How Queen’s Park broke Ontario’s provincial electricity sector

Congenital liar

How did the Ontario power sector, once a boon to the provincial economy, become a burden? Over the last dozen years and more, the tried-and-true regulatory system that protected Ontario’s electricity consumers and the financial viability of the power sector as a whole have been systematically sidelined by politicians at Queen’s Park. Short-term political expediency has replaced the long-term planning needed for economic viability.

  • Scaramouche

    Someone needs Crest Whitestrips, stat!

    • Dave

      munching on old snapper just might be the cause of that.

      • Clink9

        Ooooh. I’m gunna need some steel wool to scrub that mental image.

  • 2maxpower

    ontario hydro was a disgusting operation since the time of Maurice Strong.still the lesbian definitely messed up the messed up corporation more and faster than anyone could have expected.

  • Jaedo Drax

    In the time before the current liberal party’s brilliant ideas, the system was designed and run by engineers, with minimum of overt political interference. Once Butts and his merry band of smarter than engineers got a hold of the power file, it was inevitable that it would turn into a mess.

    It’s not even difficult to understand, power into the system should equal power consumed by the system. When you start adding multiple generators that have no consistent output, then you have to put in other generators to deal with the imbalance. Most modern power generating stations are designed to be run at full capacity, in a very narrow band, outside that band, their efficiency suffers.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Minimizing the reactive power is the primary challenge.
      It is too bad that Wynne’s concept of imaginary numbers only extends as far as her budgets.

    • Exile1981

      Not actually true. We have 3 types of plants.

      base load plants – which are what you describe – the make power cheaply, but have a very narrow operating band. Usually they are all on or all off and go months between shut downs. Start up and shut down takes hours.

      we have daily peak plants – these take an hour or so to start up and generally run for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. These make up the extra need during the peak hours of the day.

      last we have ‘peakers’- they start in 15 minutes or less and may sit idle for days. these are for covering problems or unplanned spikes.

      • Jaedo Drax

        In Ontario there is exactly 1 variable demand NG plant, with two 200 MW generators, that is the so called ‘peakers’.

        As far as I know, the rest are combined cycle plants, which take hours to start up and shut down.

        You can also throttle the nuclear plants, and reduce their efficiency, or engage in spillage at the hydro plants, and reduce their efficiency, or sell power to our partners at a loss (but we’ll make it up in volume).

        In any case, agreeing to buy intermittent solar and wind first, and at a premium, was a huge mistake.

        I won’t even begin to mention the air storage plant under lake Ontario.

        • Exile1981

          Ok Alberta has 26 simple cycle peakers that can produce 916 MW.

          We have 17 base load coal plants producing 6299 MW, of those one is a gas start unit so it can fire up quickly and it runs as a daily peaker but it’s under 150MW and is a bit of an odd ball.

          We have 32 natural gas plants that are simple cycle but are co-gen plants making power for a specific industrial facility, though they can produce extra capacity to the grid in an emergency (so they are kind of base load but also act as emergency peakers).

          Then we have 6 dual cycle natural gas units, 2 of which are base load and 3 of which are daily peak plants. Lastly we have one dual cycle plant that has a a quick start ability and can be on line in under 15 minutes at full output. It starts faster than the simple cycle peakers and can run from 10% to 100% of capacity with no problems. It’s a neat little plant but it’s also one of a kind.

          • Jaedo Drax

            Unfortunately, the Ontario Liberals decide it would be wise to blow up Lakeview in their quest to remove the coal plants from operation. A better idea, would have been to convert the site to either biomass, which is a dumb idea, or NG, which wouldn’t be that difficult since there is a large NG line within 1 km of that plant. Instead, it’s a park.

          • Exile1981

            The down side is the difference in heating value and heating temperature of coal vs NG. just finished a huge engineering review project looking at converting a bunch of coal plants to NG. They say that the differences mean a boiler designed to be coal fired will loose 40-60% of it’s MW output because of the conversion. If the cost wasn’t so huge the better idea would be to design a NG fired boiler from the ground up and then it would be more efficient and actually be able to generate the correct MW of output.

  • This was known when Kathleen Wynne deleted e-mails regarding the gas plants she cancelled.

    People voted for her anyway because Tories are Teh Evuls.

    Ontario Liberals voters are to thank for this.

    • mauser 98
    • simus1

      GLLKDW had no problem with the gas plants until two other idiot party leaders decided to super vote whore on the issue in some rent seeking Metro ridings during an election. The obvious thought was these two could plead sorry we can’t stop the plants with a shrug afterwards if they wound as the new government holding the bag later. GLLKDW showed them they were so repellent she could waste a bil$ to can the gas plants and still beat them both while running the worst government in Canada.
      Really makes you wonder how Pat Lib2 can top that performance.

  • DMB
  • Gary

    Now Wyyne wants to take over the Housing Industry in the GTA because Toronto is the hub for refugees and illegals plus immigrants. This has caused a homeless crisis where in jan or 2015 2 white male canadians froze to death on the street.
    John Tory was outraged….. so in december of 2015 he embraced the 25,000 Syrian refugees and made sure that get welfare and housing by his special CUPE hot line .

    • Starlord

      That will be great. Sarcasm.
      Anything this woman touches becomes a cluster fuck.

  • Pecos Pete