Saturday, November 16, 2013

Curtailment of electricity supply in Ontario

I've just developed some queries to estimate the curtailment of wind supply on the Ontario grid, and thought a quick, primarily "stats", post might interest some of my readers.

This also provides an opportunity to review methods that the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) uses to reduce supply, and the limitations of estimating those curtailment actions.
  1. Non-Utility Generator (NUG) curtailment (discussed here)
  2. Hydroelectric output being redirected directly in Quebec's high-voltage direct current (HVDC) grid (discussed here)
  3. Nuclear curtailment maneuvering condenser steam discharge valves (CSDV) to reduce output at all Bruce Power's 8 reactors (Bruce A's units gained this capability since I discussed the curtailment method here)
  4. Wind curtailment, which became possible on September 11th, 2013, as a result of the IESO's renewable integration initiative.
Generators Output and Capability Report

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A record week for Ontario wind

Each week I update my estimates/shadow reporting of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) data reports; the IESO reports weeks as running from Wednesday to Tuesday.
I reference the first Wednesday of the year as marking week 1; today we begin week 46.

Weekly supply mix chart (from data site)
Week 45 was pretty interesting.
It set at least one record - the highest reporting output from the industrial wind turbines on the IESO grid.

The week also contained the hour of highest IWT output, which is currently hour 11 of the 11th day of the 11th month [1].

Coupled with high nuclear production levels, this plentiful supply resulted in an average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) of $10.23/MWh; that is the second lowest weekly average since the market began (record low is week 14 of 2009, at the depth of the recession and the height of the freshet).

A twitter exchange has motivated me to write a quick entry on the cost of Ontario's changed supply mix at this time of year (all of impacts being predicted by the data analysis behind an earlier blog post).

In Ontario, high supply and low prices end up being very expensive for consumers.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

There's never been a worse time for this Conservation thing

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted   - Ecclesiastes ,3 King James Version [1]
A time to conserve - a time to consume.

As the clock struck midnight with the arrival of November, my hourly rate for electricity went up 7.5%[2], while the rate for export customers was around 1/10th of the residential rate in Ontario, and over 20% of Ontario's generation was being gifted away at those low, low prices.
“There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing ...” - Dalton McGuinty
The current Premier would appear to be trying to take a page out of her predecessor's book of wisdom (a page with 10 words), as her administration seems to have turned the entire public service to promoting "conservation" regardless of the circumstance (abundance).  In a simpleton's world of good and bad, conservation is portrayed as the very best regardless.

Conservation may be, but the conservation the government's agencies are spending their time, and our money, promoting won't conserve energy this winter.

In a recent Twitter Campaign on "phantom power" Ontario's Ministry of Energy found these messages important to communicate:
  • Count em' up: how many non-essential appliances do you have plugged in?
  • Plug into a power bar with an integrated timer or auto-shutoff. Here’s a coupon...
  • Gaming consoles draw #phantompower. Plug them into a power bar and switching it off when you’re not playing
  • Unplug that hairdryer or electric toothbrush to save...
  • Chargers for cellphones, laptops and other personal devices draw #phantompower. Unplug them when you’re not charging. 
  • Unplug small kitchen appliances when not in use. Otherwise they draw...
Regardless of the moral righteousness of conservation programming in general, I got the feeling Ministry wasn't really aware of how phantom power wastes "energy".