconds.

9 thoughts on “IESO approves new data obligations for renewable facilities

  1. One wonders if these reports will be made public. I doubt it, but wouldn’t it be nice. Among other things, we could see if turbines’ efficiency drops over time.

    • Wayne:

      I have been following this — as has Scott. He believes that (the numbers how that) efficiency does drop over time — most electromechanical equipment does drop in efficiency over time — for many reasons. It would be more of a surprise if that did not happen. (Bearings wear, transmission efficiency drops, winding insulation breakdown, switching resistance etc.)

      I believe that even “non-reporting” facilities have to install this equipment and perform the data feed/updates. If so, that would be a step in the right direction as it is the first step in the general public being able to see the inefficiency of the equipment.

      To me the only way to stop this scam is to expose the very high price being paid for virtually nothing. People like value for money — IWT’s and Solar offer nothing in this regard.

    • David,

      I agree – I’ve seen numbers that suggest a 2% drop per year. But those numbers are unavoidably based on meteorological wind readings, which may not be reflective of what the hub is seeing. It’d just be nice to have the real deal.

      Aside from efficiency we could also see how well the forecasting is going. The BPA does publishes the forecasts and the actual production and, no surprise, the forecast is pretty good when the wind isn’t blowing.

      • Neither of you seem to understand the Feed-In-Tariff policy at all.

        Producers under the FIT program only get paid for actual electricity sold to the grid – which is metered precisely. If their efficiency drops… so what? The owners make slightly less revenue?

        This new requirement is to designed to allow for greater grid integration – the start of the ‘Smart Grid’ which means the IESO can predict future power output with greater accuracy. Its a very good thing for the renewable energy industry, because it means more renewable power can be added to the grid!

      • Mike:

        I am not sure that you are following the conversation at all. We do understand the FIT program quite well. Thank you.

        Does the “precise metering” subtract off the power consumed by the IWT — remembering that it must be powered even when not running?

        Are you aware that IWT’s produce very little power most of the time? Typically the produce less than (about) 17% power over half the time.

        The greater the difference between the median and the mean — the more variable the performance. Some of the sites don’t look so good.

        Putting more “renewables” on the grid should be the least of our priorities.

        These new collection standards should make this even more obvious.

        Every renewable kilowatt sucks the lifeblood of the country.

      • Mike –

        David and I understand the FIT quite well, as he says. What you don’t understand is that if the efficiency drops, the developers’ profits drop, and they go crying to Dalton to raise the rates. And Lord knows Dalton has never said “no” to the wind industry. Now do you see why we care?

  2. You are actually thinking we feel paying 4 to 12 times the rate for power is good?
    We don’t want you or anyone selling us power at a profit..

  3. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    A bankrupt G. E. will be in charge of the ‘Smart Grid’ = everything will be okay!

  4. This is the comment I posted at Canadian Energy Law:
    The IESO has not been providing weather related forecasts to the generators. This has been the responsibility of the generators as, I am sure, it still is for other generators such as OPG. There is no doubt that the changes as outlined above came about from dismal forecasting from the wind and solar generators combined with heavy lobbying from the wind and solar generators. Yet another unfair advantage that these alternative generators have received over others. All of the costs regarding generation outputs and forecasting should be carried by the generators in order to have a level playing field in this respect.

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