We are in damage control here in Texas – “the oil and gas capital of the world” according to the Texans. It is a major blow to the proud people of this state that they could not keep the power grid working in the epic winter storm of Feb 2021. Having rolling blackouts and loss of power is something that happens in a California heat wave, not something that happens in Texas.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers — representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 680+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 8 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.
The supply in Texas – installed capacity as listed on ERCOT:
This is the list of power providers for McAllen and a large part of the Rio Grande Valley – https://shop.comparepower.com/enrollments/#/compare/78501/10/500/0/0/00///0/0
Hopefully, you can get this link open because the providers state the portion of their power that is from “green”. As you scroll through you notice that some providers are .12% green, some 6% green, some near 20% green and some 100% green. Would you like to tell me what happened to the households that are 100% dependent on “green” energy in the last ice storm? We are in McAllen, Texas and some of our neighbours 3 kilometers to the north have been without power for five days now and they expect that they might have power as early as Friday!
The people in these communities are struggling – struggling to stay warm, struggling to keep the taps from freezing, struggling to cook food and struggling to prevent the food in the freezers from going bad, struggling to communicate because the internet is down. Some are using their vehicles to provide warmth and recharge batteries and cell phones.
Because we have all been running our taps to prevent them from freezing, the water pressure is down and the city of Edinburg (482,000 people) is under a “boil water” advisory. Fire trucks are having difficulty because without water pressure they are restricted in putting out fires. The city of Donna (16,500 people) has lost water pressure and they will be under a “boil water” advisory as soon as the water supply returns.
Because we operate on a “just in time” delivery system some of the major food stores can not get food delivered. Their delivery tucks can not get fuel because the gas stations can not pump fuel when they have no power. And most people saw the 130 car pile up south of Houston on Feb. 11 – one week ago, so the roads are treacherous. With the delivery system affected stores are running out of milk, bread, eggs and meat. But we do have toilet paper this time!
The distributors are in damage control and everyone is blaming someone or something else. Rule #1 The chain breaks at the weakest link!
Power suppliers that counted on .12% ‘green’ energy kept the lights on, the water running and heat in the households. Power suppliers that counted on 100% ‘green’ failed as soon as the wind turbines iced over and were taken offline. These providers were left scrambling – looking for additional power supply as were most others.
Because they have independent power providers here in Texas, each little company runs their own system. They do not pay for spinning standby like we do in Ontario where we pay power generators to not produce. Here if you need more power for your company you have to find it. For the power producers that could actually increase their supply it was a bonanza! Charge what ever the market will pay and the cost per MW went form $25/MW in normal times to as high as $7,000 per MW. (A 28,000 % increase in cost – I saw one report of $9,000 per MW)
The demand exceeded the supply and simply put they could not keep the lights on. The providers could not find the power they required or could not pay the price – or chose not to pay $7-9,000 per MW for the power they required. This failure certainly has a component in the decision making that is economic.
This is what happens when you install an intermittent power system, eventually you reach a tipping point where you are not able to provide reliable power and the system collapses like a deck of cards. This is what happens in California in a heat wave or Texas in freezing conditions. The lesson to be learned is that if you destabilize the power grid with intermittent, unreliable power generation that fails in a summer heat wave or a winter polar vortex you will eventually have a catastrophic failure.
A Concerned Citizen
Texas and neighbors hit hard by a severe winter storm due to polar vortex conditions causing temperatures to plummet dangerously low. The States’ self contained electrical grid faces collapse as generators not properly winterized become frozen. A state of emergency is declared while residents and businesses are plunged into prolonged electricity blackouts. People being left to face the harsh winter conditions for days without electricity and for some it results in deadly consequences.
Wind turbines frozen and back up generation from natural gas hampered. The spot price of gas soars by thousands of percent in cost while the blame game and finger pointing reaches a fevered pitch.
“The problem is Texas’s overreliance on wind power that has left the grid more vulnerable to bad weather. Half of wind turbines froze last week, causing wind’s share of electricity to plunge to 8% from 42%. Power prices in the wholesale market spiked, and grid regulators on Friday warned of rolling blackouts. Natural gas and coal generators ramped up to cover the supply gap but couldn’t meet the surging demand for electricity—which half of households rely on for heating—even as many families powered up their gas furnaces. Then some gas wells and pipelines froze.”
The Political Making of a Texas Power Outage; How bad energy policy led to rolling blackouts in the freezing Lone Star State; WSJ Opinion, February 16, 2021
“ERCOT said the supply of natural gas to power plants is being limited and some wind turbines are frozen. So, keeping up with the amount of power being used across Texas is even more difficult.”
Rolling power blackouts turn into lengthy outages in Texas as energy demand reaches record high; Fox News February 15, 2021
GREEN ENERGY vs JUSTICE
A second peer-reviewed manuscript relating to the CCSAGE legal case has been published and is available on line. Entitled Ontario’s Green Energy Policy vs. Social Justice, the manuscript was largely based on the documents written to support the CCSAGE legal case. It has the stated objective:
To explore the development and implementation of Ontario’s Green Energy Act and the outcomes on social justice and risk of harm to Ontario residents. To provide examples of government actions taken to achieve its goals, and the occurrence of consequences, whether intended or unintended.
In memory of Alan Whiteley
Whiteley, A., &Dumbrille, A. (2021). Ontario’s Green Energy Policy vs. Social Justice. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9, 447-486.https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2021.91033
Received: December 22, 2020
Accepted: January 26, 2021
Published: January 29, 2021
Renewable energy’s Achilles heel is variability and intermittency. Electricity is generated in the wrong place and at the wrong time. The latest push is to use of battery storage to overcome these fundemental flaws. Southern Ontario is part of this global push and Parker Gallant gives his opinion about claims of cost savings.
Battery Storage will Save Ontario Ratepayers as Much as $760 million and Hell is about to Freeze Over|by: Parker Gallant|January 23, 2021
It appears, those who monetarily benefited from the GEA imposed on Ontario’s ratepayers by the McGuinty led Ontario Liberal Party in 2009 are back seeking more ratepayer dollars.
NRStor and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC) have teamed up in an effort to obtain a contract from IESO. The latter, SNGRDC already have a significant portfolio of investments in 13 wind and solar projects including the 230 MW Niagara Regional Wind Farm. NRStor was founded by Annette Verschuren, former CEO of Home Depot and NRStor’s claim to fame is “energy storage” and as such they received several contracts from the OPA (absorbed by IESO) under the GEA. A former senior executive of IESO, Kim Warren is one of the three members of their Board of Directors and he presumably still has some pull within IESO.
It should be obvious that both SNGRDC and NRStor have benefited greatly from the contracts they received from the IESO to the detriment of Ontario’s households and businesses of all sizes and sectors—but they want more!
NRStor appear to be a Tesla agent in Canada and it is probable the project currently in the planning stages will use Tesla’s “Megapack” battery storage for the jointly owned “Oneida Energy Storage Project” (OES) which is a proposed 250MW/1000MWh storage facility.
Driving up Electricity Costs with our Tax Dollars
The OES is not the only “energy storage” project in the early stages as TC Energy, who sold their Ontario gas plants to OPG last year are also in the process of seeking a contract to create a “pumped storage” 1000 MW unit in Meaford, Ontario using water from Georgian Bay. Needless to say, the locals in and around the chosen site are fighting hard to preserve the local landscape and the affected area of Georgian Bay! In TC Energy’s case one should suspect they are trying desperately to obtain “carbon credits” to help offset the upcoming rising costs of both the “carbon tax” and the “clean fuel standard” (another tax) the Justin Trudeau Government has undertaken. Those taxes may make TC uncompetitive with other global energy companies.
The opportunity to make money in the “OES” case is twofold in that they will purchase power when the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) is low and sell it back either at a contracted price or when the HOEP is higher during high demand hours. One assumes they also want “carbon credits” they can sell to others for additional revenue.
Insofar as the two partners of the OES are concerned it looks to be simply a means to obtain more ratepayer dollars! In NRStor’s case the benefit will accrue to their new New York owners, Blackstone Energy Partners who purchased them in the spring of 2020 and is itself a subsidiary of Blackstone with $571 billion in assets under management.
Examining the Project Overview suggests in addition to the promise to save us ratepayers $760 million the energy storage project will also result in a “4.1 Million tonne reduction in CO2”. Not sure how buying surplus energy in Ontario that is basically emissions free will save those 4.1 million tonnes but if they say it’s a perfect solution, we should suspect both politicians and public bureaucrats will be swayed by those claims. One wonders if the politicians and bureaucrats recall the words of George Smitherman, former Ontario Minister of Energy when he told us the GEA would only raise electricity rates by 1% and it would create 50,000 jobs! His claims were praised by many ENGO at that time. Ontario’s ratepayers are well aware neither promise came to pass!
It is evident already that politicians and bureaucrats are excited about the OES project. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities had the CIB (Canada Infrastructure Bank) sign an MOU with OES and shouted out: “Renewable energy projects in partnership with Indigenous communities – like the Oneida Energy Storage project with the CIB, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and NRStor – are a great example of how our economy will grow in the future and how forward-looking investments can help Canadians achieve their economic and environmental goals,” One should assume the Minister and the bureaucrats at the CIB did not bother to determine the emissions required to manufacture the batteries nor the cost of recycling them!
It also appears from the “Project Review” that perhaps some politicians and bureaucrats in Ontario have also endorsed the project as Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs issued the following statement: “Ontario is uniquely positioned to take advantage of energy storage solutions and I congratulate the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, NRStor and the Canadian Infrastructure Bank on this important project milestone today.” To top that off IESO receives many laudatory mentions in the OES review suggesting their plan to secure a contract will be an easy one with the help of Kim Warren’s inside knowledge.
For some reason the review uses 2017 data which is now quite dated. It also notes; “Ontario’s Auditor General has confirmed using forecast data from the IESO that the province is expected to continue to experience on average 2.8 TWh of Surplus Baseload Generation (SBG) per year from 2022-2032”. Bearing the foregoing in mind, one wonders why adding storage of that surplus, storing it for several hours and then selling it back at a price higher than purchased will somehow save us overburdened ratepayers $760 million? Buy low, sell high, appears to represent an additional cost to ratepayers while rewarding OES!
The OES appears to be simply another Trojan Horse* that will serve to further undermine the Ontario economy!
* The Trojan Horse is a story from the Trojan War about the subterfuge the Greeks used to enter the independent city of Troy and win the war.
Credit: Parker Gallant
The sales pitch;The tech is finally ready and a big energy storage project is set to unlock benefits for all Ontarians|Toronto Star|January 23, 2021
Lawyer Alan Whitely wrote to the Ontario government in July 2020, in an effort to affect modernization of the justice system. The goal was to improve access to justice for the people. The Green Energy Act was used as an example and recommendations were given to prevent this from happening again. He received no response from the Government. Even though the Green Energy Act was repealed in 2019 the consequences and impacts of renewable energy projects continue to divide Ontario.
Whiteley, A.,Dumbrille, A., & Hirsch, J. (2021). Access to Justice: Recommended Reforms to the Ontario Justice System Using the Green Energy Act as an Example. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2021.91001
Wind fails yet again. Generation out of breathe and provided Ontario only 0.5% of its generation mix in the middle of a work day.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING FOR PLANNING MATTERS
Get involved with your input. The Township of West Lincoln Planning/Building/Environmental Committee will hold a Public Meeting in accordance with the Planning Act where the matter(s) below will be considered. The meeting will take place:
VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING
DATE: December 22nd, 2020 DATE: Monday, January 11th, 2021
TIME: 6:30 – 8 PM TIME: 6:30PM
LOCATION: ZOOM Meeting* LOCATION: ZOOM Meeting*
*Please see below for further details on how to participate on Zoom or through an alternative method
About the Planning Application:
File No. and Name: 1701-005-19 – Township of West Lincoln – Renewable Energy Policies
The Township of West Lincoln has commenced an Official Plan Amendment process to create new Official Plan policies regarding Renewable Energy Policies within the Township. The Green Energy and Green Economy Act was first approved in 2009 by the Provincial Government and placed the approval and authority for all Green Energy applications at the Provincial level. Local land use planning policies were over ridden by that act. The current government has now repealed most of this previous legislation resulting in the need for local renewable energy land use planning policy again.
Staff is proposing the Township of West Lincoln Official Plan be amended by adding Section 13.4 to the consolidated Township of West Lincoln Official Plan. The amendment proposes that if a renewable energy system is being installed for the benefit of one house or one property and less than 10 KW then no amendment to the Official Plan is required and only regulations of the Zoning By-law would apply. Also, if a renewable energy system is being installed for the benefit of one house or one property and is greater than 10KW then this would require an Official Plan Amendment. The current Zoning provisions will be updated to implement this proposed policy change. A copy of the draft policy can be found on the Township’s website by searching the File name and number.
If you have any questions about this application, please contact the following planner:
Name: Brian Treble, Director of Planning and Building
How to have your comments heard:
Due to COVID-19, the Township will be hosting public meetings via ZOOM, an online video-conferencing system.
We will also be hosting a virtual open house via ZOOM on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. To register for the Virtual Open Houses, please contact the Township Planning Department.
Please submit your written comments by 4 PM Tuesday January 5th, 2021 to have them included in Staff’s report for the application in advance of the January 11th, 2021 Public Meeting.
Please submit your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org with the file number for the application.
If you submit comments after this date, they will not be included in Staff’s report. Please ensure all comments have been submitted prior to Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 4pm. The comments will instead then be read into the public record during the meeting.
While residents are encouraged to make written submissions to the committee, members of the public will also be able to provide verbal comments at Committee and Council through Zoom.
Please contact the Township Clerk by email at email@example.com or by phone at 905-957-3346, ext 5136 to register to speak at the meeting and you will be provided a link.
Please state the date of the meeting and the file number you wish to address. If you are not able to access ZOOM through a computer, there is an option to call into the meeting through phone numbers and a code provided.
If you wish to participate and cannot access the meeting through Zoom through a computer or by calling in, please notify the Clerk and all efforts will be made to accommodate your needs. To register for the Virtual Open House, please contact the Township Planning Department.
Important information about making a submission
~If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the Township of West Lincoln Planning/Building/Environmental Committee before a by-law is passed, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Council of the Township of West Lincoln to the Local Planning Appeal
~If a person or public body does not make oral submission at a public meeting, or make written submissions to the Township of West Lincoln Planning/Building/Environmental Committee before a by-law is passed, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal unless, in the
opinion of the Tribunal, there are reasonable grounds to do so.
~Individuals who make written submissions with respect to a Planning Act application should be aware that their submission and any personal information in their correspondence
will become part of the public record and made available to the Applicant, Committee and Council.
For more information
The documents and background material for this application can be made available by contacting West Lincoln’s Planning Department at:
Copies of the Staff Report will be available Friday January 8th, 2021 after 4 PM on the Township’s website.
If you would like to be notified of Township Council’s decision with respect to any planning application, you must make a written request (specifying which file number) to:
Joanne Scime, Clerk
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Dated: December 10th, 2020
Planning and Development Department
318 Canborough St. P.O. Box 400
Smithville, ON, L0R 2A0
T: 905-957-3346 • F: 905-957-3219
UN agency hit with fraud and corruption allegations at climate projects|National Post|December 1, 2020
“The report highlighted problems including signs of “fraudulent activities” at two country offices and “suspicions of collusion among the various project managers” at another, without naming the countries.
“Issues identified by the audit could seriously compromise the achievement of the objectives of the audited entity,” the report said.
The GEF was set up in 1991 as part of the World Bank to help fight environmental challenges such as deforestation, species conservation and pollution. It has since split out to become an independent organization and disbursed more than $21 billion in 170 countries, including $7 billion in projects managed by the UNDP.”
“Britain has already made a good start on this, blazing a trail with its rapid switch from coal to renewable based electricity, with Boris Johnson saying in October, “as Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind.”
And Johnson has just announced plans for a “green industrial revolution,” including phasing out petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, progressively replacing gas boilers with heat pumps as the main way of heating homes, developing the use of hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and planting 30 million trees a year.”
“The larger point is that a decline in the performance of offshore turbines due to ageing at a rate of 4.5% per year means that the effective economic life of such turbines is little more than 15 years. Power prices and operational arrangements after that period will have a very small effect on the decision to invest or not to invest in offshore generation.”
Two reports; Professor Gordon Hughes, School of Economics, University of Edinburgh on 4 November 2020