Ontario has had a surplus of power since 2006 and has paid for electricity generated from wind turbines even if the electricity was not needed, according to a recent Toronto Star article. Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli has indicated that now wind producers will be treated like other forms of energy producers and will be paid not to generate electricity when it is not needed.
Ontario has signed contracts for 5,800 megawatts of electricity from wind producers, however, as of today only 1,725.5 megawatts is connected according to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the organization that directs the operation and maintains the reliability of the electrical grid in the province. The amount of power generated from the wind turbines is small compared to other forms of power generation. For example, only 50 megawatts of electricity was generated in Ontario between 4 – 5 p.m. on September 24th, which according to the IESO, is enough to meet the needs of the city of Orillia.
In addition to the under utilization of the existing wind infrastructure are the issues of subsidies and the installation of turbines without local support. The last two issues were discussed with Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton -Kent -Middlesex in his interview with Loonie Politics earlier this week. While transit is an extremely important issue for residents in and around the GTA, wind turbines is just as important for rural Ontario.
Premier Wynne has had conversations with multiple stakeholders across the province since being elected leader. It is hard to argue against the concept of green energy, however, it is time for the Premier to have a dialogue with Ontarians. It is time to review with us in a detailed manner the government’s energy plan for the future, including the costs.
While conversations were had by Premier Wynne’s predecessor, it feels like we were either not given the whole picture or we were not listening carefully to what was being said. With a looming election Premier Wynne has our attention to review the energy plan once again, especially with voters in rural Ontario.
Installed Wind Capacity in Ontario (Source IESO)
|Wind Farm||Capacity (MW)||Operational|
|Amaranth I, Township of Melancthon||
|Kingsbridge I, Huron County||
|Port Burwell (Erie Shores), Norfolk and Elgin Counties||
|Prince I, Sault Ste. Marie District||
|Prince II, Sault Ste. Marie District||
|Ripley South, Township of Huron-Kinloss||
|Port Alma (T1) (Kruger),Port Alma||
|Amaranth II, Township of Melancthon||
|Underwood (Enbridge), Bruce County||
|Wolfe Island, Township of Frontenac Islands||
|Port Alma II (T3) (Kruger), Municipality of Chatham-Kent||
|Gosfield Wind Project, Town of Kingsville||
|Spence Wind Farm (Talbot), Townships of Howard and Oxford||
|Dillon Wind Centre (Raleigh)||
|Greenwich Wind Farm||
|Pointe Aux Roches Wind||
|Comber Wind Limited Partnership||