Here’s how NextEra makes $287,040,645/year from Ontario wind projects

NexterasMillionsOntarioby Harvey Wrightman
Seven years ago when we first entered the fight against wind projects, everyone including myself assumed that wind companies sought to put their turbines on the sites with the most wind. Wind data was gathered and fiercely guarded by wind companies, the data being “proprietary.”  That’s how it is in the real world – performance is the goal or should be.

Well, in the alter-world that is Ontario Energy Policy, real data is undesirable. Imaginary data is much more useful. It’s almost impossible to find out how much the wind companies are getting paid. The terms of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) contracts are never released to the public – that’s also proprietary and confidential information.  However, from the minutes of the final Community Liaison Committee (CLC) meeting for NextEra’s Adelaide wind project in mid July this year, a smidgeon of real data did surface revealing how much power NextEra was claiming to have produced – it’s a lot more than anyone ever expected.

Here Operations Manager, Peter Miller, let slip how much NextEra was billing the Ontario Power Authority for power production (p 7):

“ … over 160,000 MWH of wind energy has been produced since commercial operation.”

That’s 160,000 MWh for 9 months, or 213,000 MWh/year.

Nameplate capacity for  Adelaide Wind is 60 MW which means Adelaide Wind will produce 60 MWh x 24h x 365 days = 525,600 MWh/year if at 100% of capacity.  This means that Adelaide Wind is claiming production efficiency of 41%!

At $135/MWh the Adelaide Wind project will rake in $28,755,000/year.

But, but, but… real world operational efficiency in SW Ontario rarely exceeds 25% according to the Independent System Operator (IESO) records. The windiest sites might generate close to 40%, but that’s definitely the exception. It seems the Ontario government has decreed that the wind industry shall be paid what the wind industry believes it should be paid. Real numbers/data don’t matter.

Then a question is posed as to how the  Independent System operator (IESO) determines who gets to put power into the grid (p 9). Ben Greenhouse, NextEra Executive Director of Development states:

 “… our electricity system is bizarre … If we bid zero [to IESO, system operator], we would get zero from IESO but we would get compensated at the end of the month for our contract price which is 13.5 cents per kilowatt [$135/MWh].”

Greenhouse conveniently neglects to say that the grid must take renewable (wind/solar/biomass) if available over any other source, and the price for wind is 13.5 cents/KWH. He also doesn’t explain the complex calculation process used to determine the “theoretical availability” of a wind project. Whether it is operating or not doesn’t matter. It’s the theoretical or imaginary availability that does matter for payment purposes.

What the grid managers do to fill in the “theoretical” gaps is their headache. Wind companies could care less.

With payments based on an imagined capacity factor of a whopping 40%, it hardly matters where the project is sited – it could be in a cave!  A little bit of creative data and you’ll be paid close to max. No doubt this is standard industry practice.

Let’s see how much of the $28.755 million filters down to the community. NextEra presents the annual payments to the municipality and lease-signed landowners (p 5):

Property taxes                        $250,000
Lease payments                     $500,000
Community contribution         $150,000

Total:               $900,000 or 3% of earnings goes to host community. 

Estimating maintenance at ~ $2 million/year, total annual costs of Adelaide Wind come in around $3,000,000/year. This leaves NextEra Adelaide Wind with a tidy profit of $25,755,000/year.

Adelaide Wind cost ~$132 million to build.  The return on investment is 19.5%! Where else can you get that?

I haven’t included the financing costs because these projects offer so many “securities packages” that are secured by liens on the farmland.  Since the operating companies are “shell” entities lacking any real assets, attaching a lien to the leaseholder property is rather convenient.

Note also that NextEra states:

“Previous estimates included taxation on transmission line infrastructure, which we have determined is currently not being assessed.”

Once again Nexterror delights in rubbing a bit of dirt in your face.

Presently NextEra has 592 MW of nameplate capacity in its Ontario wind projects.  Using the same calculated 41% capacity factor, NextEra will earn $287,040,645/year from its Ontario wind projects. Not much wonder they want to build more!

…and on an even larger scale, Ontario has 4042 MW of nameplate wind capacity.  Using that figure from CanWEA , the yearly cost to Ontario homes and industry is about $2 billion/year for wind turbines – most of it imaginary power that has never been produced.

26 thoughts on “Here’s how NextEra makes $287,040,645/year from Ontario wind projects

  1. The hourly output data-base of IESO shows that Adelaide generated 182,592 MWh of energy for the year November 1st 2014 to October 31st 2015. This is an hourly average of 20.8 MW or a capacity factor of 35%. This seems high for a 100 metre blade circle diameter on an 80 metre hub in a location away from the Great Lakes.

    • If pro forma numbers instead of actual output is reported, it almost doesn’t matter whether the stuff works or not. (Idea — how about they only pretend to build them and leave the plants as figments of someone’s fervid imagination instead of wrecking the landscape.) The truth is whatever they say it is — and from the perspective of those profiting it will be a rosy glow. A pity my refrigerator won’t run on political rhetoric…

      • Rural residents could back to ice-houses provided they can get enough ice from local rivers and lakes during the winter.

        Root cellars may end-up being used again. Not many would have cool milk-houses.

  2. Are the Wrightmans the only ones paying attention in Ontario? The Wrightmans, Sherri Lange, and one or two dozen others? Where is the outrage? Why has not rural Ontario marched, en masse, on Queen’s Park?

    Who are Ontario’s MPP’s? Asleep at the switch?

    It takes a man living in New Brunswick to crunch the numbers. A man and his family who were mauled by the wind industry.

    I write this from New York State. In truth, we are no better in NYS. Our legislators are just as feckless as yours. The wind companies haul in huge amounts of public money.

    Which is why we retired It was hopeless. Consider moving to New Brunswick. Or Quebec. Ontarians have enjoyed dissing Quebec for as long as I’ve been alive, and yet “Je me souviens” has a de facto wind energy policy that’s light years beyond “Ontario: Yours to discover.”

    Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

    • Calvin, you’ve asked good questions here.
      The outrage exists in residents of rural Ontario who are directly impacted by these turbines that have been sited too close to their homes.
      These people have been/are doing their utmost to stop this madness, but at some point all must protect themselves both physically and psychologically. It can be very disruptive at a personal level.
      As for addressing the financial aspect of this mess, it takes people who can wrap their minds around such details to see clearly the financial truth and the trajectory for Ontario. I’m so grateful for the relentless efforts of these REAL leaders.
      On many different fronts of this travesty, we’re closing in on a breakthrough in this province.
      Rural Ontario’s future is at stake. This is HUGE!
      Stay tuned.

      • We also have a problem with huge media corporations that will not expose this even though their journalists want to. We have medical associations and public health who have been commanded to be silent and bogus government “studies” that assure the majority of Canadians that there are no problems save for a bunch of whining ruralites. It’s not been lack of fight Calvin, not a lack of evidence, no lack of knowledgeable professionals standing up and putting their careers on the line, and certainly not a lack of money spent in court. When you have government/industry/media and agencies banded together under the umbrella of destructive legislation it’s pretty tough. I have been waiting for the opposition or the municipal councils to storm Queen’s Park. They would have thousands of people to back them up. Did you know we had almost 1000 people shut down traffic in downtown Toronto with a major protest and with all of the media down there one or two small stories appeared in print. Nothing on TV news or radio. Bellmedia owned companies, Torstar who together own a whack of urban and rural companies are not only silent but the stations are sponsored by UNIFOR the biggest strongest union going and who are invested in wind. They also have teacher pensions and doctors pension plans invested in wind. The very people being appointed to positions to protect us (ha) are invested in wind. Our office of last resort has been silenced. Our court system is corrupt. So what next?

      • Oh ya, And Opseu our Ontario civil servants pension is invested in wind. The very people who are allowing this to happen and are signing project approvals. Yep, no conflict here folk….move on….

      • Nicely articulated, Snowball.
        You are clearly a long time veteran of the “wind wars”.

      • Don’t forget the USW and the BlueGreen Alliance which also includes UNIFOR.

    • Calvin, don’t give up as your talents as researcher can be used elsewhere.

      Ontarians have been working on Quebec connections but not much in New York. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine have connections to Quebec and Ontario and energy issues.

    • rural Ontario has marched to Queens Park back in May I think it was trying to fight the large increases in Hydro…but sadly only about 300 could get there…buses were hired & everything but it wasn’t enough…there is a group called “Hydro One – Enough is Enough” that has over 22k members….a lot of us never realized what the government has been doing with their sneaky antics until the smart meters were put in & a high percentage of hydro bills more than tripled….so high in fact that some are paying over $1000/month & are losing their homes & have to decide should they eat this month or pay the hydro bill!…the people living in urban cities like Toronto have not had high bills yet so they don’t believe us, but they are next once rural Ontario has been destroyed, who else is left to gouged?….all the provincial liberals have done is completely ignore us, if they are asked a question in the legislature they won’t answer, petitions are ignored, emails are ignored, the opposition is ignored…Hydro One has been sold right out from under us….sad times ahead for Ontario

    • Calvin

      It’s really hard to fight the IWTs when the emissions, turbulence and vibrations from the 84 IWTs around my house have succeeded in dislodging the otoliths in my ears making me nauseous, lose my balance, vomitting and heaving on the way to Emerg where the doc kept me for 5 days while he figured out how to settle the otoliths so he was assured I would not lose my balance when walking with a walker upon being discharged to leave the hospital.

      Nov 13th was the 8th time in 6 years that I was forced to go to Emerg; on the previous 7 occasions, I was discharged the same day or the next. This time the otoliths were obstinate, so it took 5 days to tame them.

      So, I’ll have to depend on the kindness of strangers to continue the struggle against IWTs which may, one day, find the Clear Creek/Cultus/Frogmore IWTs turned off and may regain my health and live out a peaceful old age.

  3. Rebecca Crump development manager with RES claims that” New wind turbines are now regularly hitting 50% capacity factor, making wind power cheaper than ever”. This 50% cf is only true for the best wind spots on earth (Denmark offshore) But certainly not for Ontario!
    Wind energy is making existing power plants run less efficient. That is what our latest price hike was about. The same has happened in Germany.

  4. Florida Power and Light ( FPL ) bought Enron’s renewable business and rebranded itself. Today their renewable division makes 3-4 times the revenue of good old FPL the state utility. And most of this is from Ontario.
    Ontario should boycott Florida tourism and see how long Nexterra lasts in Canada.
    You can only imagine what Florida would do to Ontario if the shoe was on the other foot and we were gouging Floridians who spent their winters here.

  5. It’s just not IWT’s anymore, or solar which is about to take off in flares !!!
    It’s our water too, all rural area’s are at risk..
    Elora.. / nestle
    Beachville / dumping ground..
    How do we join together to fight corporate greed??
    Govt keeps us all fighting out own fight.. Time we start to fight this lobbyist propaganda, for all our concerns.
    And don’t forget the spoon- feeding of climate change/ global warming .

    • GOD BLESS us all that care for our fellow neighbour / man , woman, and child..
      Pray and pray that we shall still be able to trust the above.
      Greed / satan is trying to take over .. And seems to be winning .. All because of leftist groups .. And being dumbed down ..
      Mainstream media is the devil ..
      God Bless

      • Jess, here’s a short video that illustrates how mainstream media operates, to prevent people from learning the truth about things that really matter.

  6. This information is very interesting and shocking. One would wonder how this
    IWT industry would get so out of control. We can not TRUST our governments
    to do the right thing. Hydro One (Ontario Hydro) is totally corrupt & has got involved with some very professional; scammers. Our Ontario public must take action and not just sit on the sidelines any longer. Wind power makes no sense to me, USA IWT corporations must be laughing at us, destroying our industries and
    Ontario employment. We’re helping to build USA wealth at our own expense.

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