Another day, another wind-power let down in Ontario


Locutus
+2
#1  Top Rated Post
In one of the Dr. Katz episodes, Katz is enjoying, or trying to enjoy, a glass of wine after dinner with his slacker son Ben. When Ben criticizes his imbibing, Katz says something like “I figure I should let my hair down, because it let me down.” (Katz has gone bald, as you’ll see when you watch the clip.)

Right now, two-thirty p.m. on Wednesday August 29 2012, the provincial wind fleet is letting its hair down, enjoying the productivity equivalent of a glass of vino in the middle of the afternoon. That is to say, the wind fleet is not producing very much at this moment, even though it is continually touted as the energy of the future.

Unlike Katz, whose wine-drinking occurs after the working day is over, the wind fleet pops the old cork whenever it pleases, even if everyone else is in the middle of the work day. Though theoretically capable of generating around 1700 megawatts at this moment, the wind fleet is actually generating only 84 MW.

Check out the IESO’s website. Once again, as the province heads into the peak hours, wind is missing in action and proving it is a total waste of time and money. After all that talk, after all the celebrity endorsements, after all the self-interested con men blathering on about the wind-powered Brave New World—this is what we get.


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Another day, another wind-power let down in Ontario | Canadian Energy Issues
 
L Gilbert
+1
#2
If water stops moving, we don't get hydro. If we don't burn wood or petroleum products, we don't get heat and stuff, too. If it's night, solar energy is pretty minimal, too. So what?
So the wind calms down and it's a big surprise that wind-powered generation is low? lol
Last edited by L Gilbert; Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:38 PM..
 
Bar Sinister
+2
#3
In order for wind power to work there have to be a lot more wind generators that there are at present. Depending on just a few is rather foolhardy, which is why most electrical grids bring in wind power as a subsidiary source. If Ontario is relying upon wind in a critical situation then it is doing it wrong. Somehow I doubt that Ontario has made any errors in the matter of wind generation; rather the problem is with the author of the article who quite obviously knows very little about wind energy or his article would not contain so many incorrect assumptions.
 
shadowshiv
+2
#4
I thought we already had a surplus of energy because of the wind turbines, but since we don't have a way to store it, it just ends up wasted.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#5
The main thing is that Ontario has its heart in the right place, they want to save the earth by bankrupting as many people, ie, taxpayers as they can because any consumption is bad consumption and to consume less is virtuous. You're so picky, so mean. You hate all animals.
 
Tonington
#6
Current output is 933 MW

IESO Wind Tracker Homepage
 
petros
#7
Bupkiss!
 
beaker
#8
883 this hour, more than coal just now. This is going to be the big benefit of a better grid system. Renewables are always going in some areas and not in others so that regionally appropriate technologies will be traded across the smart grid. Wind power from the west, tidal from the east, solar from the middle. It all works.
 
petros
#9
Less than a Gig is **** all. Do you know what a terawatt is?

How many wind gennys does it take to produce a CONSISTANT 517 tW/h?

Hundreds of 1 GW or less coal fired plants were shut down over the past 15 years because there is no money to made. If there is no money in 1GW of cheap ass coal electricty the little smidge of wind energy produced by that little project must be sinking fast and will end up being bought out by the taxpayer.
 
beaker
+1
#10
Even if it is effall it is still more than coal, and that is a sign of the times. The answer to your question needs to encompass all the energy forms that will be sustainable. So we do t need the planet covered with wind towers anymore than we need it covered with rigs We have options to meet our future needs. Y
 
petros
#11
Natural gas is sustainable and renewable. It's the future. The oil and subterranean NG burned today becomes tomorrows methane hydrate on the ocean floor.
 
beaker
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Natural gas is sustainable and renewable. It's the future. The oil and subterranean NG burned today becomes tomorrows methane hydrate on the ocean floor.

In what way is natural gas sustainable?
 
petros
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by beaker View Post

In what way is natural gas sustainable?

The environment makes more and more everyday. It's a by-product of life.
 
Tonington
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

The environment makes more and more everyday. It's a by-product of life.

 
L Gilbert
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar Sinister View Post

In order for wind power to work there have to be a lot more wind generators that there are at present.

Nope. All it takes to generate power from wind is to have 1 genreator spinning. If you need more power, you need more generators spinning.
Quote:

Depending on just a few is rather foolhardy, which is why most electrical grids bring in wind power as a subsidiary source. If Ontario is relying upon wind in a critical situation then it is doing it wrong. Somehow I doubt that Ontario has made any errors in the matter of wind generation; rather the problem is with the author of the article who quite obviously knows very little about wind energy or his article would not contain so many incorrect assumptions.

Probably true.

Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

I thought we already had a surplus of energy because of the wind turbines, but since we don't have a way to store it, it just ends up wasted.

Yep.
 
beaker
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv
I thought we already had a surplus of energy because of the wind turbines, but since we don't have a way to store it, it just ends up wasted.

originally posted by L Gilbert "Yep."

What jurisdiction or market is that in? I don't know of any, where the power is wasted except in exceptional circumstances. Ie, no grid to sell it through because of grid problems.
 
petros
#17
How many wind generatos does it take to consistantly produce the needed 547 terawatt hours Canadians use every year?
 
Bar Sinister
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

Nope. All it takes to generate power from wind is to have 1 genreator spinning. If you need more power, you need more generators spinning.

I'm not sure if you are deliberately misinterpreting my post, but if wind power it to work then it it necessary to have enough wind generators to compensate for low wind days or no wind at all. The wind is almost always blowing somewhere so enough wind generators have to be built to allow for those that are not functioning if there is to be 100% dependency on wind power alone. To do otherwise would simply be foolish.
 
petros
+1
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

How many wind generatos does it take to consist
antly produce the needed 547 terawatt hours Canadians use every year?

http://ontariowindperformance.wordpr...wind-turbines/


How Many Wind Turbines?

Ontario Liberals want 15% of our power to come from wind.

At the height our consumption reaches 27,000mW (Aug 1, 2006 at 4PM) , so
27,000mW x 15% = 4,050mW


In order to get that ability all year-long one then has to use the lowest Median Capacity Factor, which is the summer at 7%, but for easy calculations we will use the IESO’s 10% they used in this report (see footnote page 9). That means, for 1.5mW turbines, 50% of the time each turbine producing less than 0.15mW, to produce that 4,050 megaWatts:


4,050mW / 0.15mW = 27,000


That’s at least 27,000 1.5mW wind turbines, at 10% Median Capacity Factor.


If one were to built the larger turbines, with the same Median Capacity Factor, it would be :

4,050mW / 0.2mW = 20,250
4,050mW / 0.3mW = 13,500

for 2 and 3mW turbines respectively.


How many is 27,000? That’s one every 40 meters from Windsor to Montreal along the 401.


How big is 27,000? At one every 500 meters, that’s an area of 13,300 square kilometers. 13,300 square kilometers is 116 kilometers by 116 kilometers and looks like this black box on the left.

Or spread about the Golden Horseshoe like the blue area. One wonders how the densest part of the province would like to have 27,000 turbines every 500 meters. How many people in Rosedale would be willing to get rent on a 1.5mW wind turbine in their back yard?

But that is the number of turbines at today’s consumption. What would the expected consumption be by 2030?

At a modest 1% growth in the Province’s GDP, by 2030 the peak demand could be 33,000 mW. If the growth is 3% then that peak demand rises to 49,000mW. So the number of turbines has to be based on one of those two, not today’s consumption.

That means we would need between 33,000 and 49,000 turbines by 2030.
Is it possible to build them fast enough to meet that goal?

To meet the 1% GDP growth rate, the red line is how fast the construction of turbines would have to be. For 3% growth the graph would have to look like this:

This chart shows the growth rate needed to build them that fast:

Compare this to a nuke reactor. Nuke reactor produces 95% of 550mW or 520mW,

520/ 0.15 = 3483 turbines

So to replace a Pickering (4 reactors) we would need 3483 x 4 = 14,000 wind turbines.

So for the price of all those turbines we can build two nuke plants producing 4160mW of power, almost 15% of our needs, 24/7, where as those turbines will produce less than 4160mW 50% of the time, 5% of the time they would produce nothing — $42 billion in turbines sitting idle.
ECONOMIC GROWTH MAKES IT PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE
TO BUILD 15% OF OUR DEMAND FROM WIND BY 2030


 
Bar Sinister
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

How many wind generatos does it take to consistantly produce the needed 547 terawatt hours Canadians use every year?

Not really an answerable question as wind generators like all generators vary in output. A backyard generator only produces about 600 watts. Enough to power a few small appliances. The world's largest puts out 5,000,000 watts. I'll let you do the math since you asked the question.
 
petros
+1
#21
See above

27,000 just to meet 15% of Ontario's needs.

Where will all that copper come from? Each uses around 1000lbs.
 
beaker
#22
petros, your calculations are based on assumptions that shouldn't hold true if we are to transform to a sustainable society, with a sustainable energy production system. There is every reason to think that we can cut back on our use through conservation and efficiency improvements so that we are only using half the power we are using now, 15 years from now. In fact it is the most sensible alternative.

That leaves us with a 15 percent wind load of 13,500 MW, or about 2000 MW. The data you referred us to was from 2007 and there has been changes since, for example the same source now also quotes April 2009 as giving a 41% capacity factor to wind, and at the other end of the spectrum, June only gave 14%. If that gives us a factor of 27% or .405 from a 1.5 mw machine you only need 5000 turbines. That is quite a difference.

You don't build turbines even on that scale in the middle of dense Urban centers. You build them where there is the best wind. That also makes quite a difference to the output. As the IESO is saying, they will be putting together a wind prediction center to be able to make better use of wind from different regions as the wind blows through them. That will make quite a difference. But even if the windmills were all built in one block, the actual land used would be trivial compared to your estimates because the land between turbines is still usable for highways, farming, industrial use, etc.

As to the financial/economic argument in the comparison of nukes vs windpower, we also have to factor in the cost of nuclear waste disposal, nuclear plant decommissioning, accidents, and health problems.
 
petros
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by beaker View Post

petros, your calculations are based on assumptions that shouldn't hold true if we are to transform to a sustainable society, with a sustainable energy production system. There is every reason to think that we can cut back on our use through conservation and efficiency improvements so that we are only using half the power we are using now, 15 years from now. In fact it is the most sensible alternative.

.

That isn't a reality. It lacks population growth.
 
Kakato
#24
I drove from Coronation Alberta to the pass tonight,I was surprised at the new windmills going up around Halkirk and Castor.
These are the big ones with blades the size of 747 wings.If Alberta does not have the most windmills in Canada yet then they soon will.


Other then farming or working in the patch there's not many jobs in these rural areas so I think this is a good thing.From the highyway I saw 20 structures built with the lower stage of the tower set up and about a dozen huge cranes,at each structure the huge blades and generator were waiting on the ground for assembly.
Next will be the ROW and new powerlines to move all that electricity.
As I drove past the small town of Halkirk I saw a sign that said you could sign a blade on one of these behemoths so they are also very happy about this new wind farm.
Too bad we are not building the components here ourselves.
 
Kakato
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

I thought we already had a surplus of energy because of the wind turbines, but since we don't have a way to store it, it just ends up wasted.

Where did you hear that?

In Alberta and B.C. the power flows between both provinces depending on who needs it the most and the surplus is sold mainly in the USA.

Here is the wind farm I drove by yesterday,it will be the biggest in Alberta.

Alberta's largest windfarm inches closer to construction – Journal of Commerce

On a side note,in Alberta if you make power from your own wind or solar project they have to buy the surplus off you.
Making the meter run backwards is my next goal via solar if I can find enough cells.
Thankfully in the oil patch they have lots of used ones that wont be reused on new buildings so I may have a line on some for cheap.

Quote:

The Halkirk I Wind Project involves the construction of 100 wind turbines, each rated at 1.5 MW, for a total installed capacity of 150 MW.
Each wind turbine generator will be mounted on top of an 80 metre tower with a rotor diameter of 77 metres.
The turbines are connected to a substation.
The proposed wind farm has been approved for a 34.5-kilovolt gathering system, which consists of underground and overhead power to collect the power generated by the turbines.
The project will create 100 to 200 jobs during construction as well as between five and 10 full-time jobs when the facility is in operation.
When completed, the $350 million project will produce enough electricity to power about 50,000 homes and will be Alberta’s largest operating wind energy project.
A project near Taber Alberta currently holds that title. Enmax began the operation of Alberta’s largest wind farm in the fall of 2007, after 16 months of construction.
The Taber wind farm is located southeast of Taber and is an 80 MW facility.
This is enough electricity to provide power for about 32,000 homes.

I only worked about 4 years on and off with Altalink and Fortis here in Alberta but the old timers told me that folks cant get enough electricity and demand will just increase as will the price.
Deregulation also made us go from the cheapest power in Canada to the most expensive.
Last edited by Kakato; Sep 1st, 2012 at 08:42 AM..
 
taxslave
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

How many wind generatos does it take to consistantly produce the needed 547 terawatt hours Canadians use every year?

Why would you even want to piss around with wind when we have an abundance of hydro power? Once the dams are built it is cheap power plus the associated benifits of controlling runoff and the availability of lakes for recreation.
 
Locutus
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

Why would you even want to piss around with wind when we have an abundance of hydro power? Once the dams are built it is cheap power plus the associated benifits of controlling runoff and the availability of lakes for recreation.

Niche
 
petros
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

Why would you even want to piss around with wind when we have an abundance of hydro power? Once the dams are built it is cheap power plus the associated benifits of controlling runoff and the availability of lakes for recreation.

Hydro is great until it's your house being flooded out and left for dead in an underwater ghost town.
 
beaker
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Hydro is great until it's your house being flooded out and left for dead in an underwater ghost town.

That is the truth, and there are other concerns depending on the river and the valley and the geographic region. Steep little canyons without much resource value for sustainability might be a good place to put a hydro facility. In BC though a good percentage of those are salmon streams and the states has had to remove some of their dams because salmon were disappearing from their rivers. There are a lot of implications not the least of which is the option that rivers are pretty good recreation sites on their own.
 
Bar Sinister
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Hydro is great until it's your house being flooded out and left for dead in an underwater ghost town.


It is possible to build hydroelectric installations without dams. In fact there are a number of projects along this line. The really nice thing about them is that they can be daisy-chained down the river. The limiting factor is that such plants should be build only in rivers that do not have extreme seasonal fluctuations.

Run-of-the-river hydroelectricity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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