Wasting electricity is nothing new. I have a recurring earworm originating in a 1970's Ontario Hydro advertising campaign; "wasting electricity turns people off." In the decades since we are often reminded we use the wrong light bulb, the phone charger wrongly, water stupidly, and on and on. But today's waste includes actually curtailing emissions-free generation, without consumer savings, simply because there aren't consumers that can use the electricity. Much of that waste is avoiding generation from the public hydro-electric generation that gave the former public utility the name "Ontario Hydro." Ontario Hydro is gone, but it's generators survive under Ontario Power Generation (OPG). I present OPG's generators on the Nipigon river as an example of the waste occurring in today's IESO administered electricity system.
15 kilometers (km) away, the Alexander Generating Station is an in-water structure that first started producing power in 1930. The current capacity is 69 megawatts (MW).
2 km upriver of that is the older Cameron Falls Generating Station, with a capacity of 92 MW.
|OPG's Pine Portage Generating Station|
Forgan Lake, south of Lake Nipigon, was created when Pine Portage was built. Forgan Lake was named by a decision of the Canadian Board of Geographic names on November 3, 1949. The lake comprises Hannah Lake and Creek, Eva Lake, Pine Point, Devil Rapids, Victoria Rapids, Emma Lake and others.Conceptually, the same water provides electrical power 3 times, with it's journey through all three generators controlled at Pine Portage.
I've been tracking hourly generation reported by the IESO since September 2010. To eliminate the typical monthly variations over the course of a year, I've graphed the moving 12-month total of each of OPG's 3 Nipigon River generators:
The decline of production at the Pine Portage generating station is obvious, and so dramatic in recent months I asked OPG on twitter if they, "would like to comment on reduced production at Pine Portage GS before I speculate." OPG responded, "Pine Portage GS is available to run if required. Suggest you contact @IESO_Tweets for demand information."