John Spears, The Star
Controlling the flow of wind power onto Ontario’s electricity grid could save consumers up to $225 million a year, says the province’s electricity system operator. And it warns that with thousands of megawatts of new wind power due to flow onto the grid over the next few years, the problem will only more acute if rules are changed.
On windy days, Ontario is sometimes stuck with surplus power, as supply exceeds demand. And that’s a problem the “simply must be tackled,” David Butters, the head of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario, agrees.
The figure for the potential cost of surplus wind power is contained in a presentation by the Independent Electricity System Operator. Surplus power builds up when “baseload” power — power that runs all the time, or power that can’t be controlled — exceeds demand.
Baseload power is the output from nuclear power plants and big hydro stations that are designed to run all day, every day. It’s technically difficult, or very expensive, to reduce the output from these plants. At the same time, Ontario is rapidly building wind farms, whose output flows onto the system whenever the wind blows. Read article