Wind power in Ontario, June 2019: dancing with hydro

Jun 18 18:06 2020 Print This Article

Last time I noted the operation of one particular Ontario gas-fired generating plant in relation with provincial electrical demand, total in-province generation, “market” price, and aggregate wind output. I showed that although through the month of June 2019 total generation exceeded Ontario demand in every hour, that particular gas plant (Goreway, near Brampton) also produced power during the daily demand ramps up and down, albeit with each unit never exceeding half power.

I wondered and still do if Goreway’s operation in that manner was necessitated by the significant amount of intermittent wind supply. Along with roughly 5,000 megawatts of wind, there’s also significant solar supply, most of which is located inside distribution grids and is non throttlable by the system operator. Both wind and solar are extremely expensive sources, not only because they must fetch high per-kilowatt-hour rates in order for their operators to be profitable but also because they require additional connections to the grid and especially because they require conventional generation to cover the operational upshot of their inherently uncertain output.

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About Article Author

Canadian Energy Issues

Steve Aplin, author of Canadian Energy Issues, is the Vice President of Energy and Environment at the HDP Group Inc., an Ottawa-based management consultancy. He leads energy- and environment-related projects dealing with current and future energy production and use at the macro and micro levels. In addition to the technical, technological, and organizational aspects, all of these projects involve also a political dimension, which often necessitates advocacy at various levels of government as well as in the general public arena.

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