A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Paying for NOT Generating Wind Power.

One of the problems with the power derived from industrial wind farms is that it is not always available when needed, however the opposite is also true as it can be pumping out power when it is not needed. In order to regulate this over supply of power it now seems we are going to pay those companies who already receive a higher price for their output than the current market price to NOT generate power!

“Ontario wind power companies have reached an agreement that will curb electricity output from wind turbines when there’s surplus power on the grid. In return, the companies will get compensated for lost output, within certain limits.”
“Until now, wind power has had almost unrestricted access to the power grid, under rules designed to encourage the development of renewable power in Ontario. Wind power is especially tricky to deal with, because there’s a lot of it and the wind often blows strongest overnight or on weekends, when demand is low. “
“As more wind power floods onto the grid, the combination of wind and nuclear sometimes leads to power surpluses, forcing Ontario to sell power to its neighbours at a loss, or even pay them to take it.”
“The IESO had estimated that coping with surplus power production will cost Ontario’s power system up to $200 million a year if market rules don’t change. “

This in addition to to the cost of keeping enough capacity from other sources on standby to pick up the load when the wind is not blowing but the demand is high. Until such time as this type of power generation is linked to storage solutions such as pumped water reservoirs and hydro generation it will never be a viable means of supplying electricity when needed.

I note that such arrangements also exist with nuclear generating stations however in that their power is available 24 / 7 / 365 and they receive far less per MW for their power the two cannot be considered similar arrangements.

1 comment:

Maria said...

It is a nice comparison of wind power plants and nuclear energy generation facilities at the end of the article! Above all, the post is really useful and informative! thanks for sharing!