Ontario to pay wind farms NOT to produce electricity — Less expensive than buying wind power

The Canadian Press reports:

Ontario will start paying wind power generators today not to produce electricity, but the government says the move will actually save ratepayers big bucks.

Ontario has had a surplus of power since 2006, but until now, the province paid for all the electricity generated from industrial wind mills, even when it wasn’t needed.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says the system operator can now order wind producers not to generate power, and will pay them _ just as it pays Bruce nuclear _ not to produce electricity when it’s not needed.

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6 thoughts on “Ontario to pay wind farms NOT to produce electricity — Less expensive than buying wind power”

  1. It’s true that you can turn off the windmills more readily than you can shut down the big gas and coal plants. But I thought that was even more true of the nuclear plants.
    So the taxpayers and ratepayers of Ontario have subsidized the construction, paid higher rates for the power, and now are paying not to even get the power.
    How in heck do we get the market to generate electricity instead of government futilities?

  2. It should be noted that here in Ontario, the Lie-bral government instituted a program of feed-in tariffs for solar energy generated from your own roof. On the one hand, they pay you to produce solar electricity,and on the other hand, seem to pay not to produce wind power. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Who knew? This is a sop to remaking our province in the image of our former nanny-state Premier. He parroted the usual Green Lies of making Ontario a leader in solar panels,blah,blah, blah. It never happened ,but a lot of wind and solar rent-seekers are sucking of the hind teat of government largesse.

  3. I suppose you could put a meter on the outgoing power from every source, and then pay them according to the ratio of power they supplied. The distribution system would still need to be centrally managed though. If you’re willing to concede a certain amount of local government control (it is at least arguably a “commons”) you could put an elected official in charge of an office that maintains and regulates the distribution network, collects the electricity taxes based on consumption, takes out what it needs for administration and maintenance costs, and divvies up the rest amongst the generators according to the wattage actually drawn off their feeds. Any energy they use internally, and any overage they produce is their own problem.

    What I really want to know is why we keep getting all this energy conservation BS shoved down our throats if we’re having problems with over production? I recall an episode where my mother lived a while back where the local government and the power company worked together on a massive conservation movement only to raise the rates the next year citing the reduced income from all the reduced usage as the reason they needed more. Maybe that’s the big trick all along. Convince people to use less while you raise the rates then let usage grow back to pre conservation movement levels. As long as the total payout stays low enough that only the margins are actually going without power most people won’t even notice. It’s the old frog in a frying pan trick.

  4. Reminds me of an old story a friend of my father told about his adventures in solar over production. He actually manged to generate more than he used one month but recieved a much smaller credit than he had calculated. When he called to inquire (read “bitch”) about it, the power company rep politely explained that the sell power at retail, but they buy power at wholesale.

  5. Peaking power plants get “capacity” payments when they don’t produce electricity and paid at market price when they do produce. That’s the only way you can have peakers that run 500-1000 hours per year but are manned full time. Looks like the Canadians have simply moved the windmills to peaker status. This isn’t really unusual.

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