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Paul Kuster: Could this revolutionary wind energy policy from India work here in Ontario?

Paul Kuster — Special to Quixotes  — July 17, 2013

I’ve been reading over and over again the story out of India where they require the wind power suppliers to supply next-day forecasts to grid operators. The idea of course is to give the grid operators a chance to balance the power generators outputs to better match demand requirements. This helps to prevent power overloads and black-outs. The wind and solar generators have a 30% plus or minus range every 15 minutes in predicting their outputs or face fines. Read the story here   —   http://quixoteslaststand.com/2013/07/16/india-nails-the-wind-industry-to-the-wall-brilliant-this-is-absolutely-brilliant/

So let’s have a look and see how this policy might work in Ontario.

For sake of argument and numbers let’s look at the Melancthon development that comes in at 200mw of installed nameplate capacity.  So what will wind power bring tomorrow? Remember, the India model requires estimates on output every 15 minutes. The IESO site reports hourly so lets go with that.

Here’s the actual reported values for April 6/13

April 16 2013

Total Ontario wind turbine output for each hour of the day April 6, 2013 (Source: IESO)

So how would you predict output given the volatility as shown?

Remember , you’ve got a 30% range plus or minus to get it right.  The data shows at hour 9 you’ve got 9mw. At hour 10,  22mw which puts you well outside of your 30% range. Still keep in mind, India requires you predict, even with your 30% grace, every 15 minutes.

Again, look at hour 20 to hour 21. Instead of looking at jumps in output, look at falls in output. Consider hour 4 to hour 5 which would be a worse scenario for wind turbine operators.  Feel like predicting all this the day before?  Even a seasoned meteorologist would balk at this job.  Lets look at another time of year that is historically less volatile.

Here’s the actual reported values for June 28/13

June 28 2013

Total Ontario wind turbine output for each hour of the day June 28, 2013 (Source: IESO)

Again , even at the most least volatile time of year the variations hour to hour can still be beyond the 30%  range.  These variations, if not predicted somewhat accurately can result in fines as mandated by the India model.  Could, or more importantly would Ontario adopt such a policy?

What would this all mean for a wind turbine operator in Ontario?  Instead of the IESO having to jump through hoops in order to deal with this ” nuisance” power, wind companies would have to be made more accountable for their product and more honest as well.

Take a prediction of 50mw.  Not unreasonable given the data from Melancthon. If an installation was verging on generating beyond their 30% range (65mw), they’d have to shut down some turbines to stay within their predicted range and lose money.  If generation falls below the 30% range (35mw) with no way to stop it from falling further, the fines start to kick in, cutting into the bottom line.  This gets trickier as the output prediction lowers (10mw prediction gives you a range of  7mw to 13mw). This alone illustrates how fickle wind can be.

But why pick on wind. Let’s apply this standard to all forms of generation. Let’s look at Bruce nuclear and let’s see if they too would be quaking in their “Wellies” at such a policy.  When asked to predict their output, nuclear has the added benefit of asking back , “How much would you like?”

Well, lets say Ontario demand necessitates the IESO asking for whatever Unit 1 at Bruce A can give. The capability is 765mw. Keeping in mind the Melancthon project is just 200mw nameplate. Bruce Power could predict an output of say, 750mw.   As I write this, Unit 1 is producing – get this – 765mw. Looking at the other units, they’re running as close to full capability as a reasonable margin of error would allow.

Let’s look at the other forms of generation. It’s essentially the same for gas, hydro, and when necessary coal. The added benefit to these more flexible forms, is not only how much could be asked of them, but when would it be desired!  Predictions would be redundant as requests for power would be based on capability and these requests only a require a reasonable (hours) lead-time.

It’s interesting to note that wind power could never match these benefits of conventional generation. The squealing from the wind industry would prove to be fairly telling as those who operate the other forms of generation would have no problem with the policy India is implementing.

I’ve just pointed out a few of the consequences that jump to mind of this Indian policy to wind and compare it to the other forms of generation. I invite all those who can think of more consequences that this policy would generate to post those thoughts.

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9 Comments on “Paul Kuster: Could this revolutionary wind energy policy from India work here in Ontario?”

  1. freewco July 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO: On WordPress.

  2. Anita Thornton July 18, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Apparently starting in September 2013 when the wind blows Ontario does not have to take the power. Is this true? Heard that somewhere and I can’t see that happening. It was a good source. Also Ontario will soon be implementing a centralized wind forecasting system.

    http://www.nrel.gov/wind/pdfs/47853.pdf..

    I also look at the IESO site but Sygration is pretty good too. There are IESO type sites all over the world. Spain downgrading their renewables investment?. No wonder. Coal, nuclear and all other but wind are the backbone of Spain. They have 22,796 MW of wind installed.
    Boy they were duped

    https://demanda.ree.es/demandaGeneracionAreasEng.html

    • Paul July 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      It’s true they aren’t obliged to take the power . Good news ,right? Not so fast. The wind operators will still be compensated based on an estimate as to how much would have been generated. One could only imagine who will benefit from the “estimate”.

  3. GregN July 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    At 3 PM on 15 July 2013,one of the hottest days of the summer so far, the total demand for electricity in Ontario was about 26,500 megawatts (MW). Of this nuclear was supplying 11,841 MW out of 11,930 MW capability or 99.25% of capability. What was wind providing to Ontarians? Out of 1,724 MW capability it was supplying a grand total of, now catch your breath in awe, 102 MW or 5.9% of capability. What a fantastic performance! And that was tops up to that time all day. Meanwhile the nukes were humming away putting out 11,825 to 11,945 MW through the day. (All this data can be found on the IESO website.)

    At 5.9% capability in order to supply 26,500 MW of power you need to have have 259 times the rated capacity of wind towers or 448,000 MW of capacity just to meet the demand of 26,500 MW. This would be equivalent to about 224,000 wind turbines (if each rated at 2 MW). Remember that the footprint of a 2 MW wind turbine is about 2 acres so Ontario would have to give up almost 500,000 acres of land plus transmission hookups to supply the province.

    It just does not make sense! (or cents) When it is hot, wind blows (not). When it does blow we usually don’t need the power.

    What were they and are they continuing to think? Or are they?
    Greg

  4. Mike Putnam July 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    This site for the UK predicts wind velocity for five days out: http://www.xcweather.co.uk/GB/forecast

    It wouldn’t be difficult to monitor this for a few days and see how things go.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. India Nails the Wind Industry to the Wall! BRILLIANT! This is Absolutely BRILLIANT!! | Quixotes Last Stand - July 18, 2013

    […] Read Paul Kusters GREAT analysis of how this policy could be implemented by governments not only in Ontario, but also worldwide!!!    Paul Kuster: Could this revolutionary wind energy policy from India work here in Ontario? […]

  2. India Nails the Wind Industry to the Wall! BRILLIANT! This is Absolutely BRILLIANT!! | Quixotes Last Stand - July 18, 2013

    […] Read Paul Kusters GREAT analysis of how this policy could be implemented by governments not only in Ontario, but also worldwide!!!    Paul Kuster: Could this revolutionary wind energy policy from India work here in Ontario? […]

  3. Wind Industry Upset at New Rules set out asking for Scheduling and Forecasting | Quixotes Last Stand - July 22, 2013

    […] followed up the next day with an article by Paul Kuster on how this could be applied world-wide.   But the wind industry has taken offence that the same […]

  4. Goldman Sachs: More on Indias new wind-forecast rules | Quixotes Last Stand - July 31, 2013

    […] Paul Kuster: Could this revolutionary wind energy policy from India work here in Ontario? […]

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