Sunday, April 17, 2016

10700: Ontario's beastly number

Planning Ontario's electricity sector should have been a topic of interest when, on December 2nd 2015, the province's Auditor General included a chapter on Electricity Power System Planning in her annual report. The report received a lot of attention, but our power system planning process did not. The fall of the arbitrary, yet long-standing, 10700 megawatt target for non-hydroelectric renewable energy would indicate a return of professionalism in planning Ontario's electricity sector.

Before 10700 was the Integrated Power System Plan (IPSP) process.

The Liberal government, elected in the fall of 2003, had created the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) largely to develop an IPSP professionally, if not entirely independently. The process had, in its early stage, the OPA prepare supply mix advise for the Minister of Energy. Some notable aspects of the December 2005 advice:
  • Preference for renewable sources of energy...
  • Renewables, including wind, small hydro (waterpower) projects and hydro purchased from other provinces (referred to as “hydro imports” in the balance of this report), can provide a significant share of capacity and energy...
  • ... conservation and new renewable sources would more than meet all of Ontario’s growth in demand for electricity by 2025. This would not, however, replace the loss of capacity from the retirement of other supply sources...
  • Together, natural gas and renewable sources can replace coal generation...
I've added emphasis, but quoted from the OPA verbatim.
The OPA suggested to the Minister that by 2025 "renewables" be 15,500 megawatts (MW) - inclusive of about 8000 MW of existing hydro capacity and most likely the 1,250 MW increase in the Ontario-Quebec intertie capacity. [1]

Six months later, in June 2006, a Supply Mix Directive from the Minster tasked the OPA with the development of an IPSP (plan) including:
Increase Ontario's use of renewable energy such as hydroelectric, wind, solar, and biomass for electricity generation. The plan should ... increase the total capacity of renewable energy sources used in Ontario to 15,700 MW by 2025.
The IPSP final form, delivered August 29, 2008, planned for 16,164 MW of renewables by 2025: 10,768 MW of hydroelectric, 4,251 of wind, 656 of bioenergy and 488 MW of solar. [2]

Spreadsheet comparing OPA Supply Mix Advice from 2005 to estimated actual 2015 data.
1st posted in Reviewing a 2005 plan for Ontario’s electricity supply in 2015
19 days later, on September 18th 2008, a Minister of Energy and Infrastructure essentially killed 3 years of work with an unintelligible directive amending the 2006 Supply Mix directive.