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Ontario power: Why Ontario effectively paid its neighbours $214,584.24 in one weekend hour to take our power

Mild temperatures, high winds, spring run-off and a weekend combined to send the price of power below zero on Sunday in Ontario.

But despite the near-record negative price – which means, in theory, that producers are paying customers to take electricity – Ontario ratepayers will still pick up the tab.

The market price of electricity averaged minus 2.1 cents a kilowatt hour on Sunday, according to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

On the full day’s production, the market generated a total of minus $7.8 million for the negative-priced output.

The below-zero prices were triggered in part low demand. Mild temperatures meant that there was little demand for either heating or air conditioning, while the weekend meant that many workplaces are closed.

Meanwhile the spring run-off boosted production at hydro stations. And strong winds pushed wind output above 1,400 megawatts at times – that’s about the same output as the main generating station at Niagara Falls.

As well, some connections to Quebec were out of service, bottling up power in Ontario and contributing to the surplus.

The market price for power never got above 3.2 cents a kilowatt hour on Sunday, and fell as low as minus 12.8 cents a kwh.

Some power users benefit. Export customers, in neighbouring states and provinces, can “buy” the below-zero power and get a credit for it. So can some big Ontario industrial customers who buy on the wholesale market.

In the hour starting at 7 a.m. Sunday, for example, IESO records show that Ontario exported 1,675 megawatt hours of power, at an average price of minus $128.11. Most of it flowed to New York and Michigan.

That means, in effect, Ontario paid its neighbours $214,584.24 in that hour to take our power.

Full article

McGuinty has the gear shift in overdrive and he’s going to bankrupt this province faster than we can blink, if someone doesn’t soon get into power and put a halt to all of this insanity.  It will be decades (long after most of us are gone) before the horrific effects of his outrageous policies are finally done.  God help future generations.  It’s not their fault, but they’re going to have to bear the brunt of this financial disaster. — Donna Quixote

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