Friday, December 30, 2016

Nuclear Ontario - and giving electricity away

first posted on cold air currents.

Since I posted Reliable Electricity Generation Capacity declining in Ontario the IESO's NPCC 2016 Ontario Interim Review Of Resource Adequacy was published.
It's exciting stuff:
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) submits this assessment of resource adequacy for the Ontario Area in accordance with the NPCC Regional Reliability Reference Directory #1, “Design and Operation of the Bulk Power System.” 
Spoiler alert!
The report concludes Ontario's system can meet Loss of Load Expectation (LOLE) criteria for the 2017 to 2020 planning period once Emergency Operating Procedures (EOP) are assumed. EOPs are indicated to be essentially 1/3rd public appeals to reduce consumption, and 2/3rds voltage reductions.


I wrote "With the exception of 2013 the capability at peak has declined every year since 2010, despite IESO-connected generator capacity being greater now than it was six and a half years ago," so I thought it only fair I offer a brief analysis of how the IESO is meeting the reporting requirements for resource adequacy - and the repercussions of how they are doing so.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Historical ignorance: on energy losses in decadent Ontario

Accusations of losses on electricity exports, and government denial of the fact, is far from news, but the reappearance of the topic in Ontario's legislature demands it be reviewed anew.
Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown says the province sold $9.4 million worth of excess electricity for just $144,000 on Nov. 10...
Brown says Ontario has "given away" $6 billion in surplus electricity since 2009 by selling it at a big loss...
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault...says Ontario made $230 million in 2015 by selling excess electricity to neighbouring jurisdictions.
Thibeault says Ontario suffered through power shortages and brown outs when the Conservatives were last in power, and had to spend up to $500 million a year to buy electricity from its neighbours to keep the lights on.
   -the Canadian Press via
I wrote on the costs to Ontario ratepayers of cheap exports almost 6 years ago, in rebutting the same spin as the Minister delivered yesterday when presented by a previous Premier. Later, in 2013's Ways to estimate Ontario's losses on electricity exports I demonstrated multiple methods to quantify losses on exports. The estimates of losses vary by methodology and assumptions, but if methods are applied consistently all indicate increased costs to Ontario consumers from producing far more electricity than necessary to meet their demands .

I won't revisit all the arguments I've made in the past, but instead tailor a response to the rookie Minister's old denials, emphasizing how poorly he is prepared to undertake the task of developing a plan for the sector.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Reliable Electricity Generation Capacity declining in Ontario

Ontario's electricity sector provided some material worthy of commentary over the past week.

A new 18-month Outlook issued by the IESO (the province's system operator) begins cheerfully enough:
The outlook for the reliability of Ontario’s electricity system remains positive for the next 18 months, with adequate generation and transmission to supply Ontario’s demand under normal weather conditions.
This is reassuring - unless there's a particularly hot run of weather:
Under extreme weather conditions, the reserve is below the requirement for 19 weeks over the entire Outlook period, with the largest shortfall being approximately 3,000 MW.
19 weeks in 18 months is 24% of the time - corresponding with the quarter of the year known as summer. In a province introducing carbon pricing in January (poorly), apparently the government is unconcerned about local warming.


There has been similar language in previous 18-month outlooks:
During the Outlook period, the...forecasts show that Ontario’s available generation exceeds projected demands...there are periods when Ontario’s available reserves are forecast to be ...below the IMO’s required planning reserve levels.
That from the Outlook produced in April 2002.

I'm sure today's Wynne government finds comfort in how well Ontario's system coped with heat waves in 2002 and 2003 - despite their braying indicating the opposite.