New wind power rules coming in Ontario to curb output

Wind-Turbine-Red-Flashing-LightJohn Spears, Toronto Star
Ontario wind power companies have reached an agreement that will curb electricity output from wind turbines when there’s surplus power on the grid. In return, the companies will get compensated for lost output, within certain limits. The agreement puts an end to a dispute before the Ontario Energy Board that pitted the wind companies against provincial power agencies.

Until now, wind power has had almost unrestricted access to the power grid, under rules designed to encourage the development of renewable power in Ontario. Wind power is especially tricky to deal with, because there’s a lot of it and the wind often blows strongest overnight or on weekends, when demand is low. Nuclear plants also produce power regardless of market conditions, because most nuclear units are very difficult to control – they’re either on or off.

As more wind power floods onto the grid, the combination of wind and nuclear sometimes leads to power surpluses, forcing Ontario to sell power to its neighbours at a loss, or even pay them to take it. The new rules will allow the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to switch off the flow of power from wind turbines if there’s too little demand. Wind operators will be compensated for some, but not all, of their lost output. Read article

17 thoughts on “New wind power rules coming in Ontario to curb output

  1. When a turbine is causing health issues the MOE should shut it down permanently for being out of compliance, then we would not have to pay them anything. Excess wind power would be gone, the wind industry in Ontario would be gone because we all know there’s hardly any turbines that aren’t causing problems

  2. In most cases any given day that you look at
    the IESO stats for production/demand the wind
    energy produced is surplus. One could
    extrapolate that in determining the mix of
    energy to meet our daily needs IESO does not
    factor in the amount of wind energy produced
    because it is intermittent and essentially it is
    not needed. So here we are building all of
    these wind factories that in theory we are
    going to pay to not produce energy that is
    not even needed in the first place. There is
    something terribly wrong with this picture.

  3. What a great place we have in Ontario……….create an Industry for something that isn’t needed or wanted by consumers, and then don’t produce anything but get paid by the consumer to not supply that product!
    Sounds like Ontario is well on it’s way to a “boom era” for destroying it’s own economy…………..sounds like McGuinty’s weird world is working well!

  4. ‘[excerpt] The agreement puts an end to a dispute before the Ontario Energy Board that pitted the wind companies against provincial power agencies.’

    John Spears – will be expanding on the story – soon.

  5. Anyone opened the story in the Star and actually read the comments after the story?
    The ignorance from urban and city Ontario appears to be total!
    Andrew Watts

    • Yes, but I sense a slight shift the way wind energy is now reported in Toronto media. A couple of stories in Star matter lay out some of the critical shortcomings of wind, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago. The large urban dailies are about where rural and small town papers were 2 to 3 years ago. This may be too late to save some of the developments on track, but the tide may be slowly changing on renewables..
      Outside of the Liberal cabinet and the wind energy boardrooms, pretty much the same thing actually, there can’t be too many left who fervently believe in wind power.

      • Hey Martin,
        You say,
        ‘Yes, but I sense a slight shift……’

        Talk about ‘shift’ – ‘skipping things’
        It’s like when I’m driving my car.
        I’m sitting @ a red light – I get the nod – I get it, and I’m ready.
        I’ve got my foot on the clutch – and break – ready for release
        The light turns green……………..
        …’s the good part – are you ready?
        In one easy shift – I’m in 3rd gear……..and, gearing up
        Spears is talking to me – and, I’m feeling it!

        Spears – skipped a few – ‘gears’!
        ……but, who cares – it’s The Star reporting the news.

    • Spent all that money buiding a 3rd Falls tunnel which is now not needed. But what’s a few billion here and there? Just add it on to the Ontario Hydro bills.

      • We still need the tunnel. That is truly clean, green, energy, it has been there all along. It is the ridiculous wind turbines that need to go. They are useless! Problem is, all the big money invested in renewables, is forcing crooked politicians and business people to lie like heck in order to cover their tracks. It actually worked, for quite a while, but as many others do, I feel the “winds of change”, and I believe they are blowing in our favour!

      • Just wanted to remind people that the 3rd Falls tunnel cost about twice as much as it was supposed to cost so any cost-benefit was lost.

    • NoTricksZone, Mar.5,2013
      “Green Doubts Over Renewable energies Skyrocket …”
      Only 9% of the German population believe it’s possible to cover Germany’s energy demands with only renewable sources. Down from 39% in 2011.
      People are now more concerned about affordable energy.

  6. Here’s a novel idea. Why not connect the homes and businesses of those folks that are unwavering believers in the virtues of wind/solar power, through their smart meters, to utilize “only” the electricity that’s being produced from wind/solar at an averaging of the cost based on which power source is producing and online at the time . If they can turn down your thermostat during really hot summer days to reduce your electricity consumption I’m sure this is doable as well. Those folks can then bask in their green electricity whenever the winds blow and/or sun shines. Any unused surplus electricity would be exported and any differentials in cost would be charged to their bills only as a “global adjustment”.

    Any takers?…………… I though not!

    • No more than there were when I suggested to the wind company reps., that they need to create a village made up entirely of hundreds of huge turbines, and homes filled with turbine lovers. We could study them, with no fear of the “nocebo” effect, or “nimbyism”. They looked a little “green” at the very thought of it!

  7. Spears says: “wind often blows strongest overnight or on weekends, when demand is low”

    Wow! The Wind Gods can actually differentiate between weekends and weekdays.

    This Star “reporter” never gets it, cannot put together any kind of cohesive thought or realize that he was handed a quote that looks and sounds ridiculous.

    The Toronto Star and John Spears deserve each other.

    • You know how the saying goes…..B.S. baffles brains, and the Star always leaves you feeling baffled! Go to the Sun if you want the unvarnished truth, especially regarding wind power.

    • See the graph titled: Yearly Power with Wind on Alternate Scale (It’s the first graph) Clicking on the graph will display a larger image.

      If anything one could argue that you are most likely to have a peak around 4PM — as small as it is. Overnight? Not so much.

      When wind blows on the weekend — demand is down — so the uncontrolled overproduction is noticeable. That is what is being seen — not any time based phenomena.

      Regardless of when wind blows we pay Americans to take it — or we shut down some other generation and pay them regardless through “Pay or Take” contracts or “Standby” contracts.

      Useless! Useless Useless!

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