John Spears Toronto Star
Coping with surplus wind power will cost Ontario electricity ratepayers up to $200 million a year if market rules don’t change, says the power system operator. Moreover, it says, if it can’t control the flow of wind and solar power onto the Ontario grid, then “reliable and economic operation of the power system is, at best, highly compromised and likely not feasible.”
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) makes the statements in a filing with the Ontario Energy Board. It is responding to complaints from big wind power companies that the IESO’s proposals to impose new market rules on wind and solar power will cost them millions in lost revenue. The dispute comes as more and more renewable power is about to flow onto the province’s power grid. About 2,700 megawatts of wind and solar power are currently feeding electricity into Ontario’s system, three-quarters of it wind. That amount is set to more than triple by January, 2016.
Solar power generally flows into the system when it’s most needed, when demand for power is high. But wind often blows at the wrong time — overnight when demand, or “load” on the system is low — and dies when demand is high. Read Article