I sent some numbers to Parker Gallant the other day, along with a question on political donations, and within days the prolific Mr. Gallant produced, "Constraining wind power in Ontario: Making your head spin..."
Before I introduce the figures behind that column, I'll provide some background on the Ontario Liberal party's approach to contracts.
Another election campaign in Ontario is underway, and some of it is a repeat of the previous election campaign; the Progressive Conservatives (PC) claiming they can better control costs and the incumbent Liberals claiming the PCs will renege on contracts. Contracts bind participants to obligations: the Liberal government has failed to protect the people's side of green energy contracts a couple of times since 2011's election - where there is a benefit to their party to do so.
First, there was the Korean Consortium (KC, aka Samsung). In April 2013 I wrote on how they weren't meeting contract requirements, or investing significant amounts of their own funds. The KC deal, which PC leader Tim Hudak had stated, in 2011, he would kill, was re-written 2 months after I pointed out the Koreans weren't honouring the contract, but not killed.
The government claimed savings of $3.7 billion - money that they'd campaigned on not being possible to save in 2011. Worse, the contract renegotiated - because the proponent had not kept it's initial contract commitments - guaranteed the KC a base price of 29.5 cents per kWh for the still contracted solar capacity; that's a price far exceeding what it would cost for, as one example, the public generator to provide grid-scale solar capacity.
So it looks like I saved Ontario $3.7 billion, but I could have saved far more if the Liberals had the decency to cancel a contract because contract obligations were not fulfilled by the proponent - instead of providing expensive plums to the negligent proponents in order to avoid having Tim Hudak be shown to be correct.