We’re too ‘engaged’ in power issues – cramping industry style

“Part of that has to do with the fact Ontarians, in general, are becoming much more engaged in energy production — how energy is produced — and many issues have been raised recently.” Shawn Cronkwright Director, Renewables Procurement, Ontario Power Authority

Ontario teaches world how not to run a FIT program
Tyler Hamilton, Toronto Star
The opening of a smart grid research and development centre in Markham on Tuesday was good news for the Dalton McGuinty government.

It’s never a bad thing when a global industrial titan such as General Electric decides to make an Ontario municipality the epicentre of its worldwide efforts in a particular technological growth area.

In this case, the $40-million facility will be a global centre of excellence for grid automation. It’s an opportunity for the Liberal government to tout the 146 highly-skilled jobs that will be created, and how General Electric is placing its faith in the skilled workforce and business-friendly tax regime that Ontario offers.

It didn’t hurt, of course, that the government supported construction of the centre with a $7.9 million grant.

I was originally going to explore GE’s smart grid ambitions in this column, but something else happened last week that was too frustrating to ignore. The province’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy (as distinguished from the microFIT program for very small projects) was supposed to re-launch on Monday.

After 11 months of waiting, the date came and went, another setback for the hundreds of manufacturers, developers and installers whose business plans have been placed on ice for nearly a year. Read article

Ontario Liberals set to announce merger of energy-planning agencies

by Adam Radwanski, Globe and Mail
The Ontario government appears set to announce a merger of its two big energy-planning agencies.  Sources say that Energy Minister Chris Bentley, who has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday morning, will unveil a merger of the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator.  Read article

OPA recklessly signing contracts at a rate of 1 Billion/week

Credit:  Tom Adams Energy

Ontario Power Bill Rip-Off: No Plan

The Ontario government is operating the province’s vastly complex power system without a plan.

Although the Ontario Power Authority was set up in 2004 with a mandate to create and update an integrated power system plan for the province, no such plan has been approved and the most recent draft is over three years old.

In the last couple of weeks, the Ontario government, which had supervised the preparation of business and rate plans at OPG and Hydro One, ordered both Crown utilities to abandon those plans just days before they were to be filed with the Ontario Energy Board for public review. Part of OPG’s plan was expected to include some of the first details made public on the extent of power spills. Hydro One’s plan was to include details on how new renewable generators will be connected to the transmission system.

Notwithstanding yawning information gaps and the curtailment of existing generation resources due to excess supply, the Ontario Power Authority is recklessly signing contracts for new generation supply at a rate of over one billion dollars per week.   Read more