Green blackout

Wind+turbines+and+power+lines+65035Tom Adams, Financial Post
Careless environmental ideology was a root cause of the blackout that cut off power to tens of thousands of Toronto homes, businesses, and institutions for several hours during rush hour on Monday this week.

Although a full technical report on the event is not yet available, it is clear that some transformer station equipment at the Manby transformer station in west Toronto failed. Transmission planning experts have long identified a failure at Manby as a known risk to the reliability of Toronto’s electricity supply. Three years ago, the Ontario Power Authority published a transmission plan for the province that included a detailed scenario analysis for a failure at Manby almost identical to Monday’s event. Unfortunately, that transmission plan got shelved, replaced by government directives to support more wind and solar generators.

Transmission experts have also long recognized that the power transmission network upon which Toronto depends is the most vulnerable to blackouts of the type experienced on Monday of any major financial centre in North America. Toronto’s special weakness is its lack of local transmission system redundancy.

The transmission system serving downtown Toronto is operated at its limit, with no capacity to spare. As a direct result, maintenance schedules are squeezed or eliminated, a factor that may well have played a role in initiating the event. The ability of grid operators to transfer load from one transmission path to another in the event of failures is severely limited, a factor that directly determined the scale and duration of the blackout. The large number of customers blacked out and the duration of blackout was a function of the system’s flawed design. Read article

8 thoughts on “Green blackout

  1. A 600 foot wind turbine in every Toronto “green space” should help. And there could be quite a few in High Park. Then people would come for the cherry blossoms and the beauty of the magnificent “windmills.”

    • You can add solar panels on every building to the IWTs so people in the GTA can live on electricity supplied by renewable energy sources with diesel backup.
      They can also foot all the bills for this nonsense and leave the rest of Ontario out of their renewable energy schemes.

  2. It’s too late – to apologize!
    Sincerely, Dwight.

    ‘[excerpt] As far back as 2007, then Energy Minister Dwight Duncan took the environmentalists’ bait hook, line and sinker, opposing a relief transmission line as an option to help secure Toronto’s electricity supply.’


    Environmentalists, including the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, the David Suzuki Foundation, World Wildlife Foundation Canada, Peter Tabuns of the Ontario NDP and Toronto Councillor Paula Fletcher, have played leading roles in blocking the development of another transmission line into the city’s core.

    Many environmental organizations, working with the Ontario government’s Trillium Foundation (which distributes the government’s gambling profits), the Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and others formed an umbrella group in 2007 called Transforming Toronto. The new group was developed specifically to oppose a new high-voltage transmission line into Toronto. In Ontario’s highly politicized electricity policy environment, affected electric utilities and agencies have not challenged Transforming Toronto’s fluffy assertions that transmission reinforcement is not needed.’
    For example, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance dimly claimed in a recent press release that……'[Jack – funded by gas companies]……

    Crony environmentalism – and – Energy Minister Dwight Duncan (2007)
    begs the question;
    what did Dwight Duncan contribute?
    The answer is a little scary.

  3. AND this is only the beginning. AND I hope the powers that be were also sitting in the dark, in a water puddle, sitting on a toilet bowel full of….etc.

  4. I would think that recurring blackouts is a small price to pay for the people of Toronto and they will accept these blackouts knowing that their liberal elected provincial government is responsible. After all, the people of Toronto are against NIMBY’s, and these blackouts are in their own back yards.

      • FYI…. “NIMBY”, depending upon which “side of the fence” you reside, can mean “NOT IN MY BACKYARD”! or “NEXT IT MAY BE YOU”!

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