Chapter 7.0: Concluding Remarks

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For those who do not want to search each chapter for specific data, it is summarized here for quick access.

Demand in the Province has been steadily dropping since 2005.  There appears to be some recovery in some months so far in 2010, but no where near returning to the 2005 level of consumption.  This means Ontario has a surplus of power since 2005, steadily until 2008, then in 2009 the recession made the drop much faster.  Assuming a normal recovery from the recession of 2009/2010 it would be at least 5 to 7 years before we return to the levels seen in 2005.  This gives us enough time to evaluate the future demand predictions and implement a much sounder, cheaper, reliable, power for the future.

The wind industry used Capacity Factor (in the range of 25-35%) as their gauge of how good wind performs.  They use this number when they tell you that X number of homes can be powered.  This leaves the erroneous perception that wind will actually supply those homes with full power 30% of the time.   It’s close to a pure and deliberate fabrication.

Capacity Factor is vague, misleading and meaningless.  Output is not a normal distribution bell curve, it is highly skewed to the lower range of output, and but a few exceptions in the winter and spring, output peters out pretty quick after the average.  Median and Skewness are better indicators of what the physical output is doing every hour.  The Median Capacity Factor is the point at which half the hours of percent name plate are over any given time frame.  Values of the Hourly Capacity Factor will spend half their time below the Median Capacity Factor.  Skewness tells us how far to the left (lower output) the Hourly Capacity Factors are stacked.  The Standard Deviation is also important as it tells us how spread out the Hourly Capacity Factor values are.  The bigger the number the more strung out the values are.

The next charts show the comparison of all the farms together:

  Winter Spring
WindFarm MCF CF Skew %
MCF CF Skew %
AMARANTH 21% 28% 0.783 14% 22% 31% 0.719 9%
KINGSBRIDGE 40% 43% 0.128 16% 22% 31% 0.718 16%
PORT ALMA                
PORT BURWELL 25% 35% 0.586 11% 22% 31% 0.743 12%
PRINCEFARM 21% 31% 0.756 13% 22% 32% 0.72 10%
RIPLEY SOUTH                
UNDERWOODWGS 21% 29% 0.724 16% 20% 29% 0.768 18%
WOLFE ISLAND 17% 28% 1.029 13% 12% 24% 1.237 14%
  Summer Fall
WindFarm MCF CF Skew %
MCF CF Skew %
AMARANTH 11% 16% 1.41 15% 15% 21% 1.224 16%
KINGSBRIDGE 7% 15% 1.604 31% 22% 31% 0.704 24%
PORT ALMA                
PORT BURWELL 7% 15% 1.661 18% 20% 29% 0.887 15%
PRINCEFARM 7% 16% 1.614 19% 20% 29% 0.854 19%
RIPLEY SOUTH                
WOLFE ISLAND 7% 15% 1.786 20% 13% 23% 1.229 15%

The % Zero is the percent of the time those sites produced nothing at all.  That is, sat idle.  Some of those hours will include the few times that the turbines had to be shut down because the wind was too fast. But the vast majority of those hours will be because the wind was below the start up speed.

To summarize in point form:

  • Ontario’s demand has been dropping since 2005, significant drop in 2009.  Recovery to 2005 levels is years away.
  • Hourly Capacity Factor plotted by percent of time gives a realistic physical profile of output
  • Median Capacity Factor, Skewness and Standard Deviations are more realistic numbers for the performance of IWT, not average (Capacity factor)
  • Summer output is pathetic, half the time output is less than 8% name plate
  • In the summer the number of hours of no output is between 15 and 30% of the time
  • Most of the time when wind is blowing, the province doesn’t need the power from wind
  • Demand peaked in 2005 and has been dropping since.  It is not expected to increase at all until at least 2018.
  • When demand in the winter months is within 10% of the peak, output from wind can be from nothing to 80% name plate.   The Capacity Value, if calculated using the median and not the average of the HCF, is 18%.  That means during the highest demand hours in the winter, output from wind is less than 19% name plate.
  • When demand in the summer months is within 10% of the peak, output from wind can be from nothing to 20% name plate.   The Capacity Value, if calculated using the median and not the average of the HCF, is 8%.  That means during the highest demand hours in the summer, output from wind is less than 9% name plate.
  • For location vs location to see if when one farm is low another can make up the difference, the data shows that 72% of the time when one location is below 5% name plate, a comparison distant location is below 10%.  Thus that premise is false.
  • Fundementally wind cannot replace coal.  The high rate of spikes in wind cannot correlate to the cyclic use of coal to meet the daily demand.  There is no evidence wind replaced coal at any time.
  • There is no evidence that natural gas is being used when wind is not blowing.  Natural gas and coal together are cycling in mutual dance to keep up with daily demand.  The premise that natural gas is helping wind has been proven false.
  • Comparing spikes in wind with increases in exported power to the US, including that excess power is exported, one can conclude that all wind output is being exported, and none of it is used dometically.

Using a Capacity Factor of 10% is actually what the IESO is claiming it used to calculate the viability of wind.  On page 9, foot noted, we have this in small letters “For capacity planning purposes, wind generation has a dependable capacity contribution of 10 per cent of the listed installed capacity of the project.” in this 2007 report.  (Thanks to Allan Lewis for pointing this out).  But it is not in the 2009 report.   Interesting.

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