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The Exhibition Place Turbine in Toronto — The one the GTA loves to brag about — is merely a green energy icon!

Tip of the hat to Wind Concerns Ontario

Scott Luft — Coldair.luftonline.net — November 15, 2012

The Exhibition Turbine: An Icon for Ontario’s Mazza Race

The Toronto Exhibition grounds are the appropriate site of a wind turbine that is frequently described as iconic.What does this icon represent?A review of the performance of Toronto’s wind turbine indicates the financial numbers don’t justify any respect being paid to the project. The turbine has a 600kW capacity – often reported as 750kW because of the capacity of parts of the turbine, but it seems it’s actually 600kW due to the capacity of other parts of the turbine.  The initial costs were $1.8 million, the turbine became operational in January 2004, and the co-op owners reportedly received a dividend payment in January 2005 (4% of share value).

The only one they have ever received, and recent press reports indicate even it is forgotten.The Globe and Mail reported that the turbine performed poorly in 2006, 2007 and 2008; The Toronto Star reported production of 780MWh in 2008, 1064MWh in 2009 and 927MWh in 2010.In March 2011 the turbine broke down, and it would not come back until parts costing $200,000 were found and installed at the start of May. The output in 2011 probably dropped below the 1000MWh estimate, which makes it likely that since 2005 the 1000MWh level was achieved only in 2009.


It’s notable that during the period in 2011 when the turbine was awaiting it’s bearings, a video was released where the maintenance is heralded and the performance is sited as being excellent for the past 4 or 5 years.The turbine broke down again in August 2012 and continues to be inoperable.  Not surprisingly, a glowing article appeared in the absence of a functioning turbine – financed by TD Bank and Suncor and posted on the Huffington Post:The Butterfly Effect: How A Single Wind Turbine Led To A Renewable Energy Revolution In Ontario:

“The folks that formed TREC [Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative] really wanted a site that would act as a demonstration, an icon if you will, for the green energy movement.”

(To continue reading, click here)

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