No New Wind Energy Needed – Wind Concerns Ontario

172
Letters to the Editor

offshore wind farmTORONTO – LETTERS – In spite of a surplus of electrical power in the province which has been sold off to neighbouring jurisdictions at discount prices, Ontario plans to begin a new “procurement” process for large-scale renewable power projects. The process was to begin today, but the Independent Electricity Systems Operator or IESO recently announced that the start date will be delayed while it responds to industry concerns.

No New Wind Energy Needed

Wind Concerns Ontario believes the procurement process for additional large-scale wind power should be halted permanently.

Here are the facts.

  • The Ontario government has achieved its core objective of closing the power plants using coal as fuel.
  • Ontario has a surplus of power and no increase in demand is predicted. Ontario exported enough power during September-November 2014 to power 584,000 homes. There is no reason to add more capacity at this time.
  • The Ontario government is enacting a program to encourage conservation of power use.
  • While a decrease in nuclear power is expected due to refurbishment of one or more facilities, wind power cannot replace the baseload power provided by nuclear.
  • Renewable sources of electricity such as wind are expensive, and have been responsible in large part for the increase in electricity bills to consumers; this situation is already causing hardship for people on low or fixed incomes.

It is our view that the IESO needs to step back and undertake a full needs assessment and independent cost-benefit analysis. Two successive Auditors General have pointed out (2012 and 2014) that NO cost-benefit analysis has ever been done for Ontario’s renewables program. The current Auditor General has also announced that her office is so concerned about how  the power system is planned in Ontario, that it is conducting a review, throughout 2015.

We also suggest a review of current contracts for wind power generation facilities not connected to the grid; these contracts have expired—terminating them and the cost of that action would be preferable to imposing a greater burden on Ontario ratepayers for the next 20 years.

Public opposition to the high-impact, low-benefit installation of utility-scale wind power facilities is on the rise and will intensify as legal proceedings continue.

Additional capacity for a form of power generation that is expensive, intermittent, and produced out of phase with demand, is not the appropriate solution for Ontario’s electricity needs.

Jane Wilson, President
Wind Concerns Ontario