Hydro game needs probing

Toronto Star
Re: Pay generators to shut down, says think-tank, July 20
If this is not a good reason to go back to the old Ontario Hydro days, I am not sure what else could convince me. A few weeks ago we read about power generators playing the game of shutting down and then starting up generators and getting paid handsomely for the service. The story went on to tell how one generator did this so many times in one period that the money was in the millions of dollars, all taken out of the pockets of Ontario ratepayers.

How could that possibly be happening as we have an organization that is paid to manage our hydro? The electricity manager spokesperson says that they are looking in to this, all the while Ontario ratepayers are getting ripped off. Now we have a think-tank suggesting that it is more cost effective to pay them to not generate electricity. I get the supposed savings, but who is writing these contracts?

We need a think-tank to rethink the contracts, preferably a few common folk, and how we can protect the ratepayers, not reward generators for work not needed. We need an investigation in to how these so-called experts are getting away with writing these contracts on our behalf.

If this is what it means to run Hydro “like a business,” then let us start running it as an “essential service” with the emphasis on service rather than being serviced.

John Anstruther, Niagara Falls

I almost gag every time I see the words “opportunity” and “revenue” included in articles discussing Ontario’s electricity exports. Ontario’s subsidized exports are an expensive problem that will only get worse as rehabilitated nuclear units and more Feed-in Tariff projects come into service.

Over the last 12 months Ontario has been a big net exporter of electricity, shipping out a net amount of 10.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Using information from Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator and the Ontario Power Authority, over the next 24 months Ontario could see another staggering 18.5 billion (or more) kWh per year of electricity pushed on to the system, with much of it likely driving increased, subsidized exports.

About two-thirds of this new generation will come from nuclear generation and the remainder from renewable energy. For this incremental generation, we’ll be paying a blended price over 12 cents/kWh and much of it will be shipped out of the province, at less than 4 cents/kWh. Guess who’s left holding the bill ($1.5 billion, annually) for the difference?

Bruce Sharp, Senior Consultant, Aegent Energy Advisors Inc., Toronto

3 thoughts on “Hydro game needs probing

  1. In the process of editing the version printed in their print edition, the Star made a technical error that I’ve asked them to correct.

  2. AND, how many times has OPG begged and PAID other jurisdictions to TAKE our SURPLUS electricity?

  3. And in the mean time we all suffer higher hydro prices and are chasing business out of this province. I mean really who can afford to run a company in Ontario? Hydro, over the top regulations and red tape are strangling the economy. Until these issues are curtailed Ontario will continue to be a have-not province. Thank you Mr. McGuinty. What a legacy you will be leaving behind come October. You will be a memorable Premier – for all of the WRONG reasons.

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